A letter concerning truancy from Hamblen County General Sessions Court Judge, Janice Snider
Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the beginning of a new school year. I hope you had an enjoyable summer, and you are returning to school with a positive attitude and good work ethic that will make your school year a productive, pleasant experience.
A solid education is essential if you are to succeed in the world of tomorrow. Without an education, the world facing all of us in the future will leave you behind. You cannot obtain a quality education without regular and timely school attendance. Tennessee law requires that children ages 6 to 18 attend school.
It is every parent's responsibility to make sure their child attends school in a regular and timely manner. Whenever a child is not present in school they are missing valuable classroom time necessary to complete their education. State law provides that children who do not attend schools as required are unruly and truant. If they have excessive absences these children may be placed in state custody by the Juvenile Court so that they can receive an education in a state facility. Parents who fail to make sure their child attends school on a regular and timely schedule are also in violation of state law, and they will be fined or incarcerated for neglecting their children's welfare. If your child is expelled from school for any reason, it is the parent/guardian's sole responsibility to provide and pay for an accredited private educational program that meets both state and local requirements.
We want to help keep children in school instead of punishing children and their families who don't see the importance of school attendance. We understand families sometimes have problems that may temporarily impact children's school attendance. If your child begins to experience problems with school attendance or you are having family issues affecting a child's school attendance, please contact our Youth Services Officer at Juvenile Court Services and ask for help. Our staff at Juvenile Court Services has resources and advice that will be beneficial to you and your child.
Parents and Guardians, please give this letter to your middle school and high school student and have them read it with you. Most children and teens in our school system are not aware you received this letter at the beginning of each school year.
Students, I whole heartedly wish you a fun and successful school year.
Janice H. Snider
Hamblen County General Sessions Court Judge