School Reporting to the District Attorney

Cindy - posted on 08/26/2011 ( 105 moms have responded )

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Just went to a parent meeting at my SD school. The parents where told if a child is absent 10 times in one year they will report it to the D.A. Does your childs' school have this policy? I understand why they have the policy, but I think they are taking it a bit too far. Even if the child is out sick because they have asthma or a cold/flu it will count toward the 10 days.

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Addie - posted on 08/30/2011

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The original reason for a note when a child is absent was to show the school that the child wasn't truant, but absent with the parents knowledge. So when any of my children were absent, I stated in the note that "the child was absent with my knowledge and consent." I gave no reason. I have always consider my children's health problems was between me and the doctor and chose to protect my children's privacy regarding their health unless it involved contagion. And for that the doctor reported the numbers and illness without the names to the state. It is called "Patient Confidentiality."

If the numbers were high enough in a given area, the school authorities were notified that perhaps an epidemic was in the making. I did not run to the doctor's office for every cold or sniffle. I felt that I had enough intelligence to know when medical advice and care was needed. I have always fought to protect the privacy of my family. And still do to this day. I don't publish my children's name on the internet. Nor do I put any family member's picture up for viewing.

My family is grown now with children of their own. and I find that they have continued the practice of protecting their family's privacy. And in today's atmosphere of identity theft, I was ahead of my time. When I am asked for a social security number I ask why and have to consider if they are entitled to it. If they are, then I only give the last four numbers.

If the school insists on having a doctor's note, then ask the school if they are willing to pay for the visit, cost of tranportation, for the increase in your insurance premiums because they find you are 'abusing' the company's obligation to pay for the care given. Put the school on the defensive. Ask if they think you are too stupid to know when a child is sick. Because of patient confidentiality, all a doctor can do is give a second opinion that the child is ill. The first opinion is yours. He can't not reveal any medical condition of the child. Not even if it is just a cold.

Diana - posted on 08/27/2011

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I have not read all the replies, but didn't see this part of the story in the ones I read. My son gets sick rather easily. Most of the time, I think that the hardier kids who do have fever and should be kept home (that's the rule) get a dose of tylenol and are sent to school. The parent gets to go to work, and doesn't have to take their child to the doctor. My son gets sick - very sick and I will not send him sick. Even doctors notes won't cover over 20 or 30 absences. My straight A child was going to be kept back a year just because of attendance issues. So I took him out and can teach him at home. Maybe not as well as the good teachers, but WAY better than the mediocre ones. He hasn't had a fever even one time since we left that germ fortified place!

Sherri - posted on 08/26/2011

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Yes it is law they must report a child who has too many UNEXCUSED absences. That is the part you are leaving out it isn't all absences it ONLY happens for UNEXCUSED absences.

Amy - posted on 08/26/2011

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If your child is legitimately sick as s parent I would not worry, I'm sure the policy is in place for those who think it's ok if there kid misses school for no reason because its sad to say but some parents don't value there kids education!

Pamela - posted on 08/28/2011

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It is very unfortunate that the government has found itself intruding into our lives more and more and more. Perhaps that is why it is in the midst of falling apart. It reaches beyond it's scope of duty and tries to convince us that it is for our own good.

Your example of South Dakota's choice of reporting absenteeism to the extreme is an antithesis of their aim of keeping children in school.

However, if you look at South Dakota's history, it has been a state that has stolen much from others....the Black Hills, Wounded Knee, and now it intends to steal the rights of a child to have legitimate absences from school.
Ever consider living elsewhere?

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AMINA NALANI - posted on 09/26/2012

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I mean come on! Children cant help having a cold/flu. Its just apart of life. They should not have this rule.

Rhiannon - posted on 05/18/2012

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In our school district even doctors notes do not matter! My son has autism, and severe asthma and because he has missed more then the 17 days in one year which is the texas law they are planning on holding him back in Kinder.. Even though his asthma is horrible and there is no way he could safely attend school on his bad days.. sigh.. We are home schooling next year so thank gosh we are almost done with this year!

