School district asks for help getting no shows into the classroo - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

School district asks for help getting no shows into the classroom

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5) (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Even though school started weeks ago, thousands of Shelby County students still have not reported to class, and the school district is fed up.

"We do not want another child to miss another minutes of classroom instruction time," Reginald Fentress said.

2,700 students, all who have registered for school, still have yet to show up for class, with lots of negative effects. The district gets funding based on attendance, meaning this is costing them money.

Not only that, but when these kids eventually show up weeks late, they're behind and that effects end of the year testing according to Fentress, who is a former teacher.

"They're behind the 8-ball all year," Fentress said. "In particular if they're already a grade or two behind, so that puts a big burden on the teacher."

That's why Fentress and school board member Stephanie Love felt the need to speak up today, asking the community to help.

"If you see a child, stop and ask, 'Why are you not in school?'" Love said.

They're also offering a helping hand to parents who are having trouble getting children ready for school.

"If you need school supplies, we have them," Love said. "If the uniform is a problem, we have uniforms. We're here to do whatever we need to do to make sure the children are in school."

Since the start of school, at least two parents have already been arrested for their children missing 5 or more days of class.

"We're not trying to put parents in jail because I don't ever want that to be the message, but the clear message is, the law states your children should be in school each and every day," Love said.

It's both the offer to help, and the risk of arrest, that these two hope gets every student into class.

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