Starting this year, parents in Staffordshire, England could be fined up to £120 ($162.72) if their kid is late to school more than 10 times. The new rule was passed to encourage kids and parents to make more of an effort to be at school before the bell rings and makes it so any headteacher, which is a similar role to a principal, has the authority to charge a kid’s parents with a £60 fine if they are tardy 10 or more times. If the fine is not paid in at least 21 days, it will then increase to the full £120.
Previously, a student needed to be late more than 20 times to be subjected to a punishment of this magnitude. This rarely happened. The new rule means several parents could end up having to pay hundreds of pounds to their kid’s school. Of course, a fine is only issued if a headteacher deems it necessary so the penalty will only go into effect in cases where it is necessary for motivation. Many Staffordshire parents are upset by the newest rule, as they feel taking money away from them just for their kid being late to school is too harsh of a punishment.
This is not the first time a school has tried to hold parents accountable for the actions of their kids. Last October, the small town of North Tonawanda, New York passed a controversial law which made it so parents could face jail time if their kid was caught bullying other students. A school in Magnolia, Texas even made it a punishable offense for parents to walk their kids home from school.