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Dallas County Truancy Complaint
Three advocacy groups filed a complaint on June 12 with the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice against the Dallas County Truancy Court and four large school districts in Dallas County that file truancy cases in that court, including Dallas ISD, Garland ISD, Mesquite ISD and Richardson ISD.

Richardson ISD works proactively to educate students and parents about attendance expectations and truancy. The district also works to offer all students a variety of engaging school activities in order to prevent truancy and dropouts. Students are required by Texas law to attend school, which is important to maximize their educational opportunities. When truancy situations do occur, RISD follows Texas law.

RISD will evaluate the complaint and cooperate with the Office of Civil Rights.

"RISD's practices in managing students who are truant are designed to support students and their families and comply with applicable laws. RISD schools and central truancy staff work with students and parents facing truancy issues, and there are checks and balances within our processes for the school to use discretion in excusing absences when presented with additional information or extenuating circumstances.

When a student misses school, a parent is expected to provide a written note with a valid reason to excuse the absence within three days of the student's return to school. If a student is absent for four or more consecutive days, a note from a medical provider is required to excuse the absences. Parents are notified each time a student is absent, and are sent a warning letter after three unexcused absences. Parents are encouraged to contact the school to discuss the reasons a student has missed school, and schools have discretion to excuse absences for valid reasons beyond the three day expectation. If a student is absent for an illness or a medical reason, a note of excuse from a medical provider is accepted at any time to change an unexcused absence to an excused absence.

RISD does not file truancy charges discretionarily, which can be done under Texas law after three unexcused absences in four weeks. RISD only files what is mandated by Texas law, which requires that truancy charges be filed within ten days of a student's tenth unexcused absence in a six month period.

The district's hope and goal is that a parent will respond to the school's efforts to notify them about their student's absences and engage the school to resolve the absences or work together to change the student's behavior before a tenth unexcused absence occurs.

RISD and school staff work with students and parents to resolve unexcused absences before and after truancy charges are required to be filed.
RISD Communications
400 S. Greenville Ave.
Richardson, Texas 75081
Fax 469-593-0302
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