Alabama Education Law

As set out in Section 16-28-12, Code of Alabama, 1975, Alabama District Attorneys are required to “vigorously enforce” the law to ensure proper conduct and required attendance by any child enrolled in public school. Alabama law also requires parents to make sure their children attend school and that they behave appropriately at school.[1]

Section 16-28-12 also states that the superintendent of education of the school system that a child enrolled in public school fails to regularly attend or fails to properly conduct himself or herself in accordance with the written policy on school behavior and results in the suspension of the child, the suspension must be reported to the district attorney’s office.[2]

Helping Families provides district attorneys and other community leaders with an effective way to initiate changes in bad behaviors — and hopefully futures — of students who are suspended from school for serious offenses or identified by other means. Disruptive students interfere with the education of law-abiding classmates and erode school safety. Results of Helping Families services benefit disruptive students, fellow students, their families and their communities by solving problems before crimes are committed.

Mandatory School Attendance Act

Mandatory School Attendance Act Section 16-28-1 et seq
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Section 16-28-12 provides:

(a) Each parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of any child required to attend school or receive regular instruction by a private tutor who fails to have the child enrolled in school or who fails to send the child to school, or have him or her instructed by a private tutor during the time the child is required to attend a public school, private school, church school, denominational school, or parochial school, or be instructed by a private tutor, or fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor, or fails to compel the child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil in any public school in accordance with the written policy on school behavior adopted by the local board of education pursuant to this section and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in the suspension of the pupil, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100) and may also be sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than 90 days. The absence of a child without the consent of the principal teacher of the public school he or she attends or should attend, or of the tutor who instructs or should instruct the child, shall be prima facie evidence of the violation of this section.

(b) Each local public board of education shall adopt a written policy for its standards on school behavior. Each local public school superintendent shall provide at the commencement of each academic year a copy of the written policy on school behavior to each parent, guardian, or other person having care or control of a child who is enrolled. Included in the written policy shall be a copy of this section. The signature of the student and the parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of the child shall document receipt of the policy.

(c) Any parent, guardian, or other person having control or custody of any child enrolled in public school who fails to require the child to regularly attend the school or tutor, or fails to compel the child to properly conduct himself or herself as a pupil in accordance with the written policy on school behavior adopted by the local board of education and documented by the appropriate school official which conduct may result in the suspension of the pupil, shall be reported by the principal to the superintendent of education of the school system in which the suspected violation occurred. The superintendent of education or his or her designee shall report suspected violations to the district attorney within 10 days. Any principal or superintendent of education or his or her designee intentionally failing to report a suspected violation shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor. The district attorney shall vigorously enforce this section to ensure proper conduct and required attendance by any child enrolled in public school.

(School Code 1927, §305; Code 1940, T. 52, §302; Acts 1993, No. 93-672, p. 1213, §1; Acts 1994, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 94-782, p. 70, §1.)

References

  1. Alabama’s High School Drop Out Rate, Alabama Training Institute, page 17
  2. Alabama’s High School Drop Out Rate, Alabama Training Institute, page 18

Upcoming Events

4th Annual Child Advocacy Day
VOICES for Alabama’s Children
Montgomery, AL
March 16, 2017
“Helping Families Initiative”
Alabama District Attorneys Association
Fairhope, AL
April 6–9, 2017
“Next Generation of K-12 Indicator and response Systems to Increase Students’ Post-Secondary Readiness and Persistence”
A Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported initiative, sponsored by the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
May 1–3, 2017
“Getting Better at Getting Better”
Carnegie Foundation Summit on Improvement in Education
San Francisco, CA
March 26–30, 2017
“Breaking Down Barriers — Humanity Matters”
National Association of Social Workers — Alabama
Bryant Conference Center
Tuscaloosa, AL
April 24–25, 2017