Co-Lin hosts school attendance officers conference

Published 10:00 am Sunday, August 1, 2021

School attendance officers from across the state were in Wesson Tuesday-Thursday for a back-to-school conference.

Dr. LaRenda J. Harrison, Bureau Director II of the Mississippi Department of Education’s Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement, is a native of Brookhaven and former principal in the Brookhaven Public School District.

Officers met at the Thames Center on the campus of Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

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Topics of discussion for officers included truancy vs. educational neglect, and human trafficking and child abuse. Special Assistant Attorney General Paula Broome was the closing speaker on the second day of the conference, addressing child abuse and trafficking.

“Every absence, excused or unexcused (including suspensions), is a learning opportunity lost and can have significant impacts on a student’s success in school and life,” reads a description on the CSAE website.

The Mississippi Compulsory School Attendance Law (37-13-91) requires parents or legal guardians of children ages 6-17 to enroll him or her in an educational program, whether public, private or homeschool.

The state has 120 attendance officers. Lincoln County’s officers are Lamareo Brown and Keith Robinson.