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Mediation Provides Path to Truancy Problem

Thursday, September, 13, 2018


Duluth, Minnesota school officials and community leaders are looking for a way to remedy the truancy issue in area schools and they believe mediation might be a key to their success.


The meeting to discuss the issue included the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, as well as teachers, and members of the Student Attendance Review Board.  According to Mark Rubin, St. Louis County Attorney, “We work with other programs in the city to come up with a way to show that we care about them and we need to keep them in school.”


Rubin and others are concerned that missing school will lead to an even bigger problem – dropping out altogether.  He wants to get a handle on the problem before it is out of control by getting and keeping students engaged and connecting with them.


Another attorney pointed out how they can help the situation by getting involved and guiding the mediations. 


Mediation sessions with the student, family, and school officials is the first step toward solving the problem before looking at alternative solutions.  When students are considered truant, those involved in the intervention reach out to Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota and request mediation services.


Those who support the program love that mediation allows them to get to the root of the issue and find out why students are missing class.  Instead of jumping right to discipline, the process enables the causes to be addressed and for solutions to be tailored to each student.