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Why Does My Child Need to Go to School?

Let's End Truancy (LET) - Diploma


To get the best start in life, a child needs a good education.

If your child does not go to school, he or she can’t get the grades needed to progress and graduate.

Often employers won’t hire employees with poor school attendance.

Failure to attend school may result in an inability to secure a loan/scholarship for college.

Young people who miss school are often victims or perpetrators of crime.

If your child doesn’t go to school you and the child can be prosecuted.

What is the Truancy Law?

Section 48260 of the Education Code states: “Any pupil subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuation education who is absent from school without a valid excuse 3 full days in one school year or tardy or absent for more than any 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on 3 occasions in 1 school year, or any combination thereof, is a truant and shall be reported to the attendance supervisor or to the superintendent of the school district.”

The law further specifies that any pupil who has once been reported as truant and is subsequently absent or tardy without valid excuse on 1 or more school days shall again be reported as a truant to school officials.

The law defines a habitual truant as any pupil who has been reported as a truant 3 or more times in 1 school year. In other words, 5 unexcused absences and/or unexcused tardies greater than 30 minutes in 1 school year equals a habitual truant.

Additionally, any pupil who is absent from school without a valid excuse for 10 percent or more of the school days in 1 school year, from the date of enrollment to the current date, is deemed a chronic truant.

This means your child must be in school and ready to work unless there is a valid reason.  If your child is found to be a habitual truant, you and your child can be prosecuted.  You could go to jail or pay a fine, or both.  It is your responsibility to make sure your child goes to school and stays in school!

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It is the mission of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office to represent the interests of the people in the criminal justice system, as mandated by California State law. The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office serves the residents of San Bernardino County by: seeking the truth, protecting the innocent; holding the guilty accountable; preserving the dignity of victims and their families; and, ensuring that justice is done while always maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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