When all else fails, nothing snaps teenagers into shape faster than threatening to take away their driver’s licenses. At least that’s what legislators in South Carolina are banking on.
The Charlotte Observer reports that state lawmakers are on the verge of “fast-tracking” a bill that would take away the driver’s licenses of any teenager 18 and younger who failed to graduate or just missed too many days of class. The ultimate goal is to improve the state’s graduation rate. As of now, just 74% of students graduate on time.
According to The Charlotte Observer, the new bill would require that “the driver's license of a student who misses seven unexcused days of class, drops out or has been expelled will be suspended. Public, private and home schools would be required to electronically report the absences of 15- to 18-year-olds to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which would send a letter notifying the teen of the suspension.”
South Carolina is not the first state to consider this policy; 20 other states have similar laws on the books. West Virginia was the first state to pass the law and after just one year, it has reduced the high school dropout rate by a third.
As one South Carolina state representative put it, “Once one or two kids realize they could lose their license, it could change conduct in school.” Of course, the kids are eligible to reapply for a driver’s license once they turn 18, but I guess when you’re a teenager, every year does feel like an eternity. If I had my way though, I would go one step further and require that all drivers be forced to take an IQ test so we could get some of the idiots off the roads. But hey, that’s just me.
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