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Parenting --Teens/Punishment for skipping school?


QUESTION: Hi Penny I'm a 19 year old still in highschool and live with my aunt and uncle. They let me and my 7 year old cousin stay home today because are uncle died and they told me to watch him, I want to go to mcdonalds but is it ok to take him with me or if the cops see him will I get in trouble?

Thanks in advance!

ANSWER: Hi Derrall, I Don't know what state you are in or the laws that surround truancy. I think this would qualify as an excused absence, but again, not sure where you are. Also, I am assuming you are talking about taking your cousin, correct?

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QUESTION: I live in Jacksonville Florida and yes I want to walk with my cousin to Mcdonalds and then maybe Target


I think if you have your guardian's permission, you should be okay, unless the following (below) applies to you.  At 19, you should have the wisdom to make this decision with the approval of your guardian. My condolences for your loss and good luck.

Florida State Statute 232.19

The court procedure and penalties for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, relating to compulsory school attendance, shall be as follows:

(1)  COURT JURISDICTION.--The circuit court has original and exclusive jurisdiction of all proceedings against, or prosecutions of, children under the provisions of this chapter. Proceedings against, or prosecutions of, parents or employers as provided by this section shall be in the court of each county having jurisdiction of misdemeanors wherein trial by jury is afforded the defendant.


(a)  In each case of nonenrollment or of nonattendance upon the part of a child who is required to attend some school, when no valid reason for such nonenrollment or nonattendance is found, the superintendent shall institute a criminal prosecution against the child's parent.

(b)  Each public school principal or the principal's designee shall notify the district school board of each minor under its jurisdiction who accumulates 15 unexcused absences in a period of 90 calendar days. Each designee of the governing body of each private school, and each parent whose child is enrolled in a home education program, may provide the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles with the legal name, sex, date of birth, and social security number of each minor under his or her jurisdiction who fails to satisfy relevant attendance requirements and who fails to otherwise satisfy the requirements of s. 322.091. The superintendent must provide the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles the legal name, sex, date of birth, and social security number of each minor who has been reported under this paragraph and who fails to otherwise satisfy the requirements of s. 322.091. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may not issue a driver's license or learner's driver's license to, and shall suspend any previously issued driver's license or learner's driver's license of, any such minor, pursuant to the provisions of s. 322.091.

(3)  HABITUAL TRUANCY CASES.--The superintendent is authorized to file a truancy petition, as defined in s. 984.03, following the procedures outlined in s. 984.151. If the superintendent chooses not to file a truancy petition, procedures for filing a child-in-need-of-services petition shall be commenced pursuant to this subsection and chapter 984. In accordance with procedures established by the district school board, the designated school representative shall refer a student who is habitually truant and the student's family to the children-in-need-of-services and families-in-need-of-services provider or the case staffing committee, established pursuant to s. 984.12, as determined by the cooperative agreement required in this section. The case staffing committee may request the Department of Juvenile Justice or its designee to file a child-in-need-of-services petition based upon the report and efforts of the school district or other community agency or may seek to resolve the truant behavior through the school or community-based organizations or agencies. Prior to and subsequent to the filing of a child-in-need-of-services petition due to habitual truancy, the appropriate governmental agencies must allow a reasonable time to complete actions required by this section and s. 232.17 to remedy the conditions leading to the truant behavior. Prior to the filing of a petition, the school district must have complied with the requirements of s. 232.17, and those efforts must have been unsuccessful.  

Parenting --Teens

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Penny K


I enjoy assisting parents in parenting atypical teenagers that do not respond well to normal parenting techniques. I am able to provide parents with a straight forward behavioral approach that has proved to be successful.


My husband and I have raised 31 daughters, 29 of our children were foster teens who ranged in age from 11-18. I was a site director for a local group home for adolescent girls, an Executive Director for the Children's Policy Council and the Executive Vice President for a residential treatment facility that specialized in alcohol and drug treatment for adjudicated adolescent males and provided comprehensive assessment to adolescents in the custody of the state. I have been a staff trainer for the Boys Town Model of Care and for the past 10 years I am the lead facilitator for the Parent Project parenting class in my county. In the past 20 years of my career I have assisted over 2000 adolescent youth and their families.

Boys Town Behavioral Management Trainer Parent Project Facilitator

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