SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story
/

Should parents be arrested for their child's unexcused absences?

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Mom arrested for son's unexcused absences

A mom who was arrested because her son had too many unexcused absences at school says that schools shouldn't require a doctor's note.

Julie Giles told People she feels that requiring a doctor's note each time her child was absent is over the top, and I agree with her. After her 10-year-old son had accumulated 12 absences, the Georgia mom got her own personal mug shot and a court date after her recent arrest.

According to Giles, three of her son's absences were excused by a doctor, and the other nine weren't. As her local school district allows six unexcused absences, she was taken to the pokey for a meager three days when her son didn't go to school.

MoreMom taken into custody for viral photos of baby on leash eating like dog

Keep in mind that attendance policies vary from school district to school district. For example, where we live, absences are generally considered unexcused only if a child is absent for five consecutive days without a note from a doctor. If I call and say my child has been throwing up, she'll be excused, end of story — and that's the way it really should be. Our school district also works with kids who have ongoing medical issues or who need to be away from school on a regular basis for doctor visits.

So I can understand Giles' irritation at the way her child's case has been handled. She says she doesn't take her child to the doctor every time he's sick, which is completely fine. In fact, taking a kid to the doctor can be pointless, as children are often infected with viruses that can't be treated by medicine anyway. This means the doctor's visit is a waste of time and a waste of money, and it also exposes you and your child to a ton of other germs.

MoreC-section leaves patient with an unexpected and terrible souvenir

Giles' son is a good student and maintains his grades, so the additional absences aren't affecting his schoolwork. I think this school district needs to alter its policy a bit and allow for a parent's phone call and note to be a valid excuse for a day off. No, parents shouldn't just keep their kids home "just because," but if a child has a rough winter (as we did) and moms feel they need to keep their children home, they should be allowed to without requiring a doctor's note every single time.

Tagged in
Comments
Hot
New in Parenting
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!