The Missouri Supreme Court rendered a decision on Tuesday that upheld a state statute that makes it a criminal offense for parents when their children are absent from school, ruling against two mothers from Lebanon who were charged due to their young children’s tardiness. Alisa Nelson has more:
The state of Missouri mandates that students in grades K-12 must regularly attend school. Legal representatives acting on behalf of the mothers argued that the law lacks clarity and is thus unconstitutional.
However, the Supreme Court justices disagreed with this perspective, stating that consistent attendance refers to attending school during its operating hours. The judges elaborated that school administrators have the discretion to excuse absences in situations involving mental or physical illness and can also decide not to involve prosecutors in such cases. Furthermore, the judges pointed out that prosecutors also retain the authority to refrain from charging parents for instances of “minor noncompliance.”