Legal Question in Education Law in California

School sends home ''catch-22'' contract.

My son's school recently sent home a contract to the parents of all seniors. The contract states that, by signing, the parent agrees that if their student has any ''unexcused absences'' between now and the end of the school year their student will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. If the parent does not sign, the student will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. While I do not anticipate my son having any unexcused absences, I am opposed to being ''forced'' to sign a contract. Is the contract legal?

Asked on 3/13/06, 2:36 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

MARK GEYER LAW OFFICES OF MARK MITCHELL GEYER
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Re: School sends home ''catch-22'' contract.

Good morning:

1. Assume that the school/School board has a policy.

2. Assume that that policy is not otherwise "illegal" and is consistent with the School or board's inherent powers.

3. Assume that you don't sign. Your child will not be able to walk graduation.

4. Any absences can be "excused" with any parent's "note from home" which can cure the problem if one arises.

5. If your child is "absent" it is best then that you are informed to enable graduation.

I believe that the school/Board has the power to regulate its affairs and I also believe that this "contract" is specifically designed to prevent "senioritis" which is a problem with absenteeism since before we were all born.

Go with it and work with it---it is really more of an issue between you and your child than you and the school.

Regards,

Mark Geyer

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Answered on 3/13/06, 10:57 am

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