Knox county case spurs debate about truancy and right to counsel

In In re B.R., a case currently in a Tennessee circuit court, advocates maintain that the Tennessee courts must appoint counsel for children in proceedings imposing a “valid court order” related to truancy. Although children are appointed counsel for later violating such a “valid court order”, they are not provided counsel for the initial determination. The advocates also argue that federal and state law prohibit jailing juveniles for truancy and that jailing juveniles for violating a “valid court order” relating to truancy is an unconstitutional loophole.  The Knoxville News Sentinel has written a story and an editorial about the case.


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