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Germany

Parents Get Text Messages About Truants

Students at two high schools in Dortmund in western Germany will have to think twice about skipping class in the future. If they do, their parents will receive text messages on their mobile phones from the school to inform them about their child's absence. "We wanted to improve communications between school and parents and do this by using new technology," the principal of one of the schools said. School officials also plan to inform parents about schedule changes or accidents with text messages. The move follows a recent nationwide debate about the rise of truancy in Germany. One government official from the eastern state of Brandenburg had suggested shackles for criminal truants.