Educational Neglect Statutes

The Child Welfare Information Gateway defines educational neglect as:

Educational Neglect

Although State statutes and policies vary, both parents and schools are responsible for meeting certain requirements regarding the education of children. Types of educational neglect include:

  • Permitted, chronic truancy—permitting habitual absenteeism from school averaging at least 5 days a month if the parent or guardian is informed of the problem and does not attempt to intervene.
  • Failure to enroll or other truancy—failing to homeschool, to register, or to enroll a child of mandatory school age, causing the child to miss at least 1 month of school without valid reasons.
  • Inattention to special education needs—refusing to allow or failing to obtain recommended remedial education services or neglecting to obtain or follow through with treatment for a child’s diagnosed learning disorder or other special education need without reasonable cause.

According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, educational neglect is included under the definition of abuse in twenty-four states: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The language of these statutes varies.

States that do not include educational neglect in their definition of neglect still enforce their compulsory attendance statutes but do so through other means than social services. In states that have educational neglect provisions, local school districts generally form the first line in enforcing compulsory attendance and turn matters over to social services only if their attempts to bring families into compliance with the law fails.


Arkansas

Ann. Code § 12-18-103

(13) (A) “Neglect” means those acts or omissions of a parent, guardian, custodian, foster parent, or any person who is entrusted with the child’s care by a parent, custodian, guardian, or foster parent . . . which constitute:

. . . 

(ii) Failure or refusal to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, and education required by law, excluding the failure to follow an individualized educational program, or medical treatment necessary for the child’s well-being, except when the failure or refusal is caused primarily by the financial inability of the person legally responsible and no services for relief have been offered;


Colorado

Rev. Stat. § 19-3-102

(1) A child is neglected or dependent if:

. . .

(d) A parent, guardian, or legal custodian fails or refuses to provide the child with proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for his or her health, guidance, or well-being;


Connecticut

Gen. Stat. § 46b-120

The terms used in this chapter shall, in its interpretation and in the interpretation of other statutes, be defined as follows:

. . .

(8) a child or youth may be found “neglected” who (A) has been abandoned or (B) is being denied proper care and attention, physically, educationally, emotionally or morally or (C) is being permitted to live under conditions, circumstances or associations injurious to his well-being or (D) has been abused;


Delaware

Ann. Code Tit. 10, § 901

(18) ”Neglect” or “neglected child” means that a person:

a. Is responsible for the care, custody, and/or control of the child; and

b. Has the ability and financial means to provide for the care of the child; and

1. Fails to provide necessary care with regard to: food, clothing, shelter, education, health, medical or other care necessary for the child’s emotional, physical, or mental health, or safety and general well-being;


Idaho

Idaho Code § 16-1602

(26) “Neglected” means a child:

. . .

(d)  Who is without proper education because of the failure to comply with section 33-202, Idaho Code.


Indiana

Ann. Code § 31-34-1-1

Sec. 1. A child is a child in need of services if before the child becomes eighteen (18) years of age:

(1) the child’s physical or mental condition is seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of the inability, refusal, or neglect of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision;


Kentucky

Rev. Stat. § 600.020

(1) “Abused or neglected child” means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm when:

(a) His or her parent, guardian, person in a position of authority or special
trust, as defined in KRS 532.045, or other person exercising custodial
control or supervision of the child:

. . .

8. Does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food,
clothing, shelter, and education or medical care necessary for the
child’s well-being.


Maine

Ann. Stat. Tit. 22, § 4002

“Jeopardy to health or welfare” or “jeopardy” means serious abuse or neglect, as evidenced by:

. . .

B. Deprivation of adequate food, clothing, shelter, supervision or care or education when the child is at least 7 years of age and has not completed grade 6;


Minnesota

Ann. Stat. § 626.556, Subd. 2

(f) “Neglect” means the commission or omission of any of the acts specified under clauses (1) to (9), other than by accidental means:

. . .

(4) failure to ensure that the child is educated as defined in sections 120A.22 and 260C.163, subdivision 11, which does not include a parent’s refusal to provide the parent’s child with sympathomimetic medications, consistent with section 125A.091, subdivision 5;


Mississippi

Citation: Ann. Code § 43-21-105

(l) “Neglected child” means a child:

(i) Whose parent, guardian or custodian or any person responsible for his care or support, neglects or refuses, when able so to do, to provide for him proper and necessary care or support, or education as required by law, or medical, surgical, or other care necessary for his well-being;


Missouri

Ann. Stat. § 210.110

As used in sections 210.109 to 210.165, and sections 210.180 to 210.183, the following terms mean:

. . .

(12) “Neglect”, failure to provide, by those responsible for the care, custody, and control of the child, the proper or necessary support, education as required by law, nutrition or medical, surgical, or any other care necessary for the child’s well-being;


Montana

Ann. Code § 41-3-102

21) (a) “Physical or psychological harm to a child” means the harm that occurs whenever the parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare: 

. . .

