Three weeks ago my daughter received a truancy letter for my granddaughter who attends a local Duncanville school. After reading the letter from the Department of Student Services, she noticed that the three days that they were saying my granddaughter did not attend school, she had proof that she was in attendance. How? Two of the days were during the benchmark testing at her school. She was there and took the test. The third day, her teacher had called to tell my daughter how wonderful my granddaughter was in class and spoke to her child during this conversation.
How amazing, she was in school all three days.
I want to say that no one should question the importance of a student attending school, but one could question Duncanville ISD’s ability to take attendance. How could they not know that a child was in school for three days straight? My daughter let the district know that any plan for improvement should include the ability to properly and accurately take attendance.
Justices of the Peace are largely responsible for trying truancy cases in our area. I spoke with Judge Norris “Stretch” Rideaux, JUSTICE OF THE PEACE 4-1 who handles the majority of truancy cases for Duncanville ISD. “I have dismissed all of Duncanville ISD’s cases that have come before me so far due to the lack of complying with the truancy law, except for one,” Judge Rideaux stated. He still has over 600 cases filed by Duncanville ISD pending.
The main reason for the dismissals is because Duncanville ISD’s truant officer cannot identify the student when they are in court. If the officer cannot identity them, how can Duncanville ISD prove that they have had any contact with this student? Judge Rideaux went on to tell me that “we are not the only one’s complaining, I hear the same complaints in my court room.”
So, parents of the district, if you receive a letter from the Student Services stating that your child has missed school, do not take it as a fact; check it out. Go to the school, talk to them and verify that your student did miss school.
Finally talk to the Duncanville ISD School Board, let them know your concerns. Remind them that the district is wasting our tax payer dollars filing truancy cases that will most likely to be dismissed!