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A. Attendance Required; Exceptions:
1. It shall be unlawful for a parent, guardian, or other person having custody of a child who is over the age of five (5) years and under the age of eighteen (18) years to neglect or refuse to cause or compel such child to attend and comply with the rules of some public, private or other school, unless other means of education are provided in this subsection. One-half (1/2) day of kindergarten shall be required for all children five (5) years of age or older unless the child is excused from kindergarten attendance as provided in this subsection. A child who is five (5) years of age shall be excused from kindergarten attendance until the next school year after the child is six (6) years of age if a parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the child notifies the superintendent of the district where the child is a resident by certified mail prior to enrollment in kindergarten, or at any time during the first school year that the child is required to attend kindergarten pursuant to this subsection, of election to withhold the child from kindergarten until the next school year after the child is six (6) years of age.
2. It shall be unlawful for any child who is over the age of twelve (12) years of age and under the age of eighteen (18) years, and who has not finished four (4) years of high school work, to neglect or refuse to attend and comply with the rules of some public, private or other school, or receive an education by other means for the full term the schools of the district are in session. (Ord. 539, 9-6-2005)
3. Provided, that this subsection shall not apply:
a. If any child is prevented from attending school by reason of mental or physical disability to be determined by the board of education of the district upon a certificate of the school physician or public health physician, or if no such physician is available, a duly licensed and practicing physician;
b. If any child is excused from attendance at school, due to an emergency, by the principal teacher of the school in which such child is enrolled, at the request of the parent, guardian, custodian or other person having control of such child;
c. If any child who has attained his or her sixteenth birthday is excused from attending school by written, joint agreement between: 1) the school administrator of the school district where the child attends school; and 2) the parent, guardian or custodian of the child. Provided, further, that no child shall be excused from attending school by such joint agreement between a school administrator and the parent, guardian or custodian of the child unless and until it has been determined that such action is for the best interest of the child and/or the community, and that said child shall thereafter be under the supervision of the parent, guardian or custodian until the child has reached the age of eighteen (18) years; or
d. If any child is excused pursuant to subsection B of this section.
e. If any child is excused from attending school for the purpose of participating in a military funeral honors ceremony upon approval of the school principal.
B. Excused Absences: A school district may excuse a student from attending school for the purpose of observing religious holy days if, before the absence, the parent, guardian, or person having custody or control of the student submits a written request for the excused absence. The school district may excuse a student pursuant to this subsection for the days on which the religious holy days are observed and for the days on which the student must travel to and from the site where the student will observe the holy days.
C. Enforcement; Affirmative Defenses: It shall be the duty of the attendance officer to enforce the provisions of this section. In the prosecution of a parent, guardian, or other person having custody of a child for violation of any provision of this section, it shall be an affirmative defense that the parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the child had made substantial and reasonable efforts to comply with the compulsory attendance requirements of this section but was unable to cause the child to attend school. If the court determines the affirmative defense is valid, it shall dismiss the complaint against the parent, guardian, or other person having custody of the child and shall notify the school attendance officer who shall refer the child to the district attorney for Tulsa County for the filing of a child in need of supervision petition against the child pursuant to the Oklahoma juvenile code 1 .
D. Violation; Penalties:
1. Any parent, guardian, custodian, child or other person violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of an offense punishable as provided in section 1-4-1 of this code and as set forth in the municipal bond schedule adopted by the governing body as provided in section 1-11-19 of this code.
2. Each day the child remains out of school after an oral and documented or written warning has been given to the parent, guardian, custodian, child or other person or the child has been ordered to school by the juvenile court shall constitute a separate offense.
3. At the trial of any person charged with violating the provisions of this section, the attendance records of the child or ward may be presented in court by any authorized employee of the school district. (Ord. 539, 9-6-2005; amd. 2013 Code)
1. 10A OS § 2-1-101 et seq.