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According to Kansas law, a number of conditions can constitute truancy. A student is truant if they are between the ages of seven and 18 and missed three consecutive days in a row without an excuse, five unexcused absences in a semester or seven unexcused absences in a school year. A student who meets any of those conditions can be reported for truancy.
First Time Offenders
The District Attorney receives notice from the school about a student's truancy, and an investigation is launched to determine the cause. Sometimes charges are dismissed if the reasons are found to be legitimate and medical, but reporting just wasn't done in a timely fashion. If this is the student's first violation, then the parents will be sent a notice letter and the student can avoid punishment by taking a Truancy Diversion class. Perfect attendance is expected after completion of the class.
Consequences for Repeat Offenders
If a student is truant on more than one occasion, then the consequences of a reported truancy can be more severe. The parents can be fined for neglect in certain cases. Students can be removed from their parents and their homes and placed in the custody of the Kansas Department of Social Rehabilitation Services (SRS). If a student wants to drop out after the age of 16 to avoid the truancy punishments, this is allowed under Kansas law but only if the student and a parent attend a counseling session at the school and the parent signs a legal disclaimer.
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.
State law defines "habitual truancy" as absence from school for five or more days in a row, seven or more days within one school month or 12 days within a school year. "Chronic truancy" is defined as absence for seven or more consecutive days, at least 10 days in a single month, or 15 school days out of the year. State law also prescribes certain excused absences, including personal illness, for which a doctor's note is mandated if the student misses four or more days in a row; religious holidays; home quarantine; family illness; and emergencies, for which documentation may be required.
Parents may also be held responsible for their children's truancy. The parents of a truant child are first sent an official letter explaining the situation and notifying them of legal consequences. If parents are found to not compel their child to attend school, they may be required to take mediation classes or parenting workshops. Subsequent offenses may result in fines of up to $500 (as of 2011) or community service.
Involvement of Juvenile Court
Chronic truancy can result in involvement of the juvenile court if other measures fail tor resolve the problem. School officials who lodge juvenile court complaints, according to the law, "shall allege that the child is an unruly child for being an habitual truant or is a delinquent child for being an habitual truant who previously has been adjudicated." If found guilty of the offenses, the child could be placed in juvenile detention.
The Ohio truancy law also sets up mediation programs for both parents and students. Such programs are designed to intervene in the problem before it rises to a more serious level. According to the Ohio State Bar, mediation has been effective in reducing truancy. It's administered by the Ohio Commission on Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management and involves a neutral third-party mediator who engages conflicting parties to come to a mutually agreeable solution.