(iv) causes malnutrition or a failure to thrive or otherwise fails to supply the child with adequate food or fails to supply clothing, shelter, education, or adequate health care, though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so;


Nevada

Rev. Stat. § 432B.140

Negligent treatment or maltreatment.Negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child occurs if a child has been abandoned, is without proper care, control and supervision or lacks the subsistence, education, shelter, medical care or other care necessary for the well-being of the child because of the faults or habits of the person responsible for the welfare of the child or the neglect or refusal of the person to provide them when able to do so.


New Hampshire

Rev. Stat. § 169-C:3

XIX. “Neglected child” means a child:

. . .

(b) Who is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health, when it is established that his health has suffered or is very likely to suffer serious impairment; and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of financial means of the parents, guardian or custodian;


New Jersey

Ann. Stat. § 9:6-8.21

c. “Abused or neglected child” means a child less than 18 years of age whose parent or guardian, as herein defined,

. . .

(4) or a child  whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as the result of the failure of his parent or guardian, as herein defined, to exercise a minimum degree of care (a) in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care though financially able to do so or though offered financial or other reasonable means to do so,


New Mexico

Ann. Stat. § 32A-4-2

E.     “neglected child” means a child:

. . .

(2)     who is without proper parental care and control or subsistence, education, medical or other care or control necessary for the child’s well-being because of the faults or habits of the child’s parent, guardian or custodian or the failure or refusal of the parent, guardian or custodian, when able to do so, to provide them;


New York

Soc. Serv. Law § 371

4-a. “Neglected child” means a child less than eighteen years of age (i) whose physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of the failure of his parent or other person legally responsible for his care to exercise a minimum degree of care (A) in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care, though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so; 


North Dakota

Cent. Code § 27-20-02

“Deprived child” means a child who:

a. Is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by 
law, or other care or control necessary for the child’s physical, mental, or
emotional health, or morals, and the deprivation is not due primarily to the lack of
financial means of the child’s parents, guardian, or other custodian;


Ohio

Rev. Stat. § 2151.03(A)

(A) As used in this chapter, “neglected child” includes any child:

. . .

(3) Whose parents, guardian, or custodian neglects the child or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical or surgical care or treatment, or other care necessary for the child’s health, morals, or well being;


South Carolina

Citation: Ann. Code § 63-7-20

(4) “Child abuse or neglect” or “harm” occurs when the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for the child’s welfare: 

. . . 

(c) fails to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or education as required under Article 1 of Chapter 65 of Title 59, supervision appropriate to the child’s age and development, or health care though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so and the failure to do so has caused or presents a substantial risk of causing physical or mental injury. However, a child’s absences from school may not be considered abuse or neglect unless the school has made efforts to bring about the child’s attendance, and those efforts were unsuccessful because of the parents’ refusal to cooperate. For the purpose of this chapter “adequate health care” includes any medical or nonmedical remedial health care permitted or authorized under state law; 


South Dakota

Ann. Laws § 26-8A-2

Abused or neglected child defined. In this chapter and chapter 26-7A, the term, abused or neglected child, means a child:

(4) Whose parent, guardian, or custodian fails or refuses to provide proper or necessary subsistence, supervision, education, medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, guidance, or well-being;

 


 

Utah

Ann. Code § 78A-6-105

(27) (a) “Neglect” means action or inaction causing:

. . .

(iii) failure or refusal of a parent, guardian, or custodian to provide proper or necessary subsistence, education, or medical care, or any other care necessary for the child’s health, safety, morals, or well-being; or

. . .

(b) The aspect of neglect relating to education, described in Subsection (27)(a)(iii), means that, after receiving a notice of compulsory education violation under Section 53A-11-101.5, or notice that a parent or guardian has failed to cooperate with school authorities in a reasonable manner as required under Subsection 53A-11-101.7 (5)(a), the parent or guardian fails to make a good faith effort to ensure that the child receives an appropriate education.


West Virginia

Ann. Code § 49-1-3

(11) (A) “Neglected child” means a child:

(i) Whose physical or mental health is harmed or threatened by a present refusal, failure or inability of the child’s parent, guardian or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, supervision, medical care or education, when such refusal, failure or inability is not due primarily to a lack of financial means on the part of the parent, guardian or custodian; or

. . .

(B) “Neglected child” does not mean a child whose education is conducted within the provisions of section one, article eight, chapter eighteen of this code.


Wyoming

Ann. Stat. § 14-3-202

(a)(ii)(D)(vii) “Neglect” means a failure or refusal by those responsible for the child’s welfare to provide adequate care, maintenance, supervision, education or medical, surgical or any other care necessary for the child’s well being. Treatment given in good faith by spiritual means alone, through prayer, by a duly accredited practitioner in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination is not child neglect for that reason alone;

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