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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Juvenile: Juvenile Truancy

School Attendance and Truancy

Juvenile Truancy

Truancy is the willful or unjustified failure by a minor to attend school.

  • Any peace officer or school administrator may issue a citation to a minor requiring him or her to appear in Juvenile Court if he or she violates the truancy laws.
  • Truancy is an offense punishable by the Juvenile Court under the provisions of  Welfare and Institutions Code Section 601.
  • If a minor does not go to school, he or she can be:
    • prosecuted for truancy,
    • assigned a probation officer,
    • given a curfew by the judge,
    • required to do volunteer / community work,
    • required to pay a fine.
  • If a minor continues to be truant after the judge orders him or her to go to school, he or she can be sent to Juvenile Hall.


Truancy Diversion Program

As an alternative to the filing of a 601 petition, a minor may be given the opportunity to voluntarily participate in a truancy diversion program. The truancy diversion calendar is held the first Friday of the month at 1:30pm in Department 10 of the North County Branch. The remaining Friday calendars are held in Meadow Lark at 1:30pm in Department 4.

School Attendance Review Board (SARB)

The law requires parents to send their children between the ages of 6 and 18 to school. If they fail to do so, they can be brought before the School Attendance Review Board.

If a minor continues to be truant, the District Attorney's Office can prosecute his or her parent for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanor which carries a penalty upon conviction.


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