Being Late For School Could Land Mom in the Slammer!
Most of you will agree that arriving to school on time is important for a child’s education, while also teaching accountability and respect. As moms, we try to guide our younger, elementary school children toward this responsibility, but let’s face it, some mornings are tough. Packing lunches and backpacks, eating breakfast, planning outfits – yes, it can get overwhelming, and despite our best efforts, tardiness happens.
But what if, after you dropped off your child late, you were arrested – handcuffed – and taken to jail? That is what happened to one mom in Virginia just this week.
“A Virginia Mom”, as she calls herself, was surprised at her home one Saturday night after repeatedly dropping off her elementary-aged children late to school. She was handcuffed, taken to the Adult Detention Center, and later released with a $3,000 bond. Her charge involved “contributing to the delinquency of her minor children”, despite the fact that her daughters were never absent to school and she was well aware of the situation. Unfortunately, in this case, the mother and three children have medical and psychological disabilities, which only compound the situation.
Although I agree that many parents need to become more active participants in their children’s education, I don’t see how sending a mom, who is actively trying her best, to jail is acceptable. This mom needs help, not a punishment. Schools may want more parent involvement, but a criminal record is NOT the answer for such a trivial transgression. Schools should engage parents with open communication, instead of reprimanding them, because ultimately the child’s best interest needs to be the top priority.
As much as this case seems like it is isolated, more states are holding parents responsible for tardiness, which may not mean jail time, but it can involve a hefty fine. Should parents be legally responsible for their children’s tardiness? Or is another punishment necessary? How else could schools handle this?