Truancy Law and Legal Definition

Truancy generally refers to being absent without permission or good reason, especially from school. Precise policies vary by state law and localschool district policies. Statutes may provide for the compulsory attendance of children in schools, prescribe the conditions for attendance at public schools, provide for the formulation of rules and regulations for the conduct of students, and the extent of disciplinary action that may be imposed on students.

Whether a student has a valid excuse depends on whether it is acceptable to the school district. Students are typically considered truant when they stay home from school, with or without a parent’s permission, in order to avoid the responsibility of attending classes of instruction. An attendance officer having jurisdiction may report a child who habitually absents himself from school to an officer of the juvenile court. Punishment for truancy may include in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and/or expulsion.