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Is My Child Truant?



Maya, a Schuylkill County mom, remembers opening the letter like it was yesterday. In between grocery store ads and bills Maya found a letter telling her that she must attend a magistrate hearing because her son had been marked "Truant" from school.


This was not only frustrating to Maya, but downright infuriating. She sent in excuses for his absences, she talked with the school nurse and guidance counselor, and talked with the school about her son’s depression diagnoses.


Many days he just couldn’t get out of bed. Their family doctor told Maya that it could take a while for his medication to start to work, assuming they had the right dosage and prescription.

The school knew this and had done nothing to work with Maya to help her son.


Feeling alone and disregarded by the school Maya reached out to the Parent Alliance for support.


After sharing her story with the Parent Alliance, Maya was asked if the school had ever contacted her to set up a School Attendance Improvement Conference. Something that by law the school is required to do before sending her to the magistrate.


They did not. Maya would have jumped at the opportunity to meet with the school to discuss how to improve her son’s attendance – but she was never asked. That was all she wanted in the first place, and she expressed that many times to the school.


She knew in her gut that she shouldn't have gotten that letter out of the blue like that - and she was absolutely right.


She went to the hearing with the Magistrate, and when it was her turn to speak, she asked if a School Attendance Improvement Conference had ever occurred.

The room fell silent, and Maya could see the school's representative starting to clammer.

The school couldn't provide information on it because it never happened. The Magistrate promptly threw out the case and scolded the school representative for not following proper protocol. They told the school they needed to hold a School Attendance Improvement Conference in the next 30 days.


With her head held high Maya left the court room feeling confident that she’d finally be able to get her son the support he needs. knowing that she did what needed to be done for her son.


The Parent Alliance offered to virtually attend the School Attendance Improvement Conference with Maya. Maya has never been a confrontational person so ordinarily a meeting of this nature would have made her very nervous. However, with the Parent Alliance by her side she felt more ready than ever to get her son the in-school supports he needed.


In that meeting Maya took charge and held her ground on the points she felt were important to bring up, including how the school had dropped the ball on helping her son. The Parent Alliance made sure Maya was listened to and brought up any of the talking points she wanted to hit but she had forgotten to mention.

Fast forward a few months and Maya’s son’s medication and weekly therapy appointments have been helping to alleviate his depression. It is becoming a rare occurrence that he doesn’t have the energy to attend school, and when he does feel like that, he knows he can turn to his mom for support.


Maya’s son is not the only Pennsylvania child struggling to get out of bed and into school.

Maya is not the only parent who doesn’t know all the rules that schools have to follow.

If you have ever attended a meeting for your child by yourself, you know how intimidating it can be. No parent should have to face that alone – and you can make sure of it.


Your donation today can ensure that a parent, just like Maya, has the Parent Alliance by their side when they need it most.


For a monthly gift of just $5, you can make sure a parent doesn’t have to attend their next meeting alone. A meeting that could change their child’s life forever.


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