Local Mother Jailed For Son’s School Attendance Problems

By Stephanie Watson

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.


One Comment

  1. just stating the facts says:

    Sorry, but the headline is misleading. She went to jail because she didn’t pay the truancy fine. It seems like she likes to do things her own way (not asking for permission, not sending in written excuses, not attending hearings and not paying the fines). All this would have been avoided if she had just asked for permission in the first place or sent a note after the fact that stated the children missed school for family reasons. For a kid to have 4 additional absences on top of the 5 from the holiday vacation amazes me. Her response amazes me more. ” You have 3 kids- you can’t remember to write each excuse.” What a crock. Does she forget to feed them, too???? So now she is boo hooing to the public because she chose to disregard the rules. Way to teach your kids responsibility. No empathy from me!

    1. Bob says:

      Fantastic response thats exactly what occurred

      1. Willis says:

        Please stop trying to impose your will on other people. She is the mother therefore she does not have to ask for permission from you or the school to do what she wants with her own kids. Concentrate on your own family rather than trying to make other people follow your rules and pay stupid fines. The school has no buisness taking money from that family. I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore. We live in a ever increasing police state and if you want your school aged kids keeped in line and controlled by local law enforcement instead of simple school punishments then god help you, because it will just keep getting worse until one day maybe they will just take the entire family and put them in a fema camp or maybe we can inprison the family and make them do forced labor for us. Wake up and fight for the family not for big brother.

      2. specfriggintacular says:

        feeding your kids is neglect and abuse, not sending your kids to school for a few days is NOT neglect or abuse. Of course, to the teachers unions it is because it cuts into their money. Why? Becaause teachers and schools are paid/funded based on how many kids are in school and for how many days + success rates on their tests scrores when it comes to bonuses.

      3. Sean says:

        multiple actions, or lack thereof, on her part, not because she took the kids on vacation. She may never believe that, but that is the reality, as it is written above. People get upset at the state of education in the US today, but then don’t want to crack down o”Keeped”? Is this person for real? Keeped?

        Education benefits society. Parents who don’t do the bare minimum cause problems for all. It is a matter of public security and safety, as well as being for the the betterment of the country as a whole, to have at least a minimally educated population. Parents are the first line of defense in that battle.

        She can tell the story however she wants, but she was jailed because of n those who don’t keep up their side of the deal. We can’t have it both ways.

        So “keeped”? The use of that word is the exact reason we need parents to get their kids’ behinds to school.

      4. michael says:

        Quite the opening sentence there, Sean.

        Education may benefit society but do schools result in education?

        “When news of Phoebe’s suicide reached the hallways of South Hadley High School, her bullies did not demonstrate regret or remorse for their actions. Instead, they took to Facebook to mock her death and continued badmouthing her at school.”

      5. Heather says:

        There is no excuse for not communicating with the school about your child’s absences. it is the law. I have 4 children and still manage to make time to talk with the school and teachers. one year our kids got really sick and kept giving it back to each other. they missed more than 9 days. but I talked to the principal and their teachers and picked up homework for them so they wouldn’t get too far behind. swe are also responsible for showing up for court dates and paying fines. I believe this woman is lieing. she probably just didn’t take her kids to school and got caught. it takes a lot for a district to actually press charges for trendy.

      6. michael says:

        Re: Heather

        The parents did notify the school of the absences. The father is posting on this thread. Do a find on Chad.

      7. Trever says:

        @Willis This woman and people like her are why schools struggle in modern America. The teachers, usually, are ready and willing to teach, but there are too many parents who do not support their kids. If the mom does not make sure the kids get to school, they will not be there. If the parents do not go over what was taught at school and help their kids do homework, the kids will not learn. If parents don’t teach their kids how to spell “imprison, kept, business, etc.” then they will never learn.
        Your right, the focus should be on empowering the family, but this woman is not looking to empower her children, she is teaching them how to find the easy way out of everything. THIS happens way too often, and it is ultimately why our children are falling behind.

      8. Rich says:

        Agreed, if only the reporters would bother doing the same instead of CREATING the news.

    2. Chris Bove' says:

      Re: just stating the facts and just stating the facts follow up.