Jeannie - posted on 10/29/2011

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if they r sick make sure you have a doctors slip they can do it and they do but to pertect your self save a copy when they are sick and they cant do nothing

Elena - posted on 10/29/2011

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Where I live it states 10 unexcused absences which include OSS. Make sure you have dr notes for everytime your child is out. Worse case get a lawyer and sue.

Danielle - posted on 10/27/2011

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We have a policy of unexecused absents but your child can't miss more then 20 days of school for the whole year.

Shana'e - posted on 10/02/2011

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OH! And the punishment for you could be up to 10 days in jail for each unexcused absent of your child. Sorry, but I don't agree with it at all. IT'd be different if a child was missing 20 days of school or something...or if their grades were dropping because of the fact that they missed school, but...nope...dont agree with it.

Shana'e - posted on 10/02/2011

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I haven't read any of the other posts yet, but, yes, we have that her in TN. Except, we start getting letters after missing 5 days and after 7, we have to go to court for truancy. I have 6 children and I have never had a problem with the kids missing school until last year and had to go through this.
When we first moved here, the single mom upstairs would take her children to the doc for everything....simple colds, coughs, etc. I thought she was crazy, but whatever. NOW....I KNOW WHY. It's not just missing so many days that puts a truancy mark on you....yes YOU, not just your child. IT's missing days without having a docs note.
In fact, I wrote a whole blog on this subject not too long ago. http://shaebrew.wordpress.com/2011/09/14...
If one of my children gets sick, it pretty much runs its course through all of the children, sometimes making it around to a couple of them twice. Yes, I'm a clean FREAK...but sometimes germs just sneak right by ya! Those sneaky lil' fella's!! I just don't have the time, nor the patience to take my children to the doc EVERY TIME they get a runny nose...I don't. That's what over the ocunter meds are for, right????!!!

Tracyld - posted on 09/17/2011

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the schools are doing this now. just make sure you send a note. should be fine.

LeAnn - posted on 09/11/2011

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Our school doesn't have any kind of policy like that at all. Truancy is a non-issue. Parents make sure kids get to school & stay there. Our principal trusts that if a kid isn't at school it's because they're really sick and need rest & recoup time. No dr notes, or anything, so we get to decide whether our kids actually need to see a dr or not. My kids have gone to school sick, though, as long as they're not throwing up during school hours. We're not too worried about spreading germs, though...because we homeschool! :)

Kendra - posted on 09/09/2011

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I think this applies to unexcused absences. I also believe it to be a scare tactic to be used on parents etc. I know of several parents whom take their children out of school for a week at a time for vacations and for extra days close to holidays. It is one thing if it is a special trip or if it doesn't happen often but I know families who do this 2x a year that is 10 school days unexcused. I think it would be a good thing in my schoold district. Very needed here. Though the police are at the school frequent enough for elementary: example 2 children suspended for playing cops and robbers and they "made" weapons with their hands. And I don't mean crafted, point out your first finger and your thumb. Their record now says something along the lines "weapon simulation/reproduction and holding a hostage" (can u guess that the little kid cop caught the robber?) I thought that this was ridiculous.

Kendra - posted on 09/09/2011

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I think this applies to unexcused absences. I also believe it to be a scare tactic to be used on parents etc. I know of several parents whom take their children out of school for a week at a time for vacations and for extra days close to holidays. It is one thing if it is a special trip or if it doesn't happen often but I know families who do this 2x a year that is 10 school days unexcused. I think it would be a good thing in my schoold district. Very needed here. Though the police are at the school frequent enough for elementary: example 2 children suspended for playing cops and robbers and they "made" weapons with their hands. And I don't mean crafted, point out your first finger and your thumb. Their record now says something along the lines "weapon simulation/reproduction and holding a hostage" (can u guess that the little kid cop caught the robber?) I thought that this was ridiculous.

Stacey - posted on 09/08/2011

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Last year we got a warning after our son missed over 20 days all but two were excused due to medical reasons the other two days were just a collection of six days he was late to school. The warning stated that if he had so many more unexcused absences then we would be reported to CYS and would have to appear in court and pay fines possibly some jail time. Yes this can be serious and the excused absences add up however in our district they only count the unexcused absences once you've reached the limit. All the excused absences must be doctors excuses.

Hope this helps cause your not alone.

