Court Action Process

After a student receives help from the Truancy Diversion Services and the student continues to miss school, the student might need ongoing support. Court action is the last option after the school official and Washington County has tried all intervention efforts.

For students aged 12-17, the school official and truancy social worker will discuss whether it's necessary to involve the court. This decision will be made in the student's best interest and considering their service needs. Court action is not meant as punishment or consequence. Instead, the purpose is to offer a more intensive way to help the child and their family access the necessary services.

Court-Ordered Measures to Address Truancy and Promote School Attendance

  • When a student is found to need protection or services because of truancy, the judge will order the child and their parent(s)/guardian(s) to follow the recommendations outlined in the report submitted by the truancy social worker.
  • The court may also set other conditions meant to address why the student is not going to school. These conditions may include evaluations, services, and ways to ensure the student goes to school regularly including accountability measures.
  • The main goal is to help the child go to school and live at home. Progress will be checked at hearings every 30-90 days until it's clear that both the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s) can make sure the student goes to school regularly.

Possible Court-Imposed Measures to Address Truancy

  • A student's cell phone or any other electronic devices can be removed from their possession.
  • A student may lose driving privileges until age 18.
  • A student can be ordered to be evaluated and treated for chemical dependency or mental health issues.
  • A student can be assigned community work service hours.
  • A student can be placed on home detention and not allowed to leave the residence without a parent/guardian unless at school.
  • A student can be removed from their home and placed in shelter care, foster care, or residential treatment facility at the parent's/guardian's cost.
  • A child care be ordered to pay a fine.
  • A parent/guardian can be ordered to take their student to school at the beginning of each school day.
  • A parent/guardian can be ordered to participate in evaluations and receive services.
  • Any other services or conditions deemed appropriate.