"When we look at long-term unemployment, truancy is where it begins," von der Leyen told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.
"50 percent of the long-term unemployed have no education or professional degree," she said, arguing it was essential that children get a good start in life.
“Fines hurt,” she said, but they must be imposed when parents violate the Education Act. "You should be able to even send the police round to houses," she added.
Von der Leyen did not offer any details of the amount of the fine she was proposing, or how much truancy would be tolerated before it would be imposed, but she said "the principle is right."
This may be tough medicine to take for some, but she did offer one assurance. Parents wont find their unemployment benefits being cut if their children are caught skipping school.
“Money that’s granted due to unemployment cannot be taken to teach the parents a lesson,” she said.