Stuttgart (dpa/lsw) - In the past two years of the corona pandemic, more than 190 penalty payment procedures have been initiated in the southwest against parents who have not sent their children to school. The Ministry of Culture said on Monday in Stuttgart that almost 50 fines had been imposed so far. In around 100 cases, the procedure was completed because the children and young people were taking part in face-to-face classes again or were no longer subject to compulsory schooling. In a good 40 cases, the process is still ongoing. Such a fine is based on the income of the parents. It starts at a minimum of 10 euros and can reach a maximum of 50,000 euros.
As the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten" (Tuesday) report, the focus of the cases is in southern Baden-Württemberg. However, in most cases it is unclear whether parents did not send their children to school because of the pandemic A spokesman for the Ministry of Education said that the reason for school abstinence is only recorded in the Karlsruhe regional council, adding that the proportion of school dropouts is relatively low when you consider that there are 1.5 million schoolchildren in Baden-Württemberg.
In the administrative district of southern Württemberg, 70 penalty payments have been initiated. 36 cases have now been settled, said a spokesman for the regional council in Tübingen. In 34 cases, the process is still ongoing. In Freiburg, 45 penalty payment procedures were initiated, and a penalty payment was imposed in 30 cases. In Karlsruhe, 55 cases were filed and a fine was imposed in 19 cases. In Stuttgart there were 22 procedures, 12 have resolved themselves, 10 cases are still open.
The Freiburg regional council said that more than half of the cases in its area had come from private schools, especially from Waldorf schools. The spokesman for the Working Group of Free Waldorf Schools in Baden-Württemberg, Christoph Sander, told the newspapers that on average there had been four to five cases of long-term school abstinence at each of the 59 Waldorf schools in the state.
Even before the pandemic, it happened that parents no longer sent their children to school, the ministry said. An "escalation ladder" has been set up for such cases. At the beginning there are always discussions between the parents and the school. If the children do not return, the school authority can punish the breach of compulsory schooling as an administrative offense with a fine. In order to get the children back to school, the regional council can initiate a penalty payment procedure.