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Thread: Mother Jailed For Sons School Attendance Problems

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Mother Jailed For Sons School Attendance Problems

    MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) — A Mount Pleasant mother found herself doing time in jail because of her son’s attendance problems at school.

    Jessica Heiser’s son is a student at Rumbaugh Elementary School. The school district filed a complaint with the magistrate after her son missed nine unexcused days in a single school year.

    She claims at least five of those days were spent in New York visiting family for the holidays.

    “My kids get sick. Every child gets sick and you can’t – you never know what’s going to happen so maybe I forgot to write an excuse, but I’m human, you know, I’m a mom and things happen,” Heiser said. “You have three kids – you can’t remember to write each excuse.”

    However, Heiser didn’t show up for court appearances or pay a $200 fine. She finally showed up for a payment determination hearing and was ordered to pay the fine in $45 increments.

    “I understand the fine part, but to go to jail because you bring your kids on vacation – you shouldn’t have to do that,” she said.

    She failed to make those payments the last four months and a bench warrant was issued Jan. 6. A sheriff came to her house the next day and took her to jail.

    “I sat next to somebody who had three DWI’s and the other girl had a robbery. … And she was like, ‘Oh, why are you here?’

    “And I said, ‘I brought my kids on vacation,’” Heiser said.

    Heiser only spent a few hours in jail before a friend paid her fine.


    Local Mother Jailed For Son’s School Attendance Problems CBS Pittsburgh
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    hmm. 9 days in a school year isn't that much really. (seriously hate this fucking FONT). I've had to provide doctor's excuses for my kid to the school at times I've forgotten to write excuses. And our kids are allowed to miss 10 days per semester (20 days per year) and still pass.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    “I sat next to somebody who had three DWI’s and the other girl had a robbery. … And she was like, ‘Oh, why are you here?’

    “And I said, ‘I brought my kids on vacation,’” Heiser said.


    this seems really dumb. and a waste of resources.
    seriously, people complain about celebrities being let out of jail early for overcrowding... well maybe that wouldn't happen if you weren't throwing so many people in jail, and for the stupidest reasons.

    seriously, the police had nothing better to do? no real crime to fight?
    and lots of parents have taken their kids out of school to go on vacation, i know my parents did. sometimes my dad's job meant he couldn't take holidays when we were out of school so we got to play hooky. they would usually write a note though.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    I got a little hassle a couple years ago for taking my kids home when my grandfather was dying. They wanted me to provide an obit to prove it, but he wasn't dead yet. You can imagine how I want off on that stupid district secretary.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    it can be amazing how the district will get in your business. They accused me of "just letting my son stay home" because it seemed like he was missing a lot of Fridays. It turned out he was missing some Fridays and then sometimes a following Monday because he was sick. That's when I had to get the doctor's notes because they didn't threaten to jail me, they threatened to fail my son. Which, of course, they did NOT.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    From my reading of the story, she wasn't in jail for her son missing school as much as 1) not show up for multiple court appearances, and 2) failing to make payments the court ordered her to make.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    yes but those court appearances and fines stemmed from hher kid missing school, which is ridiculous. so same difference.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    This little blurb has some more information. I think if she had gone to court in the first place to explain herself, she wouldn't have ended up in jail:
    Jessica Heiser recalled getting a citation in the mail, but she said she did not take it seriously.

    "They said we had to go to court," she said. "My husband said that was ridiculous. We didn't go, which was probably our fault."

    She was found guilty in absentia of violating the state's compulsory attendance law, and was sentenced to fines and court costs totalling $353.70.
    The rest of the article has some information on different school districts' truancy laws, which are pretty punitive.

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    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    I've missed more school than that. I've missed 9 days in a semester, which is only have a year. So 9 days a year is nothing, especially if the kid makes up the work. That kid's in an uptight school.

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    Elite Member holly's Avatar
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    my mom had to go before a school board many years ago because one of my younger brothers missed so much school & they were threatening to fail him. For about three years, every fall & spring he would get bronchitis & would miss about a week each time. School districts hate it when kids miss school because that means they lose $. Thankfully, my mother took meeting with the board seriously & didn't blow it off, & my brother never got held back!
    So did this woman ever have to meet with the school board & it escalated to court, or did she blow it off & that's why she ended up getting a court summons, or what exactly was the chain of events here?

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    Here in CA if you have a planned extended absence, you have to write a note, and the teachers have to get homework for the missed days. The school loses money when kids miss school without any reason.

    that said, i wonder why CA still has money issues.
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    Elite Member nancydrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post

    My kids get sick. Every child gets sick and you cant you never know whats going to happen so maybe I forgot to write an excuse, but Im human, you know, Im a mom and things happen, Heiser said. You have three kids you cant remember to write each excuse.
    Uh, yeah you can. Can't handle having three kids, then DON'T FUCKING HAVE THREE KIDS.
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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    This little blurb has some more information. I think if she had gone to court in the first place to explain herself, she wouldn't have ended up in jail:
    Jessica Heiser recalled getting a citation in the mail, but she said she did not take it seriously.

    "They said we had to go to court," she said. "My husband said that was ridiculous. We didn't go, which was probably our fault."

    She was found guilty in absentia of violating the state's compulsory attendance law, and was sentenced to fines and court costs totalling $353.70.
    The rest of the article has some information on different school districts' truancy laws, which are pretty punitive.
    Yep. If you don't respond to a summons to show up in court, they issue bench warrants. Duh.

    Also, if she would've written the note in the first place, maybe they wouldn't have charged her to begin with.

    Sorry, no sympathy here.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    oh i don't have sympathy for her at all, she's clearly a dumbass. but i think it's equally retarded to waste the court's and the police's and the jail's resources over something so trivial and ridiculous.
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    Elite Member Trixie's Avatar
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    Doesn't the school have the obligation to enforce the truancy laws? This woman basically thumbed her nose at the system and said "they're MY kids, I'll do what I want with them." Good, then take them out of the taxpayer-funded public schools, and home school your little snowflakes.
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