Constitutionality of truancy laws?Submitted by AngieDfromAL on Fri, 03/15/2013 - 18:40
First, please don't go into how I'm wrong for having my kids in public school. Many of you have been awake for much longer than me and I already intend for this to be their last year in any public school. Next year we plan to start un-schooling.
Here's a link to a pdf which contains the truancy laws which the entire state uses.
Three of my children attend a very small (600 K-12) school which I believe to be the best of the best as far as public education goes. My 8yo has never enjoyed school or even shown very much interest in learning to read, do math, etc. Compared to my other children she is very laid back and uninterested in anything she sees to be "educational." She is also MUCH less responsible than my other girls (even the 2 who are younger than her).
Since she hates going to school she often claims to feel bad when she doesn't and has become REALLY good at faking being sick. Additionally, she gets frequent ear infections which cause her to run fever and this year she has had bronchitis twice.
Both times she had bronchitis she missed 3 days and, for some reason, the school is saying they never received her medical excuses. There are a few other days as well and I am certain that I sent the excuses we got from the doctor in her folder to the school. However, I don't know if she misplaced them when sorting papers from her folders into the appropriate boxes in the morning or if they were lost some other way (or by some other person). I'm assuming it was her because she misplaced several last year which resulted in me having to attend an early warning meeting with a truancy judge last June.
OK, the reason I am asking advice is because last year the truancy judge made it clear that he didn't mind putting parents in jail for 10-60 days when they have to see him for a 2nd "offense." I am thinking that this can't possibly be constitutional considering this is MY child who I gave birth to and I decided she needed to stay home. They are REFUSING to accept copies of the medical excuses from the doctors office because it has been longer than 3 days since she returned to school. What would you do in this situation? I'm sure I'll end up back in juvenile court for truancy... how would you challenge this?