[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township 8-25-1999 by Ord. No. 99-7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ATTENDANCE OFFICER and DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES[Added 9-16-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-03]
- A person or persons employed by the school district, in accordance with the Public School Code of 1949, as amended, whose duties shall be to enforce the provisions of the Public School Code of 1949, as amended, for compulsory attendance.
- COMPULSORY SCHOOL AGE
- The period of a child's life from the time the child's parents elect to have the child enter school, which shall be no later than the age of eight years, until the age of 17 years. The term shall not include any child who holds a certificate of graduation from a regularly accredited senior high school.
- Any privately owned place of business carried on for profit or any place of amusement or entertainment to which the public is invited.
- Any person other than a parent who has legal guardianship of a student or is a person in a parental relation having control or charge of any student.
- HOME EDUCATION PROGRAM
- A program conducted, in compliance with the School Code, by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.
- The natural or adoptive parent(s) of a student.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any public street, highway, road, park, playground, public building, vacant lot or parking area open to the general public, including the interior of any motor vehicle being operated upon or parked upon or standing in or upon any such areas.
- Any institution, public or private, authorized and/or certified by the School Code.
- SCHOOL CODE
- The Public School Code of 1949, as amended.
- SCHOOL DAY
- The time period of any day that students are required to attend school.
- SCHOOL TERM
- The period of time elapsing between the opening of schools in the fall of one year and the closing of schools in the spring of the following year.
- Any person of compulsory school age.
- The Township of Falls, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
- UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE
- Any absence from school by a student which is not excused or permitted by school authorities.
It shall be unlawful for any student, required by the School Code to attend school, to remain in or play in or upon any public place or at any establishment or to wander or stroll upon public streets or rights-of-way when such student is required by the School Code to attend school during the school day.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any student who:
Has attained the age of 16 years, and who is regularly engaged in any useful and lawful employment or service during the time the schools are in session, and who holds an employment certificate issued according to law.
Has been examined by an approved mental health treatment facility or by a person certified as a school psychologist or psychological examiner and has been found to be unable to profit from further public school attendance, and who has been reported to the Board of School Directors and excused, in accordance with the regulations prescribed by the State Board of Education.
Has attained the age of 15 years and is engaged in farm work or domestic service in a private home on a permit issued by the School Board or the designated school official of the school district of the student's residence, in accordance with regulations which the Superintendent of Public Instruction is hereby authorized to prescribe.
Has attained the age of 14 years and is engaged in farm work or domestic service in a private home on a permit issued as provided in Subsection C, and who has satisfactorily completed, either in public or private schools, the equivalent of the highest grade of the elementary school organization prevailing in the public schools or the district in which he resides. If issuance of such a permit has first been recommended by the District Superintendent of Schools having supervision of the schools of the district where such child resides or by the principal of the private school where such child is enrolled, and the reason therefor has been approved by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Is engaged in a home education program.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary violation and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this chapter. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. In default of the payment of any fine, the defendant shall be sentenced to imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to file a citation for such summary violation and seek any other available relief at law or equity, including injunction, to enforce compliance with this chapter.
[Amended 1-25-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-1]
The student and every parent, guardian or person in parental relation must appear at a hearing established by the District Justice.
In lieu of or in addition to any other sentence imposed under this section, the District Justice may order the student to perform community service for a period not to exceed six months.
Every parent, guardian or person in parental relation having control or charge of any child or children of compulsory school age who shall fail to comply with the provisions of this chapter regarding compulsory school attendance, subject to the exceptions set forth in § 111-2A, B, C and D, shall be subject to the provisions of § 111-3.
Any parent, guardian or person in parental relation having control or charge of any child or children of compulsory school age who is convicted of a violation of this chapter may be ordered by the District Justice to complete an approved parenting education program or counseling offered by a local school district or other community resource, in lieu of any fine imposed.
If the parent, guardian or person in parental relation charged with a summary offense under this section shows that he or she took every reasonable step to ensure attendance of the student at school, he or she shall not be convicted of the summary offense.
Any police officer who finds a student violating this chapter may obtain the information from such student that is required in order to issue a citation to the student. A copy of the citation and/or written notice shall be provided to the parent or guardian of the student by the Chief of Police or his designee advising of the violation. The student should then be transported to school.
[Amended 7-17-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-18; 4-3-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-2]
Any police officer who is notified by a parent, guardian or person in parental relation of a student who willfully refuses to attend school shall obtain permission from the parent, guardian or person in parental relation to enter the residence of the parent, guardian or person in parental relation and issue a citation for the violation of this chapter to the student and return the student to the public school in which the student is or should be enrolled.
If a person suspected of violating this chapter refuses to satisfactorily identify himself to a police officer, that person may be temporarily detained to permit the police officer reasonable opportunity to determine his/her identity. If it is determined that the suspect is a student, subject to compulsory school attendance, then the parent or guardian of such student shall be notified, and, unless requested by such parent, guardian or person in parental relation to place said student in a school other than the public school, the student may be placed in the public school in which the student is or should be enrolled.
Any attendance officer or director of administrative services who finds a student violating this chapter regarding curfew for unauthorized absences from school shall be authorized to obtain such information from the student as required to issue a citation to the student, with a copy of the citation or written notice to be provided to the parent or guardian of the student.
[Added 9-16-2008 by Ord. No. 2008-03]
The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any section, clause, sentence, part or provision hereof shall be held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining sections, clauses, sentences, parts or provisions of this chapter. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township that this chapter shall have been adopted as if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional section, clause, sentence, part or provision had not been included herein.