Who Should Control the Behavior of Minors? A Focus on Attendance, Association and Appearance - May 5, 1997

In our Town Hall Meeting, we are going to look at three areas in which adults feel they must control the behavior of young people. The prohibitions against truancy, being out unsupervised at night, body piercing and tattoos are areas of current debate about how much freedom young people should have to make decisions, and how the behavior of minors should be controlled.

This Town Hall Meeting looks at three areas of behavior that are particularly troublesome - attendance, association and appearance. In all of these areas, adults hope for the tastefully dressed student who attends school regularly and "hangs out" with other students who parents and teachers admire. But that, of course, rarely happens. Many students look to express themselves in their clothing, avoid going to boring classes, and stay out late with their friends.

Identifying the best behavior in every situation is often not easy, but what we can agree on is that we all want to keep young people safe and to give them the opportunity to learn. How their behavior in these areas affects their safety and learning is the focus of our concern.