Under Texas law, students can only have 10 unexcused absences in a six-month period before the school files a complaint in court. Tens of thousands of other Texan students are also becoming victims of the criminal justice system for violating school attendance policies. Worst of all, those most affected are low-income families whose financial struggles can contribute to their children’s attendance problems. This Draconian method is clearly not the right approach to keeping kids in school. Instead the current truancy laws are leading to the unjust convictions of underprivileged students like Diane.
As the Texas Judicial Council, we're asking that you repeal the part of the Texas education code that gives states the right to incarcerate its students.
Youth Speak! Collective
This petition closed almost 3 years ago
In May, a Texas judge sent Diane Tran, 11th-grade honor student, to jail overnight and fined her $100 for missing too much school. However, Diane wasn't ditching class to run around and engage in...
In May, a Texas judge sent Diane Tran, 11th-grade honor student, to jail overnight and fined her $100 for missing too much school. However, Diane wasn't ditching class to run around and engage in bad behavior – the 17-year-old works two jobs to support her siblings and often must stay up until 7:00 am to finish her homework.
Diane is just one of the victims of the unjust system. Willis High School (Diane's school) posts the Texan state truancy law on its website.
Texas courts have the opportunity to set a national precedent against these extreme approaches to encourage attendance at public schools. Read more about school administrators, elected officials, and prosecutors across the country who are taking on the issue of kids missing school through the criminal justice system.