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Get tough on truants.

A get-tough policy on parents may just be the answer to the growing truancy problem in the North East.

Hit the parents where it hurts most ( in the pocket ( is the policy being adopted by Newcastle City Council, and it puts the ball firmly back into the parents' court.

It is, after all, the duty of the parents to ensure their children attend school, not the council. Why should schools waste valuable time and resources chasing up the errant few who can't be bothered to turn up?

Opponents to the move claim the policy will hit the parents of children who are too scared to go to school because of bullying. But in many ways this is a separate issue and one which the schools, parents and council should be able to sort out in a sensible way between themselves.

In reality, however, many of the children have played truant with the express permission of their parents. Studies show around half of the 50,000 truants are bunking off with an adult, often their own parents. A pounds 100 fine and the threat of jail if their child continues to offend may be the short sharp shock some parents need to ensure their offspring get a decent education.

Real courage

YOU simply can't fail to be moved by the amazing courage shown by cancer victim Christina Beck.

The 45-year-old has battled three cancers in 18 months ( and won.

Christine has shown incredible guts throughout her ordeal and believes her positive outlook was the key to her recovery.

She is now building a new life for herself with her new love James and is backing a charity walk to bring hope to others.

We wish this incredible woman all the very best for the future.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 24, 2004
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