Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Truancy Definition:

The willful and unjustified absence of a child from school.

In Children and the Law, the authors note, citing Re C.S.:

“A child is truant only where the fault for missing school lies with the child and not with the parents.”

This view is consistent with the opinion of Justice Hayes of the Appelate Court of Illinois in Chicago Board of Education:

“We think truancy can be defined as the wilful unexcused refusal of a pupil to attend school in defiance of parental authority and in violation of an applicable compulsory school attendance law.”


  • Abrams, D. and Ramsey, S., Children and the Law (St. Paul, MN: Thomson-West, 2003), page 1030
  • Chicago Board of Education v Kouba 354 N.E. 2d 630 (1976)
  • Re C.S. 382 N.W. 2d 381 (1986)

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