What happens when a district files a truancy petition?

Notice of the Truancy Petition: first, the district should make sure you get a copy of the petition that it files with the truancy court. They can first try to get it to you by certified mail. If that doesn't work, the district should take additional steps to make sure you get a copy. If you hear that a petition has been filed with the court, but you haven't seen a copy of it, you should be able to get a copy by calling the school, or the district office.

Stay of Petition for Community Engagement Board or Other Intervention:

When a school district files a truancy petition with the juvenile court, the law says that the court should “stay” the petition – or hold onto it – while the student and parent are referred to a Community Engagement Board or some other intervention process. This gives more time for people to try to understand why a student has been missing school and take steps to address the root causes of the absences.

If issues are not resolved, or you are not seeing progress in a student’s attendance, a court might set a hearing. Check with your local juvenile court to find out what the practice and process looks like in your area.

Be alert for notices from the court and information from the school. Reach out for legal assistance if you have questions about the court process, or your rights in the process. One place people can contact for free legal assistance is the Northwest Justice Project’s CLEAR hotline. Find more information about CLEAR on their website, here: https://nwjustice.org/clear-hotline.