A few minutes ago on the radio, the DJ read a list of "first period absences" from the high school. He does this every school day.
Would you skip class if you knew your folks and friends were going to hear about it on the radio? Heh. Thought not. (Not that you would anyway, of course, you not being a kid who would dream of cutting class in the first place.)
Of course, most of the absences are excused ones, because of illness or some other reason the parents know about. But still, once in a while, I'm sure there are some surprises on that list. Surprises followed by action, I hope.
Sometimes, too, when there are lots and lots of absences, it can be a good clue that we've got a flu outbreak or something of the kind going on around here. In that respect, it can feed the grapevine in a useful way.
When we first moved here, I was shocked to hear this daily report. I'd never heard of such a thing. But now it's just another small piece of what makes this place what it is.