Ohio Lawmakers Question Policies for Students Skipping Class

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio lawmakers are questioning policies that suspend or expel a student who repeatedly fails to show for school.

A pair of House Republicans recently introduced legislation aimed at changing how Ohio schools and courts deal with students who skip school, shifting from punishment to a focus on why students are truant and how to rectify the situation.

The Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio says excessive truancy accounted for nearly 6,000 suspensions in the 2012-13 school year.

The House measure would no longer allow suspensions for truancy. It would require schools to take thorough action before turning truancy cases over to the juvenile court system. Schools would need to notify parents when a student is nearing five consecutive unexcused absences, or seven in one month.