ERIC Number: ED253964
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Penalties for Attendance Reasons.
Pepe, Thomas J.; And Others
Legal Memorandum, p1-8 Mar 1985
Many boards of education have attendance policies imposing grade reductions and/or loss of credit on students with unexcused absences. This paper reviews state legislative action on the subject, specific court cases, and the interpretations of statutes and practices by attorneys general and commissioners of education. Most states have general school attendance laws, while some states defer to local districts. The issue has become more prominent, and recently some state legislatures have mandated specific attendance requirements for receipt of credit. A grade reduction policy tied to truancy appears to be on a much stronger legal foundation than grade reductions for other infractions. The severity of the penalty must be reasonable. If there is a great disparity between the sanction and the misconduct, it may be considered as a denial of student rights. Local districts must have statutory authority to enact attendance policies denying credit for student absences. School districts must also be careful not to violate the free exercise of religion when enforcing attendance policies. Parents do not have unconditional rights to absent their children for educational trips in contravention of school district policy. Six guidelines are provided for developing local attendance policy that will satisfy both the courts and the local community. (MD)
Descriptors: Boards of Education, Compulsory Education, Court Litigation, Credits, Due Process, Elementary Secondary Education, Graduation Requirements, Parent Rights, School Attendance Legislation, School Community Relationship, School Districts, School Policy, State Legislation, Student Rights
Publication Sales, National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 22091 ($1.00; quantity discounts).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.