Compulsory Attendance Expectations

Notice of Georgia Compulsory Attendance Expectations

O.C.G.A. 20-2-590.1 requires any person in this state who has control or charge of a child between the ages of six and sixteen to enroll and send that child to school, including public, private, and home schooling.  If a parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of the child causes the child's absence, then that person, and not the child, is in violation of this statute.  Such a violation is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to $100 fine and 30 days in jail for each violation.  The law specifies that each day's absence constitutes a separate offense.  Violators will be prosecuted.  

For purposes of this notice, the term "parent" includes any adult who has charge and control over the child, including a biological, adoptive, foster, or stepparent, a guardian or any other person who has primary responsibility for the child's welfare.  In this regard, two parents residing in the same household with the child are equally responsible for the child's attendance in school.

Older children share the responsibility for their school attendance with supervising adults and are subject to adjudication in Dawson County Juvenile Court as an unruly child for violation of this statute.  A complaint will be filed in the Juvenile Court of Dawson County against a child ten (10) to fifteen (15) who is habitually and without justification truant from school.  For the purposes of determining the pursuit of court complaints, truancy is defined as five (5) or more days of unexcused absence from school.  Please note that parents may themselves choose to file truancy complaints prior to any complaint made by the school system.  If a student is sixteen (16) or older, any complaints regarding truancy must be filed by the parents.

A child may be placed on probation for truancy by the Juvenile Court Judge upon admission or determination of guilt (adjudication) to a truancy charge.  This probation may last for up to two (2) years and may include specific conditions, including, but not limited to:  a curfew, community service, participation in a truancy reduction program or counseling, and/or monetary fines.  The District Attorney and/or the Department of Juvenile Justice may also request a protective order to ensure that the parent(s) actively assist the child's compliance with conditions of probation, including attendance in school.  Further unexcused absences from school by the youth may result in immediate sanction by the Department of Juvenile Justice, including a possible violation of probation, which may result in more severe penalties, up to and including detention.

If you have questions regarding the information included in this document, please contact the Principal of your child's school or the School Social Workers, who will be glad to address any questions you may have.

Ten unexcused absences in the current academic school year means that the student is non-compliant with the State Compulsory Attendance Law and it also means that a non-compliance letter will be sent to DMV to have a driver's license suspended.

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