Teenager gets probation for not attending school

PHILIPSBURG–A 15-year-old girl who failed to attend school for 67 days was given “youth probation,” when she appeared for a hearing with the Public Prosecutor on Tuesday.

She was accompanied by her mother. By staying away from school, the teenager violated the country’s law on compulsory education.

Prosecutor Karola van Nie said in a press release that a truancy officer had compiled an official report (in Dutch: proces-verbaal) regarding the teen’s absence from school. This was sent to the Prosecutor’s Office, which summoned the minor and her mother to appear in a so called “Tom-zitting.” This is a hearing by the prosecutor to deal with the case by imposing community service, a training or compulsory guidance.

Following the hearing, the teen, her mother and the prosecutor decided that compulsory youth probation is necessary, van Nie said.

The Court of Guardianship executes youth probation. The Court of Guardianship has two trained youth probation workers. Van Nie said the teen has to cooperate with the youth probation requirements for a period of two years. Failure to comply or violation of the compulsory education law again will result in the case being taken before a judge.

The Prosecutor’s Office said parents can also be put on trial for similar cases, particularly when it’s clear that the responsible parent has not made sufficient efforts to ensure that the child is in school. The Prosecutor’s Office said it is currently working on a guideline on compulsory education with the Truancy Department, so that more cases can be successfully prosecuted.

Source: The Daily Herald Teenager gets probation for not attending school