March 11 marked a historic event in Barrie, Ontario, as a teenage girl was arrested for allegedly skipping school at the local high school she attended.
According to Barrie police Const. Jamie Saunders, the arrest was in response to a provincial offence warrant issued for the young girl’s arrest. Despite this, police had already been investigating the girl for a minor offence when she was taken into custody.
Saunders stated on the record that the girl has habitually missed “a significant amount” of class over the course of several years, eventually leading to a court date being issued on March 8 for violating the Ontario Education Act.
Through the process, police were apparently in contact with the girl’s mother, that while knowing the girl had been skipping school, had no idea she had been issued an arrest warrant following her failure to appear in court.
“The 16-year-old female was consistently absent from school without cause and then failed to attend her originally scheduled court date,” local Barrie police said in an official statement.
“Students and parents are reminded at this time that in Ontario it is mandatory for persons between the ages of six and 18 to attend school,” authorities noted.
Following her arrest, the girl appeared in court Saturday morning through a video; her case most certainly being one of particular public interest in the ensuing weeks.
As it stands, The Education Act requires all children between the age of six and 18 to attend school regularly, despite their being a certain degree of ambiguity present within the document, most notably in section 21.
For those curious about what The Education Act specifically entails, or more specifically, how it can lead to the arrest of a student for not attending school, it has been included to the (right). For the sake of argument, section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been included as well.