Truancy. This is not a topic I have thought of in quite some time. However, it has possible severe repercussions to the child and to the parents.
California has a compulsory full time education law. Education code section 48200 states that each person between the ages of 6 and 18 years not exempted under the provisions of Chapter 2 or Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 48400) is subject to compulsory full-time education. Each person subject to compulsory full-time education shall attend the public full-time day school for the full school day.
By law, those who are absent without a valid excuse for three or more days during a school year, or who are tardy more than 30 minutes without a valid excuse on three occasions in a school year, are truants. Any student who is absent without a valid excuse for 10 percent or more of the school days during a school year would, if school officials have met certain criteria, be considered a chronic truant. (Ed.C §§ 48260, 48263.6)
Los Angeles Municipal Code SEC. 45.04. DAYTIME CURFEW RESTRICTIONS FOR MINORS. It is unlawful for any minor under the age of 18, who is subject to compulsory education to be present in any place open to the public during the hours of the day when the school, which the minor would normally attend, is in session.
Officer I’m not truant I have a valid excuse. What say you might that be?
Excused Absences: California E.C. 48205 provides that a student shall be excused from school when the absence is due to:
Note- that personal reasons has the language of “are not limited to”
Which means if you want to get your child out of school for self-directed or independent study, you can do so, you just need to get it approved. If it doesn’t get approved then we fall into truancy.
Truancy has teeth- so be careful.
The school has a duty to notify you of the truancy. The notice must state that if the parents do not compel attendance that they themselves and or the child may subject to prosecution. The notice has specific requirements that I won’t go into in this article. If a child is reported truant four or more times during the school year they may be considered a habitual truant. A review board will determine if the problem can be resolved with community services along with family cooperation or if there is a need for a juvenile court petition. WIC § 601)
The juvenile court can have the parents personally deliver the child to school for the rest of the school year, and it can ask for a cash bond to assure attendance. (Ed.C §§ 48268-69)
A criminal complaint can also be filed against the parents for failure to comply. (Ed.C § 48291)
So what does all this mean.
If you find yourself dealing with a truancy situation call us. We can help.
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