      The second comment is dead on. People today are like sheep, they just baaa and follow the heard. Like cows lined up for slaughter. No one questions these policies, they just mooo and do what they are told. People are so obtuse. These people are the products of the system/schools. They were taught, by the educational system, that govt. is the Alpha and Omega and now they are grown and falling right into line.

    3. Crazy_Redneck says:

      “She went to jail because she didn’t pay the truancy fine. It seems like she likes to do things her own way (not asking for permission,”

      Asking for permission? Are they her kids or the state’s? I agree with the rest, but you can eat a bag of doodie on that one, pal.

      1. Susan G. says:

        Anyone who has their child enrolled in a public school ought to know that there are bureaucratic rules that are rigidly enforced. Truancy is a big infraction given that each state has compulsory education laws. The woman kept her child out for nine days, never wrote to inform the school beforehand or after, and then did not show up at court nor pay fines. Although I understand frustration with government schooling, this mother should not be made a heroic figure of libertarian values. She seems a lazy woman who has little respect for her child’s school nor for her child who must go there.

      2. Epstein's Mother says:

        That’s been the law for about a hundred years now, ever since public education was made mandatory. It’s not an issue of whether they are her kids or the state’s. Not giving your kids an education is like not feeding them. So are you suggesting that if you get hauled off to jail for not feeding your kids, it’s a case of Big Brother interferring with parental rights? What planet are you living on?

      3. michael says:

        Re: Epstein’s Mother

        Public education isn’t mandatory.

        Schooling is mandatory. You can use different options to accomplish that requirement. But only schooling is required.

      4. Faith Kristine says:

        Sorry but if you don’t want to follow the state’s rules when you have your children in public education then home school them. We do still have that right (so far). BTW some of my children are homeschooled and some publicly schooled. Different things are right for different children and families. But if you choose public school you choose to follow their rules. If you go on vacation, let the school know ahead of time so you don’t get a truancy officer at your house–nor will your child’s grades suffer (unless there are other issues) What’s so hard about that?

      5. yyz says:

        The law says kids must attend school. Like it or not, that’s the way it is.

      6. Epstein's Mother says:

        I agree you can home school. Or send your kids to private school, where they are more accomodating. But even if you home school, there are minimum classroom requirements. And, frankly, there’s no way on God’s little green acre that this woman could meet those requirements, no matter how low they might be.

        The point is, this isn’t about some property right over your children. There’s a huge obligation to your kids there — both for their own sake (so they can get a job) and to society (so we can keep the kids out of prison and off the welfare rolls).

      7. Chad Darnell says:

        What a load of b.s! this woman is irresponsible and trying to make up excuses for her being careless. Schools notify you of their policies and even have evelctronic voicemails left on your phone for such things..she didn’t pay the fines..she didn’t go to court..and this is ok in whose book? Jail i’m not so sure about but there should be some reprocusions such as probation or somethng to that effect.

      8. Chris says:

        Check your local state’s law. According to the state, children belong to the state via parens patriae and loco parentis. In Art of Passing the Buck, it is shown how this is taken to a layman’s understanding when the Arizona Supreme Court siad “parents have no property right in their children, and have custody of their children during good behavior at the sufferance of the State”.

        Though she should have paid, the fact that parents continue to allow the state to indoctrinate their kids is abuse within itsself.

    4. sb says:

      in some school systems, it is considered an unexcused absence to take your children out of school for vacation. you will be fined/put in jail if they miss too many days.

    5. remembers how school was says:

      geturlaw: uh, yeah. parents can get vacation forms from the school ahead of time, fill them out and turn them in. that’s what you’re SUPPOSED to do when you take your kids out for several days. plus, she forgot to write excuses each of the four times her kid was absent IN ADDITION to that vacation. it’s her own fault. it’s a shame you don’t realize that taking kids out of school so often can set them behind.

    6. iamdan says:

      I agree, she wants it her way when she doesn’t get it she has a hissy fit with a journalist who writes up the story on the wrong thing. All this lady is concerned with is what she wants, not whats best for the kids.

      1. specfriggintacular says:

        whata is best for her kids has NOTHING to do with excuse notes or paying a $200 fine to the nanny state. NOTHING! Should she have sent the notes-yes, but go to jail? I mean really?


