The Florida statutes outline basic guidelines on how schools should handle cases of truancy in the state, but it is up to each school district to develop its own laws regarding when a child is truant and how to handle disciplinary and preventative actions.
The general truancy laws for Florida have guidelines for handling instances of truancy and while the schools may intervene, it is ultimately up to parent and student to rectify the problem. This means if you do not comply with your child’s school’s truancy policy, you may be charged with a truancy violation.
There are 4 stages of truancy resolution you need to follow to avoid truancy charges for both you and your child.
Stage 1 – Response to truancy notice – after a student has been reported as absent without excuse, a phone call is made to the child’s home. You must either provide a valid reason for your child’s absence or acknowledge the problem. After 5 unexcused absences, the child’s teacher will report the pattern to the principal who then refers the case to a study team.
Stage 2 – Parental involvement – after repeated instances of nonattendance where your child’s school becomes concerned, officials will request a meeting with you to discuss the situation. The study team involved with your child’s case will develop remedies for your child’s truancy and suggest a plan of action.
Stage 3 – Compliance with truancy prevention plan – as a parent, you will be given the choice to participate in the remedial strategies as suggested by the study team. You have the right to appeal these strategies if you find them to be unnecessary or inappropriate, but you must formally do so to the district school board. If you simply ignore the program developed for your child, you can be charged with a truancy violation.
Stage 4 – Resolution of truancy violations – if you follow the study team’s program to rectify your child’s truancy, you will no longer need to worry about truancy charges. However, if you are not proactive in resolving your child’s nonattendance either through attendance contracts, alternative education programs, or an appeal of the decisions made in your child’s case, you may be charged with aiding in the truancy of your child.
Because each Miami-Dade County school has the right to establish unique laws and prevention programs to handle truancy, it’s important to have a Miami-Dade truancy defense lawyer who knows your area. Florida state laws only regulate the basics of truancy charges, and your child’s school may have stricter policies and penalties with which your local attorney should be familiar.
Contacting a Miami-Dade Truancy Defense Lawyer
You are entitled to know all your legal rights before being prosecuted for any suspected criminal activity – including your right to legal representation. If you are facing criminal charges in South Florida, your legal team is your best defense. Contact the Miami-Dade Truancy Defense Lawyer team at Falk & Ross to discuss your case – 877-663-5110.