Bill aims to lessen consequences for truancy - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Bill aims to lessen consequences for truancy

Posted: Updated:

AMARILLO - The Texas Senate approved a bill Thursday that would significantly change the consequences for missing school.

"Failure to attend school" is a class C misdemeanor in the state of Texas, but Canyon High School freshman Cheyenne Hodges says she couldn't help missing two months of school this year.

"I have panhypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia and all that has to get checked regularly or I could get really sick," Hodges said.

Hodges has not yet been summoned to court, but says school administrators have threatened to charge her with truancy.

"It's not like I go skip school weeks at a time. I miss because of my health," Hodges said.

It's students like Cheyenne that Senate Bill 1234 aims to protect.

The measure would require school districts to assign counselors or provide mentoring services to students who miss school before they're sent to court.

But Amarillo Independent School District Attendance Investigator Laurie Grady says many districts, including AISD, already do that, and the rules aren't there to harass students like Cheyenne, but to keep problematic students in the classroom.

"State law states that you have to be in school 90% of the time, so once they hit 10% of that, kids can be held back and we so we try to catch them before they hit that 10%," Grady said.

Grady referred 854 students to court for truancy last year,  207 of those students were charged a second time, 70 a third time, and 18 a fourth time.

The class C misdemeanor charge is dropped from one's permanent record for first time offenders in Potter and Randall counties.

Court fees and fines can add up to $500, but the proposed law would reduce the maximum cost to $100.

"If 500 dollars doesn't do the job, with just 100 dollars, they're not going to care," Grady said.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Prosecutors charge Oklahoma officer with rape

    Prosecutors charge Oklahoma officer with rape

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:40 AM EDT2014-08-30 13:40:59 GMT
    An Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with 16 counts that include rape and sexual battery after authorities said he attacked at least eight women while on patrol.
    An Oklahoma City police officer has been charged with 16 counts that include rape and sexual battery after authorities said he attacked at least eight women while on patrol.
  • SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    SkyWARN 7 Forecast

    Saturday, August 30 2014 5:42 AM EDT2014-08-30 09:42:33 GMT
    Weather- Clear Skies RotatorWeather- Clear Skies Rotator
    Temperatures Climbing Back Up...
    Temperatures Climbing Back Up...
  • Duncan doctor acquitted of assault and battery

    Duncan doctor acquitted of assault and battery

    Saturday, August 30 2014 12:17 AM EDT2014-08-30 04:17:30 GMT
    Duncan,OK_ A Stephens County jury acquitted Dr. Oscar Morales Friday on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The jury deliberated just over six hours before reaching their decision. Throughout his trial, Morales admitted to shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend, Kelly McKinnon, in front of her home in August of last year, moments after he went there to drop off their children. He claimed he shot McKinnon in self-defense when he was confronted and feared for his life. The state...
    Duncan,OK_ A Stephens County jury acquitted Dr. Oscar Morales Friday on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. The jury deliberated just over six hours before reaching their decision. Throughout his trial, Morales admitted to shooting his ex-wife's boyfriend, Kelly McKinnon, in front of her home in August of last year, moments after he went there to drop off their children. He claimed he shot McKinnon in self-defense when he was confronted and feared for his life. The state...
Powered by WorldNow
KSWO-TV, 1401 SE 60th Street
Lawton, OK 73501

Telephone: (580) 355-7000
Fax: (580) 357-3811
Email: news@kswo.com

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KSWO. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.