New Truancy Law
During the recently completed legislative session, the 84th Texas Legislature approved – and Governor Greg Abbott signed into law – legislation that makes changes to the current truancy law. The new law changes the truancy offense from being criminal to civil, and goes into effect on Tuesday, September 1. Below is a summary of the changes.
If a student fails to attend school for three or more days (unexcused), in part or whole, within a four-week period, the student’s parents will receive a warning letter from the district. The letter ask the parent to contact the school to schedule a meeting with officials to discuss his/her child’s absences and to collaborate in the development of
Truancy Prevention Measures.
A truancy prevention measure will be put into place at this time, and can be one of the following:
o Behavior improvement plan
o School-based community service
o Refer student to counseling, mediation, mentoring, a teen court program, community-based services or other in-school or out-of-school service aimed at preventing a student’s truancy
If a student fails to attend school for 10 or more days (unexcused), in part or whole, within a 6-month period, the school is required to refer the student and/or parent to a truancy court for prosecution.
For more information, you can speak with your student’s campus behavior coordinator, or read a release from the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Campus Behavior Coordinators
Tia Simmons, Duncanville High School
Keith Butcher, Mary E. Smithey PACE High School
Dwight Weaver, Summit Learning Center
Kendria Davis-Martin, Byrd Middle School
Monica Smith, Kennemer Middle School
Pam Wilson, Reed Middle School
Tamra Thompson, Brandenburg Intermediate
Kim Edmondson, Daniel Intermediate
Pamela Brown, Hardin Intermediate
Kyalla Bowens, Acton Elementary
Eduardo Gonzalez, Alexander Elementary
Valerie Nelms-Harris, Bilhartz Elementary
Sherri Smith, Central Elementary
Patonia Bell, Fairmeadows Elementary
Keith Agnes, Hastings Elementary
Brandee King, Hyman Elementary
Tanji Towels, Merrifield Elementary
Brandi Lee, Smith Elementary