Research clearly links truancy with educational failure and delinquency in youth, and with subsequent negative behavior into adulthood. The Mobile County District Attorney’s Early Warning Truancy Prevention program sends a letter to truant students and their parents requesting them, after the fifth unexcused absence or 15 unexcused tardy, to attend a meeting at the courthouse. During these weekly meetings, Prosecutors, Helping Families Initiative staff, and Attendance Officers from Mobile County Public School System explain to parents and students their legal responsibilities and the risks associated with truancy.
The focus of Early Warning Truancy is to increase attendance in school by getting them out of the juvenile court systems. This benefits all of us as a community.
The program is modeled after other programs in Alabama and surrounding states and utilizes the best practices to empower schools, families, and the community to fight truancy, increase attendance, and decrease crime.
Alabama Compulsory School Attendance Law
Code of Alabama, Section 16-28-12
Each parent, guardian or other person having control or custody of any child required to attend school or receive regular instruction by a private tutor who fails to have a child enrolled in school or who fails to send the child to school, or have him or her instructed by a private tutor during the time the child s required to attend public school, private school, church school, denominational school, or parochial school, or be instructed by a private tutor, or fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor, or fails to compel the child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil in any public school in accordance with the written policy on school behavior adopted by the local board of education pursuant to this section and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in suspension of the pupil, shall not be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $100 and may also be sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than 90 days. The absence of a child without consent of the principal, teachers of the public school he or she attends or should attend, or of the tutor who instructs or should instruct the child, shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this section.
How the Program Works
First Unexcused Absence:
Third Unexcused Absence:
Fifth Unexcused Absence:
Over Five Unexcused Absences: