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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Education Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I am curious as to if my child misses more than the 90

Customer Question

I am curious as to if my child misses more than the 90 percent attendance allowed by the state but it is due to illness, and my child's grades are all A's... even with the absences, can the school still try to hold my child back and not allow him to move on to the next grade level?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

What state is this in?

(Illnesses are generally excused absences and will not be counted against the student, but I want to provide you with a specific reference).

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are in Texas! The principal is threatening all this and we are only the first month into school here! My kids went from a very tiny private school (5-8 kids in a class) to a public school with 25 kids in their class so, of course they have fallen ill twice... They are not used to this kind of exposure!! My kids are in fifth and second grade and she sent me a letter making me aware of their absences... clearly I'm aware they were absences as they cannot drive themselves to school yet, and I sent notes to the school upon their return as I am required to do by the handbook and the law stating their reason for absence (illness)!! After her and I having a conference about their absences and explaining all this to her, she still sent me a letter stating her ability to hold them back and not grant credit for their courses...or file truancy!! I just wanted to know what my rights were in this matter because if she can manage to hold them back even though they are excused absences and my kids have excellent grades, we will just withdraw them and send then back to private school where they receive my money every month regardless of absences, which in turn allows them to care about my childs well-being, and not just the money from the state!! Thank you for your help with this!! I appreciate it!!
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am very sorry to learn of this situation. Unfortunately, Texas has a reputation for being extremely aggressive towards enforcement (and even prosecution) of truancy laws.

The primary statute is Texas Ed Code 25.087 which exempts from truancy those absences approved by the administration.

If your child is ill, most school districts will require a physician (or other comparable healthcare professional - RNP, PA, etc.) to verify the illness if they are absent for more than 7 days (the number of days is going to be based on local district protocols.

If your child has chronic health problems, you can look into initiating what is called a "Health Plan" or "504 plan" - where your child's chronic health problems are discussed and written into their education plan and future absences due to illness from such chronic condition are more easily deflected.

You can also try contacting the school district (above the principal) and ask to have a meeting to discuss the situation. The District may or may not agree with your assessment of the situation - be prepared to show that your child was indeed ill (again a physician's statement is going to be your best argument).