1995 Washington Legislature enacted a bill governing At-Risk Youth, runaway, truancy, and other issues affecting non-offender youth and
September 1, 1995, and revised in July 1997, 1998, and 1999, this bill amends
current truancy laws. Upon a
child's seventh unexcused absence in a month, or not later than the tenth
unexcused absence in a year, the public school district shall file a truancy
petition in Juvenile Court. The
petition can allege violations to truancy laws by the parent, child, or both.
Court Judges and Commissioners have jurisdiction to hear these truancy
petitions. In addition to
assessing fines, placing children in detention, and other current options,
the act authorizes Courts to also order the parent to provide community
service instead of imposing a fine.
school districts are required to document their actions to comply with the
truancy laws (regarding excused and unexcused absences).
Steps taken by the public school district, the number of truancy
petitions filed, and court dispositions shall be reported to the Office of
the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
OSPI shall report the information to the Legislature.
school district officials, in addition to sheriffs, marshals, police, and
other officials, are authorized to make arrests and take into custody those
juveniles who are absent from school without an approved excuse.
These persons are to deliver the child to the parent, school, or
program designated by the school.
student or parent who has a Truancy petition filed in Thurston County will be
summoned to appear for court. Failure
to appear for court may result in a court order to pick up the student or the
the day scheduled for court, the student and parent are required to attend a
truancy information class. A
Judicial Officer will begin the class with an overview of court procedures.
Probation staff will conduct the remainder of the truancy class.
Information about community resources will be available.
The class will last approximately one hour.
the class, the student and parent will determine whether the statements in
the Truancy Petition are true.
the student and parent agree that the statements are true, they will
complete an Agreed Truancy Order with the School District Representative
who is present.
the student or parent does not agree that the statements are true, either
may request a hearing before a Judicial Officer.
This hearing will be held immediately following the truancy class.
The Judicial Officer will make a decision based on the evidence
presented by the student, parent and School District Representative.
student is expected to return to school following the conclusion of the
Court may order the minor to submit to testing for the use of controlled
substances or alcohol based on a determination that such testing is
the petitioner and the respondent must comply with the requirements of the
Court as set forth in the order. It
is the public school district's responsibility to report any further
unexcused absences of that student. The
Court may, in it's discretion, schedule review hearings to examine the
progress of the student's attendance.
the event of non-compliance, either party of the Court may schedule a
contempt hearing on the order to determine the reasons, if any, for the
alleged non-compliance. If a
party is found in contempt of court, sanctions may be imposed; including, but
not limited to:
community service for the child.
participation in drop-out prevention programs.
a child in detention.
child to attend Day Detention and OPTIONS classes.
the parent to provide community service.
to Electronic Home Monitoring.
participation in a Drug and Alcohol evaluation. Submit to urinalysis testing.
participation in Mental health and/or Physical health examinations.
with counseling as recommended by professionals working with the family