The Maryland House Judiciary Committee held hearings on a bill intended to afford parents or guardians a certain affirmative defense to a certain charge relating to truancy. This legislation, if enacted, will allow parents to demonstrate as an affirmative defense that they made every effort to assure that their child attended school despite the fact that their child was truant. Under current law, parents or guardians can be fined or jailed because of their child’s truancy.
ACY supports this bill in accordance with our opposition to further criminalizing non-violent typical adolescent behaviors. Parent or guardians who are jailed because of their child’s truancy could lose their jobs and suffer many other unintended collateral consequences.