Bill Granting Students in 4-H Activities an Excused Absence Passes Committee

Beverly Cantrell - March 5, 2022 11:07 pm

A bill that will grant students who are involved in 4-H activities or projects an excused absence from school unanimously passed through committee on Thursday.

Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, presented House Bill (HB) 2991, which prohibits schools from marking students with an unexcused absence if they are participating in 4-H activities approved by the county 4-H educator. The student is required to provide documented proof of their participation and must be given the opportunity to make up any missed work.

In 4-H programs, kids and teens complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and civic engagement. They receive guidance from educators and adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles.

“This bill is just saying that kids involved in 4-H programs can’t be penalized when they miss school for taking part in approved activities,” West said. “This is a terrific organization that serves students across the state of Oklahoma. Because it is not considered a school activity, however, participants have to rely on the goodwill of their individual schools or school boards to determine if they will be counted with an excused absence or an unexcused absence when they attend leadership programs, livestock shows, judging contests or one of the many other activities offers. This bill ensures across-the-board protection for these students.”

HB2991 passed the House Common Education with a vote of 12-0. It is now eligible to be heard on the House floor.

 

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