School hallway.

Drew Bloksberg/Getty Images

With truancy laws, skipping school isn't as easy as you think

May 09, 2019 - 4:00 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A 6-year-old girl found out that it's harder than you think to get out of going to school. 

A 6-year-old British girl drew red dots on herself to convince her parents that she shouldn't have to go to school because she had chicken pox. The parents weren't fooled, but they had to explain what happened to the school when they brought her to class because she'd used a Sharpie which wouldn't wash off.  

They certainly taught her a lesson about consequences, but also may have been trying to save themselves - not just from a full day with a 6-year-old - but from truancy violations.  

State laws differ, but most are similar to those in Pennsylvania that say that if a child has more than three unexcused absences, both kids and their parents can face fines of up to $300 per day of further unexcused absences. 

Parents who fail to pay it can be sentenced to up to five days in jail. Of course, whether it's worse to go to jail or spend those days at home with an unruly 6-year-old is not always so clear.