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To say that her problem is that she sluffs school is like saying a dying man's problem is that he sleeps too much. Her trancy is in many wasy an end stage symptom of a life that suffers from too many troubles and too few skills.

She began sluffing school last fall, after someone called her a slut. "The reason I don't go to schools is I don't have no friends and people don't like me," she says. She is 13."I don't let no one push me around," she says explaining why she gets in fights at school. But her anger and her sadness are all tangled up. "It's pretty sad when you have to each lunch by yourself," she says.

She got into her last fight with a boy who was making fun of her school's handicapped students.

When she skips school she usually stays home and watches TV or sleeps, she says. By the end of February, when seh was finaly set to truncy court, she had probably missed abut 50 days of school.

Back in the fifth grade, shye says, she won a god medal for reading more books than anyone else. But she doesn't read much anymore. "I don't really got much concentration now."

"A lot of things have happened to me in the last five years," she says. Her father died. She was sexually abused by her step-father. She has been in two psychiatric hospitals.

The only boyfriends she can get, she says, are ones who are 18 or 19 or 20.

She doesn't think it's fair that truancy commissioner Richard Birrell has put her under "house arrest" and fined her $50. But at las work, she was back in school and hadn't missed a day in two weeks.

Her mother, who dropped out of school when she was 15, is hoping that history won't repeat itself. But the daughter thinks it probably will. Who cares, she says. "I already know enough to last me the rest of my life."