      @ just stating the facts – well said!!! The people who complain about our society being like sheep and all that BS crack me up! That is just an excuse for not being able to follow the rules. There is a difference between obeying the law and being a sheep. If someone told me to do something or act in a way that was not in my or my children’s best interest, then yes, I would balk. To claim that that applies to the rules set by a school district is just ludicrous. They have to have rules in place to be able to keep track of everyone’s progress and keep disruptions to the school at a minimum for those who ARE following the rules! With the irresponsibility of some parents today, and their inability to accept responsibility for their actions, it’s no wonder we are falling behind. Everything is ALWAYS someone else’s fault, or the rules are bad, or whatever!! PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY!

      1. re: TAKE RESPONSIBILITY says:

        Absolutely correct! I’m assuming she isn’t too concerned about them making up the work from the time missed either. If you take your children out of school for vacation, the responsible thing to do is talk with children’s teachers to get the work that will be assigned while they are gone. Then do the work before returning. I wonder if she will be throwing the same fit when the school district is unable to advance her children to the next grade because they didn’t complete the work assigned.

      2. freeman says:

        “Follow the rules”? Public school taught you well how to get in line and stay there.

        Judging from the lady’s grammer, she’s not very bright. However, I’m sure she was told and understood that she had to pay her fines or that she would be held in contempt.

        But be careful judging that the state knows the best interest of anyone. They have motives of their own, and they do not favor individual liberty.

      3. specfriggintacular says:

        Clearly there is nothing in the article that states her children did not makeup their missed work, that they are not passing states tests or moving on to the next grade. For all you know, in all of your assumptions, is that her kids are all on the honor roll and have above average state test scores………clearly sending a parent to jail for this is ignorant.

      4. Mark Williams says:

        Dear freeman,

        “grammer” is actually “grammar” so please do not belittle anybody until you recognize your own faults, little guy. 🙂

    8. OhioGirl82 says:

      “ask permission”?

      Our school in Massachusetts does NOT grant permission for any missed days and will only accept doctor’s notes.

      I generally call and let them know when my kids won’t be in school, but the absences are still unexcused without a doctor’s note. A few times we’ve received truancy letters for them missing too much school. I had taken them on business trips with me when I had to attend national/international science fairs. I had taken them to Europe and we returned a day late. These were all excellent learning opportunities, especially given my kids get straight A’s and could use a bit out-of-the-box education.

      When I asked the principal about the truancy letter and the threat to take me to court, she rolled her eyes. She said it’s a school policy to send the letters, but the only parents who respond to them are parents like me whose kids are thriving despite missing school, i.e., a family that took their straight A children to China for three weeks.

      Another govt bureaucracy failure.

      1. Dan says:

        This isn’t Massachusetts. If you send your child to school, you should know the truancy laws. It is not a government conspiracy.

        Were none of you ever told as a child that you have to go to school by LAW?

      2. iamdan says:

        hey OhioGirl82, you think this is “Another govt Bureaucracy failure.” ??? you seem to toot your own horn a bit but why is this the Govt Failure. it’s the Failure of the Parent. She Failed to notify the school with a note, She failed as a parent by not going to the teachers for the work her kids missed while on vacation. I bet when they returned, the whole class had to suffer while the teacher had to take extra time to catch these kids up to get current. Everything is not the Govt fault. When kids fail, 99% of the time its the Parents fault for not getting involved. But the Govt continues to Place Blame on just about everything but the Parents. Journalist dont call out bad parenting. Community Organizers say they need more programs. Bad Parents are never held accountable..

      3. OhioGirl82 says:


        You state, “She failed as a parent by not going to the teachers for the work her kids missed while on vacation. I bet when they returned, the whole class had to suffer while the teacher had to take extra time to catch these kids up to get current.”

        We used to call that creative writing when I was in school. Nowhere in the article does it state that the kids did not make up work. The kids are in kindergarten and first grade.

        When a one-size-fits-all rule is applied across the board to all students in a state, regardless of age or ability, it is govt bureaucracy. When the outcome of that blind bureaucracy is a fine and threat of jail, regardless of the actual damage or results, it is a govt failure.

