I live in Texas. My son (17) and I were served a summons by the local constable for truancy. The attached complaint says "Failure to Attend School" and is marked "ten or more days/parts of days in 6 mo period". My son has had many absences (often partial day/mornings) and always has as he suffers from asthma and chose to stop taking prescription meds after reading the documentation from the pharmacy about side effects (when he was in 4th grade). He does use/carry prescription rescue inhalers, he has too. He is an A/B/occasional C student. He has never had to be disciplined at school for any reason and is considered a "good kid" by his teachers. I know that all of his missed time at school has been related to sickness/asthma. There is no reason or benefit to taking him to his PCP every time he misses school. I assume this is the reason I/we are being charged with a crime! What should I expect to happen? Am I required/expected to "force" my sick/suffering child to go to school?
State/Country relating to question: Texas
Searching online for similar situations.
I am sorry to hear you are going through this, but unless your has an IEP or some reasonable accommodation approved under the ADA for his problems, there is no excuse for undocumented absences even though they may be for alleged medical reasons. You would have needed to provide evidence of his medical condition to the school from doctors reports and then they would have to have approved some reasonable accommodation. Claiming this now without prior accommodation approval makes your case very difficult. You must get an attorney and you will have to bring medical records and get his doctor to testify and you will need to explain to the court as to why you did not seek reasonable accommodation under the ADA for his disability and you can expect a fine in most cases and it could lead to him being forced to repeat the grade for not meeting minimum attendance requirements. You also need to begin the process of seeking reasonable accommodations under the ADA with your medical reports and seeking home school tutoring for times when he cannot go to school because of his disability.
I hope you found my answer helpful, please click on the GREEN ACCEPT button above for my answer OR the HAPPY SMILEY FACE. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed. Leaving a bonus and positive feedback is not required, but doing so is certainly appreciated!
If you have additional questions, please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.
Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.
PLEASE NOTE WELL, LEGAL ANSWERS TAKE MORE THAN “MINUTES” TO PUT TOGETHER AS WE ARE DEALING WITH LAWS OF 50 STATES PLUS FEDERAL LAWS, AS WELL AS DEALING WITH OTHER CUSTOMERS, SO PLEASE BE PATIENT IT WILL BE MORE THAN “MINUTES” IN SOME CASES BEFORE YOU GET A RESPONSE, BUT BE ASSURED YOU ARE NOT BEING IGNORED.
There can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break.
You can always request me through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-paulmjd/ or beginning your question with “For PaulMJD…”
What is an IEP? I could not have known in advance that this year would be any worse medically than any previous, he's been in school for 11 years without going over his "allotted days". Are these type od courts required to pass out penalty without individual considerations or does the judge get to decide each case?
Under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and the ADA, your son is entitled to an evaluation and accommodations for his disabilities. When he has a disability that requires him to not be able to attend school physically, under these Acts the school can be made to provide accommodations such as in home tutors to make up for the fact the child cannot attend. The judge will consider all factors in your case, but without documentation from a doctor that these absences were medically necessary based on a qualified disability, the judge may have no choice here but to issue some sanctions, even though you have some mitigating facts to minimize those sanctions. In the meantime you need to pursue the accommodations for the future through the school.
Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).