In Missouri, schools are getting started as early as this week.
The beginning of the school year is always a good time to review any new school policies, look over waivers, and make sure you have the proper paperwork on file with the school and copies of important documents at home.
It may be a stressful time for both students and parents as you adjust to new changes and schedule adjustments, but being proactive in addressing potential educational, medical and safety concerns could relieve a paperwork headache if a problem arises later.
Here are a few things you should review before school is back in session:
Whether it’s for after-school activities, field trips, or registering at a new school, you probably have a lot of waivers and paperwork to review.
It’s crucial to thoroughly read all documents before signing, as schools can change policies from year to year. If there is any specific language you have a problem with, you may strike those portions out or refuse to sign unless the school amends the waiver. If you have any concerns about signing a document, it is always best to consult with an attorney.
School Social Media Policies
Schools did not have these back in our day! With the ever-changing social media and online landscape, schools are developing robust policies about online bullying and other forms of digital misconduct. Some schools are even monitoring students’ social media activity for safety and security reasons. This may not be a policy that is sent home separately – it may be on the school or district’s website or in the student handbook.
It’s important to thoroughly read this over and have a frank conversation with your children about online conduct and potential consequences.
As kids grow up, they are bound to deal with injuries at some point or another. Whether it’s an injury from sports, other students, faculty or even the school building itself, it’s possible that you child could get hurt at school. While injuries sustained during many school activities are covered by a waiver, it’s important to know what your legal options are if an injury were to happen during the normal school day.
Make yourself familiar with any other incidents that happened at the particular school or district so you know the process for handling any potential injuries.
Yes, parents can get in trouble if their child skips school. Truancy laws can punish parents for their child’s excessive absences or tardiness. In Missouri, students are required to attend school between ages 7 and 16, with exceptions for home school or mental/physical disabilities that prevent them from attending school. If the child is 14 to 16 and legally employed, they are also given an exception to the attendance requirement.
In Missouri, excessive absences will give the parents a Class C misdemeanor. After conviction, each successive school day missed is a separate violation.
Start the School Year Off Right!
Unfortunately, there are a myriad of legal issues that can happen both in or out of school.
If you have any concerns about your child, about a school policy, an injury on school property or any other concern, be proactive and consult with your friends at Marler Schrum to put your mind at ease.