2010 Florida Statutes
Truancy petition; prosecution; disposition.
Truancy petition; prosecution; disposition.—
If the school determines that a student subject to compulsory school attendance has had at least five unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a calendar month or 10 unexcused absences, or absences for which the reasons are unknown, within a 90-calendar-day period pursuant to s. 1003.26(1)(b), or has had more than 15 unexcused absences in a 90-calendar-day period, the superintendent of schools may file a truancy petition.
The petition shall be filed in the circuit in which the student is enrolled in school.
Original jurisdiction to hear a truancy petition shall be in the circuit court; however, the circuit court may use a general or special master pursuant to Supreme Court rules. Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk shall issue a summons to the parent, guardian, or legal custodian of the student, directing that person and the student to appear for a hearing at a time and place specified.
The petition must contain the following: the name, age, and address of the student; the name and address of the student’s parent or guardian; the school where the student is enrolled; the efforts the school has made to get the student to attend school; the number of out-of-school contacts between the school system and student’s parent or guardian; and the number of days and dates of days the student has missed school. The petition shall be sworn to by the superintendent or his or her designee.
Once the petition is filed, the court shall hear the petition within 30 days.
The student and the student’s parent or guardian shall attend the hearing.
If the court determines that the student did miss any of the alleged days, the court shall order the student to attend school and the parent to ensure that the student attends school, and may order any of the following: the student to participate in alternative sanctions to include mandatory attendance at alternative classes to be followed by mandatory community services hours for a period up to 6 months; the student and the student’s parent or guardian to participate in homemaker or parent aide services; the student or the student’s parent or guardian to participate in intensive crisis counseling; the student or the student’s parent or guardian to participate in community mental health services if available and applicable; the student and the student’s parent or guardian to participate in service provided by voluntary or community agencies as available; and the student or the student’s parent or guardian to participate in vocational, job training, or employment services.
If the student does not successfully complete the sanctions ordered in subsection (7), the case shall be referred to the case staffing committee under s. 984.12 with a recommendation to file a child-in-need-of-services petition under s. 984.15.
The parent, guardian, or legal custodian and the student shall participate, as required by court order, in any sanctions or services required by the court under this section, and the court shall enforce such participation through its contempt power.
s. 75, ch. 99-398; s. 24, ch. 2000-235; s. 1048, ch. 2002-387.