Everybody – well, almost everybody – has skipped school at some point. Usually it’s harmless, but the state of Wisconsin has truancy laws on the books that say parents or guardians can be charged with and found guilty of a misdemeanor when a child is truant from school.
What is Truancy?
Truancy is “the action of staying away from school without good reason.” While we’re sure every teen who skips school is pretty sure they have a good reason, the state sees it differently. In Wisconsin, school attendance is required – and if a student is “absent without an acceptable excuse for part or all of 5 or more days on which school is held during a school semester,” he or she is considered a habitual truant.
If your child is habitually truant from school under this definition, his or her school must send you a notification, arrange a conference, develop an “Attendance Improvement Plan” and monitor your child’s attendance for another 30 days.
But there can be criminal consequences, too. The parents of a habitually truant child could be hauled into court – and depending on the student’s age and the circumstances related to his or her absences, the court can levy fines of up to $500 and send the parents to jail for up to 30 days. That’s just for a first offense! The court can also require the student to receive counseling and perform community service, as well as to attend after-school, weekend or summer school sessions to make up for the school sessions he or she missed.
What if You’re Threatened With Jail for Your Child’s Truancy?
Many parents choose to call an attorney when they’re faced with the threat of criminal penalties for a child’s truancy. If your child has been in trouble for skipping school and you’re concerned about what it means for you, give us a call at 414-383-6700 today. We’ll answer your questions during a free consultation.