It has been the law for quite some time in the UK, and it has hit the headlines on many an occasion, that parents will be fined for their child’s unauthorised absences from school or if they take their child on holiday during term time.
In this country, we’re not so aware of the procedure, and maybe the laws are not implemented as forcefully, although that may depend on each autonomous region and its government.
On a personal level, I know a number of British children attending school in Spain who have bunked off, missed whole chunks of the school year, and even stopped going for one reason or another – mainly citing school as a waste of time, not knowing enough Spanish and falling too far behind, or because of pure laziness and lack of motivation.
Very often the parents are unaware that their child is missing school. However, at the same time, there are many that are aware, yet feel powerless to do anything about it.
If you were in this situation, how would you react? Would the threat of a monetary fine make you insist more that your child attends school?
A judge on the island of Mallorca has sentenced a couple because of the numerous unauthorised absences of their daughter from school between 2007 and 2014.
In concrete, the minor was off school on 247 occasions without any justification given by her parents, and for this her parents will have to pay a sanction of 1,440 euro.
Both parents admitted to the events during this seven-year period, and declared themselves guilty of abandoning a minor, as well as accepting a guilty plea for another crime of ‘serious disobedience’ after ignoring a court order demanding the return of their child into education immediately.
The girl, who was born in the year 2000, was enrolled in the final year of primary school in 2012-2013, but due to the number of unauthorised absences (31 between September and December), the school took it upon themselves to denounce the parents to the court of minors.
Despite the court order for the girl to return to school immediately, the absences continued, which, in turn, caused her to fall behind and struggle in lessons.
The prosecution applied for a sentence of one year and 15 days of prison to be handed out to the parents, but after they admitted their guilt, the judge reduced this to a fine of 720 euro each.