        As far as tooting my own horn…. odd comment. The fact is I have received truancy letters for taking my straight-A students on trips with me, regardless of sending notes or not. Would my post be more palatable if I did not mention that my kids receive straight A’s? Given the assumption that missed school is synonymous with poor performance, their grades are relevant. Or perhaps you’d rather not hear about our travels? Again, the fact that there are educational opportunities outside the four wall of a school building is relevant to this discussion. It’s unfortunate you are threatened by success.

      4. michael says:

        In college some professors take attendance and some do not. You are responsible for the course material but many students can simply learn the material without going to every class. Many schools also have online video lectures so that you can just watch the lecture if you miss a class. You could also just watch the lecture from a similar class at the same school or another.

        Travel is a valid form of education.

        Learning can take place anywhere and at any time. It is not limited to the classroom.

      5. specfriggintacular says:

        iamdan? Where in this article does it say she failed to get the missed work? Maybe there is a link to another article I am missing? How do you know the teacher had to take extra time to catch the kids up? Out of curiosity-if the kids fail why should it not be the school/teachers fault? I mean, the government knows whats best for the kids better than the parents do-right? Clearly that appears to be the case and getting worse with each passing year. Teachers are paid to teach……this is what they should be doing and ENSURING the kids are learning the material. it is their JOB!

    9. MT says:

      Yes, you actually have to get a vacation approved beforehand by the school.

    10. Warhawk says:

      Thank you…Thank you… Thank you. She obviously do not believe in “personal responsibility”. It is also glaringly (and sadly) obvious that the majority of the readers here do not as well. She wants to blame the school when it was her own inaction and irresponsibility that landed her in jail. Take 30 seconds and write a stinking note. Lazy mother.

      1. JD says:

        It ceased to be an unexcussed absence as soon as the mother stated the children were with her. I don’t understand why the fine was imposed or who determines she has done wrong. If they stated a note is required, pull a post it note off the administrator’s desk and write “my child was sick.” Followed up by a F/O “parents’ signature”

      2. Sandy says:

        You’re assuming that the school would excuse the absences if she sent a note. Perhaps you are right, because the mother did make an excuse that she couldn’t remember to write the notes; pretty lame excuse at that. It’s possible she is a lazy mother; however there are no facts reported which prove this judgment to be correct. Finally, I disagree that “the majority of the readers here do not” believe in personal responsibility. In fact, almost all comments DO support personal responsibility; however, several comments point out that education is not limited to public school classrooms; that many absences are unexcused despite efforts by parents to notify schools; that in some cases it’s best for everyone that a child remain away from school; and that readers should not judge other humans based on one article, which may or may not have been written in a fair and balanced manner. For instance, the article does not state what the school will accept in order to excuse an absence.

    11. Mary Gallant says:

      Can you imagine the confusion in a school that did not have rules about the attendance of their students if they had to depend on parents like this one to try and educate their children. Totally impossible. I so agree with you! That’s why the have a Student Handbook.

      1. michael says:

        My high-school had open campus. You could come and go as you pleased. It was supposed to simulate the college environment. Learning can happen at the beach, in the mountains, on a lake or on the subway.

        Confusion in a school?

        What’s the purpose of a school? To educate? Or to ensure it’s own order?

    12. Abe Noxious says:

      none here either! Well said!

    13. Tiger says:

      Since when do you get to take your kids on vacation any time you want. The schools provide enough time off for parents to take vacations without having a kid miss school time.

    14. Paula Bosco Szum says:

      I agree – I have three kids as well – that is why there is such a thing as a calendar!! I left a post as well – feel free to reply!

    15. RM says:

      apparently empathy is in short supply….the idea that the state a) is involved in the “education” system to the extent they are is disgraceful based upon the results provided. You may comply if you want with the increasingly outrageous color of law efforts on the part of the failed State to help themselves to people’s money and time while pretending to enforce rules and laws for what will alegedly be better scores, etc all you like. For me it smells to high heaven of nanny state beligerants parading about with the authority of governement enterprises who are nothing more than bullies and losers with their hands on people’s money and boots on the people’s necks.

    16. JJV says:

      Perfect. She’s a loser. She’s teaching her kids to be losers.

