WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- California’s Education Code Section 48264 states that “any minor subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuing education found away from his or her home and who is absent from school without valid excuse.”
- Merek Mastrov was absent without excuse for a total of an hour and a half from his remote school sessions.
- Merek’s dad, Mark Mastrov intends to write to California lawmakers to urge them to amend the code.
California Dad Mark Mastrov received a letter from his 12-year-old son’s school that says that under Education Code Section 48264, his son was considered a truant for missing three 30-minute zoom sessions, and could be subject to arrest.
Merek’s son Merek is a seventh grader and has been attending remote school at the Stanley Middle School in Lafayette, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter, Stanley Principal Betsy Balmat, said that it was the result of state attendance laws.
She said, “The letter is part of our responsibility to the state for our student attendance review boards. As always, the schools have a responsibility to ensure students are engaged and learning.”
It is specifically stated in Education Code Section 48264 that an attendance supervisor, peace officer, school administrator or probation officer may arrest or assume temporary custody during school hours of “any minor subject to compulsory full-time education or to compulsory continuing education found away from his or her home and who is absent from school without valid excuse.”
Mastrov says that Merek is his fourth child to attend the school and upon receiving the letter, he just could not help react by saying, ‘Are you going to come arrest my son at my home or try to fine me for not getting him to his Zoom class on time perfect every day?’”
It turns out that they are not the only one to receive the letter but other parents as well who received a similar letter informing them of their children’s truant behavior that could lead to arrest. For this, Mastrov is planning to write lawmakers to urge them to make some changes in the policy.
Makrov said, “Obviously we’re in a pandemic and Gov. Newsom is trying to manage it, but if the state of California is really going to spend a lot of time focusing on arresting 12-year-old children for missing 90 minutes of school in 10 months, it’s ridiculous.”
There has still been no comment from the superintendent for the Lafayette School District regarding the issue.