Bullitt County Public Schools (BCPS) is dedicated to ensuring that every student receives a quality education which prepares them for their life ahead.
However, BCPS cannot fulfill its mission when a student is chronically absent from school.
The Bullitt County Attorney’s Office (BCAO) and BCPS firmly believe that parents/guardians have not only a moral responsibility, but also a legal obligation, to make sure their student gets to school.
The BCAO and BCPS have agreed that BCPS will notify the BCAO of parents/guardians who have caused their student to be consistently absent (or truant).
Upon notification, the BCAO will then review the information on a case-by-case basis to determine if any criminal prosecution should be brought against the parent/guardian.
“We are serious about making sure students get to school and BCPS spends a lot of time and resources in doing so. BCPS has a responsibility to provide a quality education, in a safe environment, that will enable every student to be either career or college ready. We cannot do that if the student is not regularly in school. I appreciate the BCAO’s willingness to help us motivate certain parents/guardians to do the right thing,” said Superintendent Jesse Bacon.
“Crime is a social problem. The primary deterrent to those social problems is a strong education. It is every parent(s) responsibility to ensure that their children, the children of our community, are given the best opportunity to achieve at the highest level, to achieve their dreams. In an attempt to curtail the escalating issues of school dropouts and pipeline of these children to a life of crime and/or poverty, we are taking measures to address attendance before it becomes apathy,” said Assistant County Attorney Kristin Purdue.
Before notification is provided to the BCAO, BCPS will have attempted to work with the parent/guardian to improve the student’s attendance.
However, if improvement is not shown or the student’s attendance declines again, BCPS may notify the BCAO for its consideration of criminal charges. While BCPS stands ready to cooperate in any way it can, any decision to prosecute will be made solely by the BCAO.
On August 26, 2019, BCPS amended its board policy to authorize the District to notify the BCAO of parents/guardians allowing or causing their student to be chronically absent from school.
BCPS expects to start notifying the BCAO of the most severe cases in the next two weeks.