    17. Ellen says:

      It’s lame that she didn’t write a note, I agree. But schools do not consider vacation a valid reason. I disagree. We take our kids out of school every year to visit relatives in Europe-or even to go to Hawaii. These are the only times my husband can go. However, our kids are way ahead of their grade level. I spend a time teaching my kids math, history, languages, etc. on top of their regular school work. They have no absences for illness, because they are very healthy. Does taking them out make me a bad parent? I don’t think so. But it does cost the school money, which I feel bad about, but….not that bad.

    18. specfriggintacular says:

      She should have asked for permission from the government run schools to take her kids on vacation? Really? She should go to jail with hardened criminals because she did not write excuses and therefore she was fined and could not pay? How about we jail all of the government employees who steal office supplies, steal tak payers money when they sit on their butts and dont do squat all day; jail Charlie Rangle for what we would be put in jail for; etc…etc…etc…

      1. Janice says:

        don’t you have 3 summer months to take your kids on vacation?

      2. jd says:

        I think adminstrators need to take a hard look at the social contract and services they provide. This is complete over reaction and a way to add fines. They try justify it by having to pay a trauncy officer to go to the house. I don’t even know why they have truancy officers. Too many unions, too much government oversight, causing added cost. Want to do something good for society, create a private business and don’t rely on the government for nonsense rules.

    19. tom smithwick says:

      She doesn’t pay the fine for keeping her kids away from school…her family, her choice and then silly state makes it everyone’s expense by paying for legal hoopla to get warrant issued, and sheriff to pick up, and running her through incarceration process…way to go government, keep on those folks avoiding the ‘education’ you fund by stealing. No empathy? Force is wrong, and no individual has the right to imprison another individual for not complying with a request Please reevaluate your stance, as we are all threatend by an ever exanding body of ambigious laws in which enforcement is unrealistic, and becomes discretionary by enforcers. That is dangerous. Thanks, and be well.

    20. Michael says:

      Who is the parent? She can do what she wants. These people work for us. Is this Europe?

    21. Willis says:

      Oh no I made a spelling mistake. I bet Sean has never made a spelling mistake. Hey Sean maybe we could get cps to take her kids away. Or maybe the whole country could make fun of the woman for not having enough money to pay the fine. She obviously deserves public ridicule. Lets all work hard to keep each other in line and make sure we submit and obey. Go back to sleep America your goverment is in control.

    22. Mike Klinge says:

      Why should anyone have to ask any government agency for permission to do anything with their own children? Nobody especially the government has that right. You are correct that she did not show up for court ar pay her fines but it should have not gone any furtther than maybe the school asking for explanations of why the days were missed and why excuses were not written and then maybe a warning to the parents about anymore unexcused days. This wasn’t about a child missing days, it was about control and generating revenue for the state in the form of fines.

    23. Lisa says:

      I bet she’ll pay more attention to the rules now. Way to state the facts I wish more people like you can see thru this interview.

    24. gili4 says:

      Ask Permission?!!!! What on earth are you talking about?!! Since when do we have to ask permission to do anything with our children? And since when does the government have any authority over a parent’s decision about sending their child to school? Seems the government has taken way too many stepts that are completely illegal and totally socialistic! Isn’t it time we start taking away this supposed power the government thinks it has?

    25. Fred says:

      I agree with Bob. Thank you!

    26. Jim Thompson says:

      Whose rules? Yours? “The schools? Are you serious or were you joking? Why do you suppose so many people pull their kids out of public schools? It’s not the “States” business if I decide to keep my child from “their” schools.

    27. Conservbro says:

      Did you say that she could’ve just asked for permission? Are you serious? Do you ask your nanny if it’s ok to have milk and cookies? You actually feel that a parent should have to request persmission to remove his or her child from school for any reason? It’s really sad that we have been dumbed down to total submission to the state. GOD HELP US.

      1. biglakekelly says:

        I am not the original poster… but perhaps notifying the school is a better way to phrase it. I have had my kids miss school due to travel plans, I did my best to do it over a 4 day weekend, but they still missed 2 days of school. I notified the school ahead of time, got the HW that woudl be missed, kids did it on the plane, went back to school, all was well. It just does not seem all that hard to plan ahead a little bit and realize that the teachers are not babysitters, but are professionals who deserve the courtesy of a “heads up” when the students wont be there.

