Speak Up! - View Question #23442
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Question: Can my parents be arrested if I don't attend school and they don't make me attend school?
Answer: Ditching, or truancy, is against the law for anyone between the ages of six and sixteen. (A.R.S. § 15-803). While there are exceptions, such as excused absences and home school, these must be authorized by the person who has custody of the child (most likely your parents). (A.R.S. § 15-805).
Your parents are responsible to see to it that you are in school. Missing just one class period without an excuse is considered truancy. You can be considered "habitually truant" if you miss school for five days "unexcused" during the school year. Attendance officers can enforce this law by issuing you a ticket that requires you to appear in court with your parents. Common punishments to habitual truancy include probation, having your driver's license taken away, or mandatory counseling. If your parent has been to Court and has disobeyed a Court order that you be in school, your parent might go to jail.
Additionally, habitual truancy can also classify a kid as being an "incorrigible child." Being prosecuted as an incorrigible child can result in probation, fines, and community service. (A.R.S. § 8-323(B)(5)) and (A.R.S. § 8-201(15)(c)).