A child in Florida must attend school from the time he is 6 years old until he reaches age 16. Florida is strict when it comes to school attendance; a parent and child can both face consequences--including fines or revocation of driving privileges for the child--if the student fails to attend school regularly.
Driver's License Consequences
Although a parent is compelled to require her child's school attendance only until age 16, the driving laws are more stringent. According to the High School Driver website, a student under age 18 cannot miss more than 15 days of school with an unexcused absence in a three-month period. If he violates this rule, the Department of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee will suspend his license until he reaches age 18, or until he has reached a point where he has a proven pattern of proper school attendance.
According to the Juvenile Assessment Center of Lee County, the State of Florida defines an excused absence as an illness, a religious holiday, a medical/dental appointment, or for any reason the parent requests permission from the school for the absence. If a parent fails to communicate with the school, the district, or both, depending on local laws, she could face consequences.
According to the Juvenile Assessment Center, the State of Florida considers a child truant if he has accumulated five or more unexcused absences in a calendar month, and/or 10 unexcused absences in a 90-day period. In such cases, Florida law state that the district superintendent may choose to file a truancy petition against you; if he chooses not to do this, the State of Florida will file a Child-In-Need of Services petition. According to a 2009 statutes, the state must have exhausted all legal means to remedy the truancy before filing such paperwork.
If a parent fails to compel her children to attend school as the law requires, she could be found guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor. According to the Florida Statutes website, a parent could face a $500 fine. A teacher who allows truancy to occur without reporting it is subject to the revocation of her teaching credentials by the State of Florida.
According to a Juvenile Assessment Center brochure, a student can legally quit school at age 16. However, the parent must receive notification. Furthermore, a child is exempt from public school attendance if he attends a private school or receives instruction from a qualified tutor, or if the parent chooses to instruct him in a home school.
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