BECCA law/Truancy Process
The BECCA Bill became law in Washington State in 1995. The law is named after a Washington youth named Rebecca “Becca” Hedman. Rebecca was a student in a Washington state school. Rebecca began skipping school, dropped out, and fell into an unsafe lifestyle. Her parents had no idea she was not attending school and communication was very poor between the school and the parents of Rebecca. Subsequently, Rebecca ran away and was murdered. The BECCA law was developed at the urging of Rebecca’s parents in an effort to prevent other students from becoming truant without adequate parental notification. As a result, there are specific steps schools must take when students show signs of becoming truant, from interaction with parents to court sanctions. Each of these steps are designed to keep youth attending school until age 18 or until they have completed their education.
Clark County Truancy Process Workshop
Once a petition has been filed with the Clark County Juvenile Court by the School District, the local school districts, the Clark County Juvenile Court and the Attendance and Reengagement staff work together to conduct a weekly Truancy Attendance Workshop held at the Juvenile Court (during COVID workshop will be held virtually until further notice). The workshop provides the student and parents information about the Becca Law, the truancy process in Clark County, and district and community resources. The student and family also have an opportunity to meet one on one with a school district representative to get extra support and information. The student and/or parents may sign a Stay of Proceedings which puts the petition on hold for 12 months. If school attendance does not improve following the workshop, the School District staff sends a referral to the Attendance and Reengagement Program.
All workshops are being hosted virtually via Zoom in partnership with the local school district, ESD 112, and the Clark County Juvenile Court, Mondays at 4:00 pm. Students and parents are notified of workshop attendance via written mailed notice from the school district.