Unauthorised school absence is against the law in the Swiss canton of Vaud, and parents can be fined if their children are absent without prior authorisation from school management.
Article 54 of Vaud’s law on compulsory schooling requires all parents resident in the canton to enroll and send their children to a state or private school, or to home school them.
According to 20 Minutes, a 48 year old Spanish national was fined CHF 700 by his local school in Cugy for the unauthorised absence of his daughter. The father challenged the fine in Yverdon’s court and had it waived.
“Justice has been served” he said. In September 2015, his daughter, unable to go on a one-week school camp in France because of a passport issue, took the week off school. The rules however required her to attend school that week, despite the absence of her classmates.
The father said: “My daughter had a medical certificate because she was injured and I gave this to the school.” In response the judge asked why the school had sanctioned him in December if it had received the medical certificate in September.
Later it was revealed that the adolescent had missed other classes in September for which no sanctions been issued because medical certificates had been presented in time.
“My daughter has the best marks in her class” the father told the court. The presiding judge reminded him that he had been fined for unauthorized absence.
In the end the judge cancelled fine relating to the school camp incident on the condition that the father agreed not to demand any indemnity from the canton.