In Florida, students with Autism could be charged with an unexcused absence each time they have to miss class for treatment. A bill being sponsored by State Representative Rene “Coach P” Plasencia could allow those students to seek care with parents having peace of mind about attendance policies.
HB 127 would authorize parents to be granted permission for student absences for treatment of autism spectrum disorder without being charged with an unexcused absence.
In Orange and Brevard Counties students who receive a certain amount of unexcused absences could fail classes and the parents of those children can be subject to scrutiny from school officials and social services.
“We had complaints from people in the district who reached out to us saying that their schools would not allow them to leave without being charged an unexcused absence.” said Plasencia “Some Principals would do it, some wouldn’t, we thought we should have a uniform law across the state so there is no confusion.”
The bill is expected to pass when it’s hear on the floor of the house sometime next week. State Senator Gary Farmer is sponsoring companion legislation in the Senate. Plasencia also hopes to meet with Senate President Joe Negron about the bill.
“This is providing the necessary therapy that is needed for growth within each individual child.” added “Coach P” “It can make the difference between a child being independent and self sufficient or not.”