BV Attorney’s Office Resuming Truancy Enforcement Efforts

The Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office has resumed its efforts to combat ongoing truancy problems in the county, which had been halted since the start of the pandemic.

The BV County Attorney’s Office had previously worked with schools on addressing their truancy concerns. This spring, County Attorney Paul Allen and Assistant County Attorney Ashley Herrig met with school officials in Buena Vista County to discuss how the County Attorney’s Office plans on enforcing the Iowa Truancy law. Iowa Code establishes Truancy as a crime where parents can face jail time or fines if their children fail to consistently attend school. The Code requires that mediation between the school and the parents be attempted before seeking criminal punishment.

This past month, the Storm Lake Elementary School and the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office have worked together to identify children who have missed more than 25 days of school this school year. Nearly 20 families were identified and referred to mediation. All of the families participated in mediation from the ones that received notification. During mediation, former Juvenile Judge and current BVU Professor Mary Timko worked with the families and representatives from the Storm Lake Elementary school to identify barriers to the school’s prior attempts to prevent the child from being absent.

Any questions can be directed towards the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office by calling 712-732-1933.