MADISON — Boone County continues to crack down on truancy, even as the school year comes to a close.
Boone County compulsory school attendance law states that any parent who allows their child to be absent without a legal excuse for five days in a school year is in violation of the state’s attendance law.
Once a parent has been properly notified that their child has been absent without a legal excuse and continues to allow their child to be illegally absent from school, the attendance director shall sign a warrant before the magistrate, or judge.
Eddie Weikle, Director of Attendance and Pupil Services for Boone County Schools, reported last week that two more parents were charged and found guilty of 1st offense truancy.
Jennifer Griffith, of Hernshaw, and Kimberly Blevins, of Chapmanville, both pled guilty to the charges on May 14, 2013.
If the parent is found guilty of a first offense violation of the compulsory attendance law, the magistrate may: (1) fine the parent $50 to $100 dollars plus court cost; and/or (2) order the parent to attend school with the child for as long as they deem necessary; or, (3) may defer the sentence for sixty school days and if the child misses no unexcused days, the magistrate may not impose the penalty.
If the parent is found guilty of a second and subsequent offense of the compulsory attendance law, the magistrate may: (1) fine the parent $50 to $100 dollars plus court cost; (2) order the parent to attend school with the child for as long as they deem necessary; or, (3) place the parent in jail for five to twenty days.
Listed below are absences that the Boone County Board of Education recognizes as excused: (1) Doctor’s excuse; (2) Illness with a note from home (not to exceed 6 days a year); (3) Illness of a family member (doctor’s note required); (4) Calamity-fire, flood, etc.; (5) Death in the family (limit three days): (6) Legal obligation; (7) Failure of the bus to run; (8) Observance of religious holiday; and/or, (9) Extenuating circumstances approved by the school principal.
Official said that all excuses require written verification. If no written excuse is received by the school, the absence will be considered unexcused, officials added.
Weikle said the truancy initiative is working.
For a more detailed description of the Attendance Policy and the WV Compulsory School Attendance Law contact Weikle at 304-369-8252.