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Skipping School is Against the Law – Truancy Mediation for Families

Posted on Sep 19 2013 under Blog Posts

Is your child truant?

Is your child truant?

September is here and October is around the corner! You’re hoping that your child is doing exceptionally well. But what if he or she isn’t? Like all parents, you want the best education for your child and I agree that they should have the best. So an important question comes to mind. What am I doing to make sure my child is receiving the best educational opportunities?

For starters, your child must attend school regularly. In most cases this is Monday- Friday between the hours of 7:30am-4:00pm. Is your child skipping classes? Did you receive a surprising phone call from the school administration about your son or daughter’s absence from school? Don’t be fooled if your child still comes home sharing their classwork or school activities. They could very well have skipped class or missed school for an entire day. In fact, truancy or truant behaviors according to US Department of Justice are unexcused absences from school by a minor that exceed the number of such absences allowed under state law. This might be a sign of truant behaviors and truancy is an important issue and one that can rise to a legal problem.

As a parent your instant response is probably to respond to your child’s truant behaviors with discipline such as punishment, grounding, taking away an electronic device, taking the car keys and other things. But ask yourself, are these strategies effective? If they are not effective, there could be a deeper issue. There could be multiple reasons why your child is truant:

1.   Your child is being bullied or threatened at school.

2.      Your child is struggling in school or is struggling in a particular subject.

3.     Your child is having a problem with transportation to school.

  4.    Something at home is negatively affecting your child’s school attendance.

Whatever the reason might be, take time to examine the possibilities and alternatives to resolving the truancy conflict. Truancy mediation offers great benefits to students, parents and the schools so as to prevent further escalation in the juvenile court system. To learn more about Truancy Mediation you can access the archived podcast Truancy Mediation-What You Should Know with Michelle Zaremba and Trisha Werts.

Here are ways to prevent truancy according to Michelle Zaremba and Trisha Werts:

1.   As parents, you need to read and understand the school policy on attendance.

2.    If your child has to be absent make sure that you have documentation excusing your child from school (i.e. doctor or dentist note)

3.    Communicate with school administrators, principal, vice principal, secretaries, school counselors and teachers about your child’s absence.

 To find out if the school your child attends has a truancy office or offers truancy mediation, just simply give them a call.

 By Tierra Henry


2 Replies to “Skipping School is Against the Law – Truancy Mediation for Families”

  1. Antnonymous said on September 20th, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    Put the blame where it’s needs to be placed. I agree the main deterrent is being active in your child’s school life.

  2. Thanks for posting your comment and reading our blog. Parents need to take a proactive role in their child’s activities. Reach out if you need help. There are so many resources available to parents and their children to assist when problems arise.

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