After the September 2015 changes to the truancy laws, one of the districts in my county is wanting to file several cases against students and their parents. I never had to try a truancy case under the old laws, and have some questions about the new changes:
One of the local schools is wanting to file on the students and on the parents. After looking at the students’ files, the school didn’t meet the requirements of Education Code 25.0915 (specifically: truancy prevention measures), so by the statute’s terms the court must dismiss the case against the student.
If we MUST dismiss the case against the student for lack of truancy prevention measures, can we go forward on the case against the parents, or must we dismiss that case as well? (Put another way: is proving the case against the student, including the truancy prevention measures, an element of the case against the parents? V.T.C.A., Education Code § 25.093
§ 25.093. Parent Contributing to Nonattendance
Has this issue come up for anyone yet? Thoughts?
Barbara Fox, Assistant County Attorney - Chambers County
well I haven't had that but is there a standard Truancy Prevention Policy that MY schools could use? Sorry, I know this doesn't answer your questoin. I'm so confused on all of this truancy stuff. thanks so much.
thank you for getting back to me! We are in the process of drafting one. The best guidance I've found is Education Code § 25.0915, which is clear as mud. I'm hoping to sit down with the districts in our county in June to really develop something practical.
El Paso County adopted a truancy prevention plan in December 2015 and I served on that task force and am general counsel for JPD in El Paso. My view is that the parent's case may proceed whether or not the child's case meets criteria. Our truancy cases are handled by the DA's office and our ADA and I have several questions about enforcement against a child who doesn't follow the remedial order especially if they are over 17 as it doesn't appear that referral to the juvenile court is an option. I also have been getting a lot of questions about the expunction part of the law and would appreciate any help in that area. Our plan is available should anyone want a copy, please let me know. I agree that the new law is confusing. It also appears that there is not much ability to enforce the remedial order especially against the older student many of whom don't have driver's licenses so that is not much of a threat.
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