[deleted account]

We have a similar policy. However illnesses I don't think count against the absences especially those children who have constant illnesses. You can provide a doctor's excuse and it will be considered an excused absence. I think they are more concerned with children not attending who are healthy and just don't want to come to school and parents let them stay home.

Jeannie - posted on 09/06/2011

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they tryed that with me but i had doctor slips for everytime she didnt go to school

Hope - posted on 09/06/2011

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the ADA, will provide you documentation, along with help to challenge this with special needs kids.

Mandy - posted on 09/06/2011

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sorry, my silly phone clicked on funny and wouldn't let me change it back. I think that their reasoning for reporting it is because they might just be doing it to keep parents more involved and aware. Sometimes that stinks for the test of us that are actually doing a good job and might have I'll children. If it is excused then there shouldn't be any issues with the da. Just make sure you document everything.

Joni - posted on 09/06/2011

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Again it should totally depend on the circumstances, every event inside someone's home is different, its wrong for the school systems to put it out there like they have! Some children are more sickly than others also, in "most" cases a parent knows what is best for their child.

Shannon - posted on 09/06/2011

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With our district it's anything over 10 days (excused) must have a Dr.s note. 10 unexcused absences is refered to the police.

Amy - posted on 09/06/2011

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Our school district in MIssouri has that policy. There was a boy in my son's class that was hit by a car and in the hospital. The parents had to get all kinds of documentation and appeal to the school board and I guess they ended up having to go before a judge about it. I didn't hear anything after that. I understand the need for it because some people just let their kids skip because the kids don't want to go to school. But when there is a real excuse I think there needs to be some common sense used.

Kare - posted on 09/06/2011

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As long as you get Dr's notes for the days your child is absent the absenses do not count againt the nine days. When my daughter was a Freshman at Klein Oak HS she missed over 100 days of school...all with a Dr's excuse. They sent me a letter from the DA and I threw it in the trash. I knew she had Dr's notes for every day she was absent. It is a scare tactic so they can collect their per diam from the state for attendance. Just make sure you are prudent with the dr's notes.

Autumn - posted on 09/06/2011

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Most school systems have had to go to this rule. You have to have a dr's excuse once the 10 days are used up. As aggrivating as it is, it helps keep kids from skipping.

Hope - posted on 09/06/2011

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due to disabilities act, these special needs children can be exempt from being (SARB) student absent review board - do not let them intimidate you or others, there are contacts in VIRGINIA, CALIFORNIA, etc, and right down to the ADA.... Federations of Families is a terrific organization if you are not part of it - become one, and if your STATE has a special education manual I would suggest getting it and learn it inside and out..... as well as any other parent out there ..... ADVOCATES are the squeeking wheels these schools and DISTRICT ATTORNEY's do not want to hear

Nancy - posted on 09/06/2011

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My child attends CISD school district and the same applies here, also if you take them out of school ten times you will have to go before a judge and explain why.

Miriam - posted on 09/06/2011

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LOL.. Cynthia thats funny. I think that if a parent is responsible and knows that their child is sick and keeps them home, but lets the school know by note or phone, everything will be okay. I think like somebody mentioned it all goes back to the lazy parents that really have no business being parents!! dont keep your kids home for no good reason, and take care of them when theyre sick! one of my son's just turned 9 and started 4th grade, when he's sick he stays home, but I let the teacher know and I sent either a note from me to school or dr. if he needs to go to the dr. but I make that decision. My son has been an A student since Kindergarten and trust me I do not send him to school sick, but I do make sure he takes care of anything he needs to while he's gone.

Cindy - posted on 09/06/2011

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Everything is ass backwards. The school wants you to keep your child home if they are sick, but if child misses they report you. Therefore people send their sick kids to school either because of the reporting or they have no one to watch them. So germs keep getting spread and kids keep missing school. Maybe schools should have a sick room for the sick kids.

Liz - posted on 09/06/2011

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They must be having a truency problem that is not clearly evident to all the parents. I would imagine that their announcement and attempt to make this clear is for 2 reasons: 1) to cover themselves from some sort of discriminatory suit or claim that this rule was not advertised and 2) to protect innocent parents that could get caught up in the rule as they will have to turn over everyone... not just a particular suspect. We live in a rural area and our school does nto have that policiy. The rural nature of things affords it to be a bit more laid back. If there was a problem, they woudl have to do what your school has done.

