If your child has been skipping school for a significant amount of time, it is likely that the school system has become involved with trying to address this issue. You may have previously been unaware that your child has been truant from school, and if this is the case, you will probably be upset and worried about what they have been doing during the time that they should have been in class.
As a parent, you will have a lot of questions about the consequences that your child might face as a result of their truancy. The law in Tennessee states that all children must be enrolled in education and attend school regularly until their 18th birthday. Some absences can be excused by the local school district, however, others might lead to the child attending juvenile court, or even legal action being made against the parent.
When is a school truancy excused?
The local school districts generally have the power to decide whether a school absence will be excused or not. The state law dictates that a child should be attending school unless they are physically or mentally unable to do so, if they have extracurricular activities to attend or if their religion requires a certain practice.
Additionally, students can legitimately have an absence from school for a reason relating to their parent's military deployment. Any other reason for missing school is unlikely to be excused, and there may be legal consequences if illegitimate absences occur frequently.
When is legal action taken against a student or their parents?
There are many stages of dealing with absenteeism. If attempts to intervene are unsuccessful, the school in question will need to report the child to the juvenile court. When this is done, a child may be denied the opportunity to advance to the next grade. In addition, their parents may be held responsible for not ensuring that their child attends school. They could be subject to a fine, but, in extreme cases, they may be sent to jail.
If you are worried about your child's school attendance and the impact that it might have on their future, it is important that you understand the law and take appropriate action.