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Home  :  About LPSS  :  Divisions  :  Administrative  :  Child Welfare and Attendance  :  Truancy Office

Truancy Office

The law recognizes the importance of education and places a duty upon parents/guardians to assure that their child is attending school on a regular basis. The law places the responsibility of enforcing truancy laws upon the Juvenile Court.

Children ages seven through eighteen, unless the child graduates from high school prior to his/her eighteenth birthday, are required by law to attend school with few exceptions. Students of any age who legally enroll in the Lafayette Parish School System are subject to all federal, state, and parish policies and laws regarding attendance.

A student is considered to be in attendance when he/she is physically present at a school site or is participating in an authorized school activity and is under the supervision of authorized personnel.

A child is considered habitually absent or habitually tardy after the fifth unexcused absence or fifth unexcused check-in or check-out within any school semester. A habitually truant child can be found delinquent and subject to Juvenile Court intervention.

The law also holds parents/guardians accountable for their child’s school attendance, and the Juvenile Court may order sanctions against the parents/guardians who fail to send their child to school. Sanctions may include:

  • a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $250 for each offense or
  • imprisonment for not more than 30 days or
  • both.
  • completion of 40 hours of school/community service or
  • a combination of 40 hours of school/community service and
  • attendance in parenting classes/family counseling sessions/court approved programs or
  • suspension of any recreational license issued by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

It is your responsibility to make your child’s school attendance a priority. The goal is to get your child back into a learning environment that will enhance his/her chances for future success.