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Mich. lawmaker wants to yank driver's licenses for truant teens

 

Thinking about cutting class in Michigan? Make sure you know someone with whom you can hitch a ride.

A state representative wants to revoke driver’s licenses for chronically absent students as part of an initiative to cut down on truancy.

State Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, introduced two bills last week that would alert Michigan’s secretary of state – who oversees the issuance of licenses – whenever a student’s truancy gets so severe that his or her school refers the matter to court. The student’s license would be suspended or withheld for six months under the proposed law.

“There’s truant, and then there’s chronically truant,” Schor told FoxNews.com Thursday night. “This is for the worst offenders.”

Schor, who served in the Department of Education under President Clinton and later worked on education matters, including truancy, as an aide to Michigan representatives, said the idea occurred to him earlier this year when the state House of Representatives passed a bill to withhold welfare from parents whose children didn’t attend class.

Schor opposed that law, arguing that parents only had so much control in making sure their children sat in class. But in banning students’ driver’s licenses, the state would be penalizing the teens themselves.

The bills have already garnered a half-dozen Republican cosponsors, Schor said, and he hopes to get a hearing on them early in 2014.

As for whether teens who consistently skip class would be inclined to follow the rules on driving without a license, Schor said he can’t compel wayward youths to be lawful.

“People know the consequences, and they’ll make that decision for themselves,” Schor said. “I can’t stop anybody from breaking the law.”

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