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To tan or not to tan

Sometimes the fun part of grading is running across ridiculous sources. One of my students is doing his blog project on teen curfews, and overall, a New York Times article isn’t necessarily a bad place to start for a broad overview of a topic. The article discusses one community’s efforts to crack down on students not in school by levying harsh fines. What really grabbed my attention was the last paragraph of this article. One critic of the plan said, “I was raised poor… I know if I had come home with a $500 fine because I skipped school to get a tan for the prom, it would have been catastrophic.” Hm… while I don’t want to dismiss the fact that the fines could be devastating to an economically struggling family, is it too much to want to say to this critic that probably this law is intended precisely because there are students out there who are all too willing to sacrifice their education for a prom tan? $500 might be the least of their worries if they have such a cavalier attitude towards education.

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