User - posted on 09/06/2011

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If your child is truly sick there should be some medical observation via Doctor so if the DA is called you can show them your child has a legit reason. That is more than 1 day a month for the school year. My mom received a note from some sort of law enforcement agency when I was in HS (I ditched a lot) - I think it was just the local PD - however - nothing was ever done and I continued to skip so the policy may be there but I have never seen anything done (I work for a PD now and use to work in Juvy) --- Schools do not get paid (public) if a student is absent - so they loose money which is probably why more schools are coming up with the policy of action if children are missed, but if it is legimate sick they should stay home because they get everyone else sick like Miriam said - - - Legally what they can do is not much if missing is legit ----- My district here put some policies into place as they were loosing kids during holiday time because they went back to mexico for about a month (parents are farm workers and that is "off" time) - so now we have a 3 week Xmas vacation to help with missing students so the district didnt loose funding

Miriam - posted on 09/06/2011

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THAT IS CRAZY!! Im a second grade teacher and there is nothing I hate more than when a parent sends a kid sick to school!!! they come sick feel sick are not productive and they get everybody else sick (including the teacher!!) Im not saying stay home for every little ache and pain, but when you can see they look sick and you know their sick. we all know our children and know when theyre sick!! our district sends a letter and you have to pay a fine after I think 6 unexcussed absences, but if theyre excused as long as you make up your work your fine....

User - posted on 09/06/2011

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I agree with the school. To many use sickness as an excuse not to hall theit butt out of bed in the morning.

Patricia - posted on 09/06/2011

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i don't think so you can;t help if your child is sick tht school is ridiculous

Addie - posted on 09/02/2011

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I have to agree with you April. Fortunately, in this state, if a person in authority, nurse, doctor, teacher sees a child that is being neglected or abused, they are required to report it to the authorities. A good law!

April Hix - posted on 09/02/2011

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If you consider that some children are abused and uncared for, you will appreciate this rule in some way.

Kearston - posted on 08/31/2011

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As a public health practitioner, I would never send my child to school when he is contagious, however if he has a little cough or is feeling achy, then I will definitely give him some ibuprofen and send him to school. It's sad, but the bad parents make it hard on everyone. Not to mention, they give the kids so much homework that it could be academically catastrophic if they missed too many days from school.

Diana - posted on 08/31/2011

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Yep. People send their contagious kids to school. This is a problem with the school district's attendance policies. It wouldn't be that hard to find out whose child was really sick and which ones are just lazy.

Kearston - posted on 08/31/2011

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I am not sure if this is the case with my child's school district. However, I did sit in a custody hearing recently adn the judge awarded the father custody because the kids missed too many days of school while living with their mother. The sad thing about it is now even if my child is sick, I'm sending him to school because I do not want any absences to reflect poorly on my parenting skills. The only time he has missed school is if he has an active fever and I take him to the doctor's office.

Patti - posted on 08/31/2011

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Well I am almost certain that if a child has a documented illness which yours should be and you stayed on top of her academic progress and went to the teacher and asked for the work she was missing that your child would be fine as far as not being counted as a truency case and held back a year unless she was not capable of passing the curriculum for that grade and you would most definitely want the child held back if she was failing due to illness or any otjer reason.

Kim - posted on 08/30/2011

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We have this policy, only the absences that have been excused by a doctor are excused.

Tammy - posted on 08/30/2011

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Here is the law here in Nebraska that we have to follow:
If the child is absent more than twenty days per year or the hourly equivalent, the attendance officer shall file a report with the county attorney of the county in which such person resides. The county attorney may file a complaint against a person violating section 79-201 before the judge of the county court of the county in which such person resides charging such person with violation of section 79-201 or may file a petition under the Nebraska Juvenile Code alleging the person violating section 79-201 is a juvenile described in subdivision (3)(a) or (3)(b) of section 43-247. Nothing in this section shall preclude a county attorney from being involved at any stage in the process to address excessive absenteeism.

