Too many absences, see the judge

The laws regarding a child attending school all day are not taken lightly in the Yorktown Independent School District. Parents who are suffering from the repercussions may have misunderstandings. It is a long process before parents and children find themselves before DeWitt County’s justice of the peace Bill Robinson’s court room.

Robinson said, “Before the school can file they have to send two notifications out to the parent/s showing original days missed. Then they can file to the court and only for days missed. They get two warnings.”

Yorktown High School principal David Lynn said, “To my knowledge, the year before I got here they (YISD) did not take anyone to court. Last year I filed 20 cases. This year I filed 20 cases and am filing a couple more.”

“We had no cases from the elementary or junior high until [recently]. We got one from junior high,” Robinson said.

The compulsory attendance letter gives the parent notice that the student has accumulated too many unexcused absences. The law states, found in chapter 25 of the education code, if a child has unexcused absences for 10 or more days or parts of days in a six month period or if the child has three or more days or parts of days in a four week period the school district must file charges on the student. “Parts of days” means leaving school early, or arriving after the first bell has rung, even if the child attended for some of the day, can count as an absence. The letter is to give the parent a chance to make corrections to the child's attendance record.

Read more in this week's edition of Yorktown News-View.

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