Sabine Parish school officials to enforce stricter penalties for truancy

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 4:18 PM CDT
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SABINE PARISH, La. (KSLA) - The Sabine Parish School Board is taking steps to address truancy at its schools.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the school board met with multiple agencies to come up with ways to reduce truancy. All district principals attended the meeting, along with:

  • Superintendent Shane Wright
  • Central office staff
  • Judge Verity Gentry
  • FINS (Families In Need of Services) Intake Officer Kem Jones
  • Sheriff Aaron Mitchell, Chief Deputy Brad Walker
  • Asst. District Attorney Anna Garcie
  • Many Police Chief Cheryl Wooley
  • Asst. Chief Mason Wiley

The school board says it will work with these various agencies to identify students who are missing school and seek to find solutions to the barriers preventing them from attending regularly. School officials discussed implementing more serious consequences for chronic absenteeism by repeat offenders.

The school board says state law allows a maximum of 10 unexcused absences per school year (five per semester for grades 9-12). Parents whose children are frequently absent will be required to work with the local FINS intake officer. Parents may also be required to attend FINS meetings, juvenile court, parenting courses, and/or pay truancy fines.

“Our school system is pleased to share a strong partnership with these local agencies and know that through our collective efforts, student truancy rates will decline. I appreciate Judge Gentry bringing everyone to the table for today’s open dialogue with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for the students of Sabine Parish,” said Wright.