Can CPS take me to court for educational neglect if my child has good grades but frequently misses school?

The question asked in this blog is whether the Department for Community Based Services, Division of Protection and Permanency Child Protection (aka CPS) can file a petition for dependency, neglect, or abuse (KRS 600.020) against you if your child frequently misses school but has good grades? You are probably asking, how can the child be educationally neglected if they are doing well in school? 

At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates PLLC, we are dedicated to offering knowledgeable legal counsel and reliable representation to clients. Our trusted attorneys can evaluate the different state statutes and rules addressing your personal situation and help you understand your options. We're proud to represent clients across many counties including Shepherdsville, Shelbyville, Taylorsville, Simpsonville, Jeffersontown, Louisville, Elizabethtown, Radcliff, and Mount Washington, Kentucky. 

What is truancy and educational neglect?

Truancy is defined by statute:

Any student who has attained the age of six (6) years, but has not reached his or her eighteenth birthday, who has been absent from school without valid excuse for three (3) or more days, or tardy without valid excuse on three (3) or more days, is a truant.
(2) Any student enrolled in a public school who has attained the age of eighteen (18) years, but has not reached his or her twenty-first birthday, who has been absent from school without valid excuse for three (3) or more days, or tardy without valid excuse on three (3) or more days, is a truant.
(3) Any student who has been reported as a truant two (2) or more times is an habitual truant.

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 159.150

Educational neglect is also defined by statute:

“Does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing, shelter, and education or medical care necessary for the child's well-being when financially able to do so or offered financial or other means to do so ”

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 600.020

Can the Department for Community Based Services, Division of Protection and Permanency Child Protection (aka CPS) can file a petition for dependency, neglect, or abuse (KRS 600.020) against me if my child frequently misses school but has good grades?

Kentucky law makes school attendance mandatory and compulsory and is set by statute:

Each parent, guardian, or other person residing in the state and having in custody or charge any child who has entered the primary school program or any child between the ages of six (6) and sixteen (16) shall send the child to a regular public day school for the full term that the public school of the district in which the child resides is in session or to the public school that the board of education of the district makes provision for the child to attend except as provided in KRS 159.030 and paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection. A child's age is between six (6) and sixteen (16) when the child has reached his or her sixth birthday and has not passed his or her sixteenth birthday.

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 159.010

The court has deteremined that good grades are not a sufficient defense to a charge of educational neglect.

"We are not persuaded that "good grades preclude a finding of educational neglect in this case; rather, we conclude that providing an adequate education for a child's well being necessarily requires a parent to ensure the child attends school each day to participate in educational instruction. M.C.V . Comm. CHFS, 347 S.W.3d 471, 473 (Ky.App. 2011).

There, the short answer is yes, the Department for Community Based Services, Division of Protection and Permanency Child Protection (aka CPS) can file a petition for dependency, neglect, or abuse (KRS 600.020) against you if your child frequently misses school but has good grades because providing an adequate education requires scool attendance.

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At the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates PLLC, our attorney has the resources, expertise, and diligence to guide and represent individuals searching for someone to give you a voice in the court and to stand up for your rights. 

Contact the Law Offices of John Schmidt & Associates PLLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers. We're proud to represent clients across Shepherdsville, Jeffersontown, Louisville, Elizabethtown, Radcliff, and Mount Washington, Kentucky.


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