    28. michael says:


      Her kids are A students and academic stars at their school.

      1. lala says:

        Willis – it looks like you missed a few too many days of school.

    29. John Galt says:

      Are you stupid are simply on crack? This is why the public school system is a joke- taxpayer funded SCHOOLS have no authority over the parents, and you’re apparently one of the many fools who believe a nanny-state is perfectly fine. You should be outraged, and the fact that you’re blaming the mother for “not following the rules” is sickening. Where in the Constitution does it say that the school has any authority over the mother, or the children for that matter?

    30. MAKE MY DAY says:

      @just stating the facts….”BINGO”!!!!! Irresponsible parent – Case closed!!

    31. Jared says:

      Please. Since when are are people responsible to the schools they hire and pay for about their kids’ attendance? Get real. Things are so upside down it’s not funny. Remember, we the people are the masters and not the other way around. I’d love you go try to tell some of the earlier citizens of this country that some day they’d be called onto the carpet for making their own choices about what’s best for them. They’d laugh at you.

      ..And because we’ve got such a sad state of affairs the law does get involved. This is where she made the mistake. She should have just showed up I guess. Not that she should ever had had to make that choice. But if nothing ever happens to change the system we’ll all go on our merry way ever losing our freedoms in the name of some ‘better’ idea, money, opinion or some other ridiculous concept people will buy. Bring back (self) responsibility, bring back (self) judgement, bring back natural consequences and natural incentives!

    32. ryan treviino says:

      I agree with you… but think about this… she went to jail because she failed to appear. Isn’t that like, I don’t know, being truant to school? Kid had no excuse, so she got in trouble,. She had no excuse, so she got in trouble. Could have “done her homework” by sending in her fine, but she got “detension” instead. Anyone else got some more jokes? Kid can look forward to jail time for himself when he has kids cuz that family doesn’t learn a thing.

    33. fingered says:

      Just stating the facts- Another sheep welcoming the nanny state.

    34. Jason Quinn says:

      “It seems like she likes to do things her own way (not asking for permission”

      are you kidding me?? so now we have to ask for permission from the almighty Government on what we do with our own kids?

      this is why i feel like i’ve never left school, because i’m surrounded by a bunch of nagging little tattle tales who can’t do anything but apologize for “authority.”

    35. Philip B Kirschner says:

      You are failing to miss the point? A parent has ultimate authority over thier children. That includes her right to take a child away. As for fines, the state has no authority to level these fines for keeping a child out. Do you know many parents, who chose to homeschool thier children have become targets of the state and ulimtately the federal government. Where in the constitution does the it say, ” the federal government can dictate local education” or homeschooling is illegal. Enough is enough, stop being so facist.

      1. michael says:

        In 1922, Oregon moved to outlaw parochial schools which prompted the case of Pierce vs Society of Sisters. The case went to the Supreme Court and it was over the State’s interest in the education of children. Oregon argued that the state had an interest in educating children and that it should control that education. Society of Sisters argued that the state had an interest in the education of children but that it didn’t mean that parents couldn’t choose a school to provide that education. Oregon lost which means that parents can choose between public, private and home schools today. Tomorrow we may have pure online schools. So we have SCOTUS case law that says that the State has an interest in the education of the children.

        The right to homeschool today is generally accepted. There is a constant tug of war in the legislative arena and it is up to homeschoolers to defend their rights through lobbying their legislators to influence their votes, campaign against legislators that are unfriendly or run for office.

    36. Me says:

      Homeschool! Get away from the insanity of bullies, bad teachers supported by immoral teacher unions, learning not happening, lowest common denominator education, bussing, second job blues, BTW figure out how much you net from that second income…surprise, surprise! Instead, why not help your children grow?

    37. I P Freely says:

      Why in the world should a mother have to ask for permission to make decisions that are a parent’s perogative?

    38. Egomet says:

      Stating — You’re an true-blue imbecile.

    39. Annie says:

      they are HER children. They do not belong to the state, or the school district.

