Midstate mom wants lawmakers to change truancy law

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HERSHEY, Pa. (WHTM) – A Dauphin County mother is working to change a state law.

Ashley Mantheiy said she received a truancy letter in March because her son missed several days of school.

Her son Ben is 8 years old and has hydrocephalus that causes a fluid buildup in the brain. Mantheiy said her son can experience a severe headache at any moment and sometimes has to leave school during the day.

“My son is not going to get any better,” she said. “He has bad days and terrible days, but for me to face a fine or jail time for truancy is not right.”

Mantheiy said according to state law, if a child misses more than 10 days of school, they can be considered truant, but it’s the school district’s call. She is working with the Derry Township School District to resolve the issue.

Mantheiy said she has approached state lawmakers and is asking them to amend the truancy law to allow exceptions for children with chronic illnesses if they have a doctor’s excuse.

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