Education is the only chance some kids get in life and they can’t get an education if they are not in school.
And while COVID-19 has made virtual learning the new excuse for not going to class, the Mississippi Department of Education reminds parents there are laws governing school attendance and they can be enforced on the parents of children not enrolled in school.
Under the Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law, parents and guardians are required to enroll their children in public schools, a private school or home school them. This law applies to all children who have reached the age of six and have not exceeded the age of 17 by Sept. 1.
Teachers, school administrators and law enforcement are required to contact parents as to why their child is not in school.
Most area schools contact parents routinely if students are absent more than one consecutive day.
Parents who are found negligent are initially fined and can receive jail time if the violation is reoccurring or severe.
Problems occur if students move to a district from another country, another state or another county and don’t enroll in school. Again, parents, grandparents or guardians will be held responsible if the child is not in school.
Charges of truancy can be pursued through juvenile court if the student does not go to school as directed by the parent or guardian.
Studies have repeatedly shown a direct link between grades or a student’s academic performance and student attendance of school.
Parents interested in teaching their children at home are required to complete a certificate of enrollment card each year.