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Missouri Supreme Court Hears School Attendance Case


Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday heard a case on the constitutionality of a state law that holds parents liable if their children miss school.

Brenda Self was convicted of a misdemeanor in October after her 15-year-old daughter was absent 40 days during a school year, at Caruthersville Accelerated Middle School.

She got a suspended sentence and two years of probation.

Self contends Missouri's compulsory school attendance law is unconstitutionally vague. She notes it does NOT define "regular" attendance, nor specify how many absences can trigger criminal charges.

Self's attorney contends that 23 of those were excused absences, and that the girl was pregnant at the time. The judges questioned why her pregnancy was not raised in the trial.


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