August 22nd, 2012
03:00 PM ET

Your kid skipped school? You owe $75

A school superintendent in New Britain, Connecticut, is tackling truancy with a new policy: A $75 fine every time a student skips class. Some say it's not fair - some parents can barely afford a car to get their kids to school, one told CNN affiliate WTNH. School leaders haven't approved the policy yet. An administrator said they might have a community service option for those who can't afford to pay.

What do you think? Is a truancy fine fair? Do you think it will keep kids from skipping school? Tell us in the comments!

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Filed under: Behavior • Practice
August 22nd, 2012
01:01 PM ET

Oklahoma 5-year-old in trouble for wearing University of Michigan shirt

When 5-year-old Cooper Barton wore a University of Michigan shirt to kindergarten in Oklahoma City, the principal asked him to turn it inside-out. Much to the surprise of his mother, the school district's dress code only allows university wear from schools in the state of Oklahoma, CNN affiliate KWTV reported. The dress code, adopted in 2005, was meant to deter gangs.

"He was a little embarrassed," his mother, Shannon Barton, said. "It wasn't offensive. You know, he's 5."

A district spokeswoman said the superintendent called the policy outdated and said that it would be reviewed.

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Filed under: Dress codes • Issues • Oklahoma • video
August 22nd, 2012
12:02 AM ET

Survey: 17% of high schoolers drink, smoke, use drugs during school day

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) - About 17% of American high school students drink, smoke or use drugs during the school day, a new survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University says.

It's no surprise to their classmates, either: 86% say they know the 2.8 million who are abusing substances during the day, according to the latest version of the center's annual back-to-school survey. The estimate is based on information gleaned from telephone interviews with about 1,000 kids ages 12 to 17.

The survey found that 44% of high school students know a classmate who sells drugs at school, and 60% say that drugs are available on campus. Marijuana was the most-sold on school grounds, students said, as well as prescription drugs, cocaine and ecstasy.

Here are some factors that can increase substance abuse, according to the survey.


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Filed under: Behavior • Carl Azuz • High school • Issues