Published Online: April 14, 2015
Published in Print: April 15, 2015, as Dallas County Is Probed on Handling of Truancy

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Dallas County Is Probed on Handling of Truancy

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A federal civil rights investigation targets whether Dallas County, Texas, has been too tough on students who skip school and sometimes end up handcuffed and in court.

Some advocacy groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department in June 2013 on behalf of seven students, alleging Dallas-area public schools are too harsh with truancy rules.

Students age 12 and older can be ordered to criminal court if they have three unexcused absences in four weeks. Schools must file charges against students with more than 10 unexcused absences in six months. Fines can be up to $500. A preliminary review indicates Dallas County prosecuted some 20,000 failure-to-attend-school cases last year.

Vol. 34, Issue 27, Page 5

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