Sheriff Stassi issues warning on truancy as schools open

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

Sheriff Brett Stassi has issued a notice that habitual absences or tardiness by students from school will not be tolerated, and parents will be arrested for their child’s excessive absences.

“Students cannot be taught if they are not in school,” Stassi said. “We are working closely with every school in Iberville, and are being notified when students have five unexcused absences.”

The truant officer will find the student and/or parents and issue a citation for improper supervision of a minor, requiring the parent to appear before a judge in Eighteenth Judicial District Court. The parent can be fined up to $250 or jailed for up to 30 days for this offense, according to state law.

“We want parents to know that we are very serious about students attending school,” Sheriff Stassi said. “We will not hesitate to make arrests if it takes arresting parents to get their attention.”

If a child is tardy for school, a parent or guardian must accompany the child into school and sign him/her in. If a child has been at a doctor’s visit, the doctor’s excuse must be presented to school personnel by the parent or guardian when the child is checked in.

Stassi noted that the Sheriff’s Department is continuing its commitment to have a law enforcement presence in local schools. “This summer our six school resource officers (SROs) received advanced training in working with students in a school setting, and they are in the schools full-time,” he said.

“Our SROs have an important role in helping students stay in school and helping them handle problems and peer relations in a constructive way. By developing positive relationships with the students, they are also showing that law enforcement is here to help them.”