Student Disappearance Raises questions about how schools should notify parents that students are absent from school

15-year-old Sierra LaMar never got on the school bus and failed to show up for school.  Eleven hours later, her mother received an automated notification that the girl had missed all of her classes that day.  Her panicked mother called police and authorities are still searching for the girl.

Relatives and child-safety advocates assert that advancements in technology make it practical for school officials to communicate more quickly with parents when their children miss classes.  Marc Klaas from the KlaasKids Foundation, suggests that this case illustrates the need for this type of change.  His daughter, Polly Klaas was abducted from his home and killed in 1994.

Some school officials counter that the notification systems are designed to help better communicate with parents and to reduce truancy – not to enhance the safety of students on their way to school.

About Michael Dorn

Michael Dorn serves as the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, a non-profit school safety center. The author of 27 books on school safety, Michael’s campus safety work has taken him to 11 countries over the past 34 years.