Truancy proceedings — along with when you and your child might be called to appear in court — vary from state to state. Some states have a set number of days a student must be absent before the law kicks in, while others don’t. If your child misses too much time, however, you’ll probably end up in front of a judge.
The first step in the truancy court process usually involves a summons or notice to the parent. The hearing might take place at the school before a magistrate or in court before a judge. You’ll have a chance to argue that your child was absent for a legitimate reason. Your child may be asked to commit, in writing, to attending school every day going forward unless he has a bona fide excuse, such as illness. If he’s sick, he’ll probably have to provide a doctor’s note. The requirements might extend to academic issues as well, such as agreeing to do all assignments on time.
Truancy court proceedings often include a probationary period. Students, as well as their parents, may be required to come back weekly for status checks to make sure the student is doing everything he agreed to do. If you or your child fail to meet any requirements of probation, there may be criminal charges.