Texas Senate Passes Bill to Decriminalize Truancy

Very recently, the Texas Senate voted and passed a bill to decriminalize truancy, which is currently treated as a Class C misdemeanor, resulting in a criminal record.  Texas is one of 2 states who prosecute children for tardies and unexcused absences in adult court.

While this new bill will encourage pre-court truancy prevention measures, it fails to completely remove the option to file criminal charges.  However, leaving the option to file may be the only way to get this bill on its way.  Public school districts are still in support of truancy prosecution, as they believe it is the only way to have students and parents take truancy seriously.  A previous bill in 2013 passed in the House and Senate, but failed with Governor Perry vetoed it.

For more on truancy, please click:

1. Texas Senate Approves Measure to Decriminalize Truancy

2. Texas Senate Passes Bill to Decriminalize Truancy, Moves to House

3. Texas Senate OKs Plan to Decriminalize Truancy

4. Texas Appleseed’s Truancy Report


Esther Kim

About Esther Kim

Esther Kim is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduate from Wesleyan University in 2007 with a B.A. in Liberal Arts with a focus in Chinese Language and Literature. As an undergraduate, she worked one summer at the Citizens' Committee for Children, New York, a child advocacy organization, where she developed an interest in children's rights, community after-school resources, and immigration. Esther has recently been selected to be an Equal Justice Works Fellow, sponsored by Texas Access to Justice Foundation, at Lone Star Legal Aid, where she will be working closely with Asian victims of domestic violence in Harris and Fort Bend Counties.

2 thoughts on “Texas Senate Passes Bill to Decriminalize Truancy

  1. Shiloh Carter
    April 27, 2015 at 4:25 PM

    The bill actually makes the referral civil instead of criminal, so it is a civil proceeding & can not result in a Class C Misdemeanor Charge or criminal record.

    1. esther
      May 2, 2015 at 1:58 PM

      Thanks Shiloh!

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