Ditching. Playing hooky. Cutting class. Whatever you prefer to call it, unexcused absence from school is more than a charming pastime of thrill-seeking youths. School districts nationwide are invested in the success of your student, which is why attendance is a genuine concern for education officials. They want adolescents and young adults to have a foot in the door of a competitive job market. The first step to vocational success – a literal foot in the door of the classroom – matters to them. It matters to students’ futures. Attendance deficits are even considered enough of an issue to deserve an official term. Lawyers refer to it as truancy.
Truancy is considered a status offense for minors, enforceable by the state government. From a child’s first August as a six-year-old up to their seventeenth birthday, he or she is required to spend a certain number of hours per academic year in class. Compulsory attendance reduces the likelihood of dropouts among seventeen- and eighteen-year-old students. Every day a student goes to school is a day worth of progress. Such gradual advancement often creates the illusion of a standstill. The monotony of school life can seem in vain at times. It is only natural for students to crave a greater degree of variety in life, but impromptu holidays outside of legal boundaries have been known to result in court summonses and time served in detention centers.
Of course, legitimate exceptions exist. Days lost to injury and illness will not be counted against the student. Alternatives to public school, such as private schools, parochial schools, home-based education, and legitimate online learning programs can act as substitutes. (Home educators are required to periodically take state evaluations though.) Certain disabilities can excuse absences as well, but many schools across the nation have been established to accommodate the deaf and blind. When various facets of life complicate the education process, the state is willing to grant concessions.
Keep in mind, however, that scholastic success is a group effort. Children and teens need a network of supportive loved ones to succeed in the long run. Involved parents or guardians can make a world of difference by providing caring accountability. Positive peer pressure from ambitious friends and healthy competition from gifted classmates can serve to kindle ambition. The legal system is meant to be more of a safety net that anything else. Only after a student has slipped through the cracks of their community will the state come in to intervene.
If your son or daughter has already become entangled in legal trouble, look no further than your local juvenile law office. Let Thomas A. Ramunda Jr. be your family’s advocate. His services are available for Denver and the surrounding area, including Jefferson, Douglas, and Arapahoe counties. Tom brings much-needed compassion to the table while encouraging youths to turn their situation around. In court, he will contend for their best possible outcome. When your child’s life is at an impasse, he will be there to help them renew momentum. Make the confidential call today, and jump-start an upward spiral for the child or teen in your family. Contact us!