I don't know what the rules or regulations are anywhere else. LIke I said before, students who do have an actual diagnosis of a chronic illness, or even just a bad virus or flu that they might miss 5-10 days in a row. We are required by law to report it. But I've never seen any action taken on any of those instances.

Cindy - posted on 08/30/2011

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They did not say charges would be filed or the parent would be fined. We were told that after 10 absences they report it to the D.A. and the parents will be called in to have a meeting with the D.A. My DH has to talk to the office tommorow about another issue so we will find out then if it is unexcused or excused. Either way I am not worried. Even if she does miss 10 days or more and we get a call to meet with the D.A or anyone, we will have doctor notes. I feel better knowing other school have similar policies

Joni - posted on 08/30/2011

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They will also get very upset with you if your child is sick on "count" day, then they get trauncy involved! They don't like to lose money, even if your child is truly ill.

Kansas - posted on 08/29/2011

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I fall on both sides of this fence. I don't understand parents that let their kids miss school for no excusable reason. I send my daughter to school unless she's vomiting or has a fever as per the regulations. She only missed like 3 total days last year, but we were lucky that the only time she got really sick was during a 12 day snow week. However, I have a friend who lets her kids decide when they want to go to school, she asks them every morning if they feel like going and sometimes they do and a lot of times they don't. Kids that are truly sick/hurt and have doc notes, this rule shouldn't apply to them. But parents that just don't care if their kids are going, something should be done about that.

Vanessa - posted on 08/29/2011

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Unexcused absences is wwhat they mean. If you child is out for a cold.flu simply get a doctor's note saying this is an excused absence. This policy is for the parents who allow their children to take off for no reason. School district's in my area have a "accumulated minutes late rule" after 60 combined min's of ur child being late you got court. When my son was in Kindergarten we had to do this he was slow to get moving in the morning due to his ADHD. The judge threw it out.

Rachel - posted on 08/28/2011

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I know this isn't quite an answer to your question, but on the topic of asthma, my family uses essential oils for everything... and someone I know uses the doTERRA essential oil blend called Breathe and said that her boys don't use nearly the amount of regular asthma medicine they did before. doTERRA's essential oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, so they are safe for kids also. With the Breathe, it's as simple as rubbing on the bottoms of the feet, on the chest, or inhaling right from the bottle. Here's a link to more info:
http://www.everythingessential.me/Health...
http://www.doterra.myvoffice.com/rachelj...

[deleted account]

Our schools will only accept a parents' note 3-5 times; a doctor's excuse so many times; and after that they become unexcused absences. After so many, they are supposed to report the absences to some agency (don't recall which one). I think it is a little ridiculous too. That said, I plan on sending my 3 (& eventually 4) kids to school sick and let them send my kids home (after they've had a chance to infect everyone else). That way, it falls on them and not me. Fight fire with fire, I say. LOL



BTW, 5/6 of my family had the same 24-48hr virus (102 temp & sore throat), but only 1 child saw the doctor and it was the day before school started. I tried to get a note from the doctor for my next child the following week since they'd had the same thing, but they would not give one without seeing him too. I don't have time or money to run my kids to the doctor every time they need a NOTE.

Lori - posted on 08/28/2011

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I don't know what district you're in, but where I live the district doesn't really do much regarding truancy as far as I know. There are high schoolers who end up in truancy court. They mostly get community service as a punishment as far as I know.

Kushawn - posted on 08/28/2011

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My childrens' school does have a similar policy. Actually, our policy is for absences totaling 8 days. It's hard to believe and I guess they have their reasons, but I literally had to send my 9 year old to school a couple of times with a horrible cough, due to his bronchitis. But, by the end of the school year, I had received a letter that he was close to the maximum number of allowable absences.

Stephanie - posted on 08/28/2011

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It may seem crazy to some parents for a school system to have such strict attendance policies, but it is probably pretty commonplace these days. I teach in a district where only so many parental excuses are accepted, and anything above that must have a doctor's excuse. And yes, above a certain number of absences, the student is referred to pupil services and their parent and/or guardian may even face a fine or jail time. For good reason, too: there are some parents out there who falsify excuses for being absent!

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