Douglasville, GA asked in Education Law for Georgia

Q: Is there an attendance policy for 18 yr olds in Douglas County, GA? Can I graduate with excessive absences?

I am a senior in high school and my parents recently received a letter from the school stating that I have had 40 absences (30 unexcused) during my senior year; in this letter they cited the Georgia Compulsory Education Law; however, this law doesn’t apply to children over 16. So, is there an attendance law that applies to 18 year olds? Most importantly, will I still be able to graduate this year with these absences if my grades are not suffering from lack of attendance? And can the school take any action against me for the absences?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Priscilla T. Upshaw
Priscilla T. Upshaw
  • Education Law Lawyer
  • Powder Springs, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: You are correct that the compulsory school attendance law does not apply to 18 year olds. It primarily serves as a way for the state to punish parents for their student's truancy. However, each school district has discretionary powers to determine the nature of absences and the requirements for graduation. Additionally, the school can report to DMV the lack of attendance/unexcused absences for the purpose of revoking licenses.

It is best to speak with your administrators and discuss remedial measures to ensure you are able to graduate on schedule.

I wish you well.

-The Upshaw Law Firm, (770) 240-0922.

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