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Truancy issues in New Jersey schools sending kids to court

Chronic absenteeism has become a serious issue in several schools within the state. In fact, 10 schools in New Jersey have a truancy rate of 25 percent, with five of them having rates as high as 40 percent or more. The number of students who regularly miss class is not only up in high schools but in elementary schools as well.

According to the state education department, the issue is not only with the public schools but with an alternative education academy as well. The rate of kids who miss class on a regular basis was 84.1 percent in that location. Out of 32 of one district's schools, 13 of them showed an increase in the number of students missing class. Officials state that the numbers are alarming, and they admit that there is a major problem with the state's schools.

Students who are out of class for more than 10 days in a school year are said to be referred to a truancy court. One school district sends around 140 kids per month to court for this alleged crime. Truancy laws apply to students who are between the ages of six and 16; however, many of the state's chronically absent students are outside of that age range.

For those New Jersey kids who have missed over 10 days of school in one year, there may be a legitimate reason. A criminal law attorney can help the family to fight the truancy charge in cases where the child had no choice but to miss class. Of course, all cases are different. Anyone whose child is facing truancy court has the right to consult with a criminal law attorney in order to determine the best course of action to take for his or her child's particular case.

Source: northjersey.com, "'Alarming' absenteeism at Paterson high schools", Joe Malinconico, May 24, 2017

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