Title 17. Education

Chapter 1. General School Law

Part III. Public Schools and School Children

Subpart C. School Attendance



17:226      Exemptions from compulsory attendance


A. The following classes of children provided for in this Section shall be exempted from the provisions of this Subpart: 


(1)(a) Children mentally, physically, or emotionally incapacitated to perform school duties, and children unable to profit from further school experience, such exemptions to be certified in writing by a psychiatrist, psychologist, recognized evaluation center or clinic, or other professionally qualified person or agency designated by the city, parish, or other local public school board. 


(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph, a student may be absent for up to three days in any school year related to the student’s mental or behavioral health, and such absences shall be excused if certification is provided in writing in accordance with the student handbook. The student shall be given the opportunity to make up any school work missed during such absences. Following the second day of absence in any school year, the student shall be referred to the appropriate school support personnel for help addressing the underlying issue, which may include referral to medical services outside of the school setting. 


(2) Children temporarily excused from school, as follows: 


(a) Children who are personally ill and whose attendance in school would endanger their own health or that of their classmates, each city, parish, or other local public school board being hereby authorized to adopt and promulgate or publish such resolutions as may seem wise and proper regarding the requirement of a certificate from a physician or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in the state in substantiation of the absence of children under this authorization of temporary absence. 


(b) Children in whose families there is serious illness which would reasonably necessitate the absence from school if, in the judgment of the visiting teacher, or supervisor of child welfare and attendance, such absence is justified, or if the illness is substantiated in writing by a physician or nurse practitioner licensed to practice in the state. 


(c) Children in whose immediate family a death has occurred, such absence not to exceed one week because of and at the time of such death. 


(d) Children whose religious faith requires absence for the observance of special and recognized holidays of the child’s own faith. 


(e)(i) A child whose parent is a member of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard of a state and such parent has been called to duty for or is on leave from overseas deployment to a combat zone or combat support posting shall be granted excused absences, not to exceed five school days per school year, for the day or days missed from school for the child to visit with his parent prior to the parent’s deployment or during the parent’s leave and, upon returning to school, shall be permitted to complete all class assignments, including all tests, missed while the child was absent pursuant to the provisions of this Item. 


(ii) For the purposes of this Subparagraph, the term “parent” shall mean the person responsible by law for the child’s school attendance. 


B. Children shall not be excused from school to work in any job, including agriculture and domestic service, at any time, even in their own homes or for their own parents or tutors. 


Acts 1964, No. 109, § 2. Amended by Acts 2005, No. 200, § 1, eff. July 1, 2005; Acts 2008, No. 142, § 1, eff. June 12, 2008; Acts 2023, No. 318, § 1.