Zero Tolerance
Truancy Scams

Beware of the truancy scam!
Here is how it works:

  1. A school principal tells your child he or she is "suspended" without giving them a signed (by the Principal) suspension slip, which is required.
  2. The student does not know he is supposed to get a slip to take home, especially if he has not been suspended before.
  3. Parents are not called in by the school principal informing them of the suspension or what their child was suspended for. No follow-up conference or informal hearing ever takes place.
  4. The student, believing he is suspended from school, does not attend school for the duration of the "suspension." He believes that he will be arrested for trespassing if he attends school.
  5. Not surprisingly, the student does not tell his parents that he was suspended.
  6. Since his parents were not notified, the student may even attempt to fool his parents by getting on the bus every morning as usual, but not attend class and instead "hide out" somewhere on school grounds or go to a friend's house.
  7. As the attendance officer never receives any record of the suspension from the Principal, he marks down the student as truant/cutting school/unexcused absences.
  8. The parent is never notified by the attendance officer, teachers, the Principal, or anybody in fact, of the absences.
  9. A court summons arrives in the mail informing the parent he/she must appear or face arrest for "not sending their child to school."
  10. This scam in particular is targeted to single mothers, but anyone can become a victim!
How to Avoid the Truancy Scam
  1. Read Get the Facts. Your child is supposed to have an informal hearing with you present, prior to or immediately after any disciplinary action that would cause him to miss school.
  2. The child has to be given a signed (by the Principal) suspension slip, or he is not legally suspended. No suspension slip, no suspension! The student should refuse to sign any documents without you present.
  3. If you were never notified and your child goes to school and is arrested for trespassing, notify all School Board members, demand a public defender and take the school district to court!

Suspension, Expulsion and Dropout Statistics
Research your State Department of Education's suspension, expulsion and dropout statistics for your child's school on the web, or ask for the school's "District Profile." These are public documents. You don't have to believe us: the numbers are there. They are staggering.

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