York's Truancy Court

What is a Truant?
A truant is a child 16 years or younger who has 3 consecutive unexcused absences, or a total of 5 unexcused absences. A habitual truant is a truant aged 12 and older who has not complied with an intervention plan developed by the school, and who has 2 additional unexcused absences. A chronic truant is a habitual truant who has not complied with a court order and has additional unexcused absences.

What are the consequences for truancy?

As a truant you will receive consequences from school that may include detentions and suspensions. As a habitual truant you will be brought to court and placed under a School Attendance Order and required to participate in a truancy prevention program called S.T.A.I.R.S. (Stop Truancy And Initiate Responsible Systems). While in this program you will work with a mental health therapist from Catawba Family Center to address the issues that are causing the truancy. If you continue to miss school you will become a chronic truant and be brought back to court for contempt of court and sentencing by a family court judge.

Statistics on Truancy
The following information was found on the website for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: NCJRS.gov and CCYJ.org

Two-thirds of male juveniles arrested while truant tested positive for drug use. According to one confidential survey, nearly 1 in ten 15 year olds were truant at least once a week.

During a recent sample period in Miami more than 71% of 13 to 16 year-olds prosecuted for criminal violations had been truant.

In Minneapolis, daytime crime dropped 68 percent after police began citing truant students. In San Diego, 44 percent of violent juvenile crime occurs between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Truancy has been linked in some studies to specific types of serious juvenile delinquent activity such as substance abuse, gang involvement, burglary, auto theft, and vandalism. Additional studies reveal that early truants frequently go on to experience severe behavioral problems, commit more violent crimes, and suffer higher rates of incarceration than non-truants.

Parents Responsibilities

Parents must do everything they can to ensure their child attends school on time every day. Parents must stay in contact with the child’s school so that parents are aware of any problems. Parents are also encouraged to talk to their child each day about school.