Fairfax County Schools Decriminalizes Cutting Class

School system scraps 3-strikes attendance policy

Friday, Aug 21, 2009  |  Updated 4:31 PM EDT
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Fairfax County Schools Decriminalizes Cutting Class

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Automatic Fs failed to fill seats.

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FAIRFAX, Va. -- Since giving students who don't want to be in class less reason to go to class isn't an effective way to get them to class, the Fairfax County school system is ditching its three-strikes-you're-out attendance policy.

For years, county students who missed three classes in a quarter without a legitimate excuse got an automatic F. Students who skipped three times had little motivation to show up after that.

That gave class-cutters little reason to change their ways, officials said.

So school officials have decided to get rid of the policy starting this fall.

The change doesn't give would-be Ferris Buellers a free pass, however. Teachers can still punish students who skip and reward those who show up with points for class participation, credit for turning in homework or pop quizzes. Disciplinary options include detention and taking away parking or extracurricular privileges.

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