I will be the first to admit that I've had trouble getting my daughter to school and I'm frequently late. My own attendance at work is pretty bad. I am well aware it's a problem and I'm dealing with it the best I can. A lot of it has to do with my mental state and the lack of a support network. Quitting the Paxil (almost, I'm still taking about two pills a week, and am going to talk to my doctor when I see him next week), has helped tremendously. I haven't had to call in sick because I couldn't get out of bed for over a month! Which is good, because it had started to become a bi-weekly thing.
Now that I've vented a bit of my annoyance, let me get on to the legal aspect.
I am being charged with a violation of DE Code 14, Section 2702(a)(2) which states:
§ 2702. Compulsory attendance requirements; evaluation of readiness [Effective until fulfillment of the contingencies in 75 Del. Laws, c. 440, § 8]
(a) Except as otherwise provided, the following provisions are applicable to school attendance in this State:
(2) Every person who has legal custody, guardianship of the person, or legal control of a student, including any person acting as a caregiver pursuant to the provisions of § 202(f) of this title, who is enrolled in a public school of this State shall send the student to the school each day of the minimum school term and to any academic improvement activities required by § 153 of this title.
Okay, quite vague really. Then we have this:
(d) The following provisions shall be applicable in regard to statewide minimum mandatory attendance requirements in each school year for children in grades K through 5.
(1) Following the 10th day of unexcused absence by a student, the school shall immediately notify the parent(s) or guardian and a visiting teacher for the district shall visit the student's home;
(2) Following the 15th day of unexcused absence by a student, the student's parent(s) or guardian shall be notified by certified mail to appear at the school within 10 days of notification for a conference and counseling;
(3) Following the 30th day of unexcused absence by a student, the school shall refer the case for prosecution;
(f) If contacted by the school pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of this section, each parent or guardian of a student shall sign a contract with the district agreeing they will make every reasonable effort to:
(1) Have their child or children abide by the school code of conduct;
(2) Make certain their child attends school regularly; and
(3) Provide written documentation for the reasons for any absence.
So what I want to know is, since state code says the school shall refer the case for prosecution after the 30th day of absence, can I even be charged? And also does it matter that the school didn't follow the procedures listed above? The school district has it's own attendance policy, which doesn't follow the above at all. Their policy uses denial of credit as a penalty. But my daughter passed and I never received anything other than the "you're so bad" letters and phone calls at work. The bad attendance hasn't affected her grades -- she finished the year with straight A's.
So now I'm going to go take her to see Shrek the Third and try to forget about this nonsense.