    40. Biglakekelly says:

      agree completely. I have nine kids 6 of which are still under 18. Not hard at all to email the teachers and let them know when my kids are sick, or out for appts or whatnot. She went to jail because she refused to show up for court and pay her fines, her problem. Of course she is old enough to have been raised on “Jerry Springer” so of course it is not her fault @@ I am glad she is going to jail for being lazy and neglectful of her parenting duties.

    41. BDCANES says:

      Lets make it easy…just have the government take our kids from birth and do what they will with them…after a few tests they could be put in military, agricultural, industrial or even math or science services..or if they test well they could end up in public service. Har har

    42. bill okeefe says:

      She should be executed by lethal injection…its the american way

    43. Lee says:

      So she broke the school’s rules? What other minor bureaucrats can tell ordinary people what to do?

    44. Ned Carter says:

      Damn that woman for being so Selfish that she can’t miss work, or afford to pay a stupid fine because her children weren’t at school x numbers of days out of y days. How dare she not do exactly as she is told by some faceless bureaucracy. How dare she then tell anyone about being put in jail when she didn’t pay a fine. WHAT is this world coming too? Lets lock them up that’ll teach those kids, who are now alone at home with no food, or way to go to school. Over a 200 dollar fine? Stupid Laws and Stupid Judges, doesn’t mean that you should do everything that you are told.

    45. Lets be responsible says:

      Truly! How hard is it to write a note? Her inaction lead to all of this.

      If you choose to enroll your kids in ANY school, you are choosing to place yourself under their rules.

    46. mshope says:

      Do you have KIDS? It happens and for you to say parents need permission to take their kids on vaca from the school?????? Can you say NANNY STATE. Now I do agree, if there is a fine (stupid) she HAS to pay it. This is why sooooo many parents are home schooling. AND I’M A TEACHER

    47. Felix Schmieder says:

      Amazing the amount of people who say “Oh well, that’s the rules.” The state doesn’t own her kids and a $200 fine for 9 days? Are you kidding me?

      Ridiculous how many people say “But the rules are…” guess what, if the rules make no sense or infringe upon our rights, we have no duty to follow them. A rule that she must communicate with school to keep them updated on her kids at all times definitely falls into a category of doesn’t make any sense, especially over 9 freaking days

      1. Dave says:

        Felix, we may not like it but rules and laws exist. Whether we agree with them or not doesn’t matter, we still have to follow them. If the rules don’t make sense to you, work to change them. Until they get changed, you are required to follow them.

    48. Tim says:

      I have no reason to comment now other than to thank you for writing everything I wanted to say days before I did. This is a great response to this article and there’s not one thing in your comment that I disagree with.

    49. tutor says:

      ur right, this is neglect, its educational neglect, if your child is not going to be in school, take 2 minutes and write a note so the school knows to get work together to keep ur child educated while ur off on vacation. Its not difficult, ur just a lazy mom for caring more about a vacation then ur childs education. Im a single mom and I have 5 kids because I adopted 3 foster children and I take the time to write notes for all of my kids when they are sick and I dont take vacations when they are required to be in school, you have all summer for that.

    50. Becky Beasley says:

      I was jailed for my daughter not and I even called a truant officer myself, who came to my home and talked to her and then told me he wasn’t going wasn’t going to make her go because it was the last day of school. We drug her to school several times, kicking and screaming because she was being bullied. The school was no help and they wouldn’t do anything to make her stay. Government run public schools don’t give an iota about what parents go through. And single parents have it even worse. I finally decided to home-school my kids and got them out of public school. That was the best thing I ever did.

  2. Katb says:

    How hard is it to write an excuse though? Seriously? It’s not rocket science.

    1. Lisa R says:

      lol that’s what I was thinking

      1. OhioGirl82 says:

        Actually, I find it hard to remember.

        My kid is sick one day. I take care of him. The next day we’re back in our normal routine of packing lunches and sending him out the door with his brother. In the midst of the morning chaos I usually don’t remember, “Oh, he was sick yesterday, I need to send a note.”

        The school doesn’t ask you for a note — they expect you to remember it on your own on the next day — not a week later. You say it’s not rocket science — true — I am a rocket scientist (honest) — I can do rocket science, but following school’s rules is much harder for me.

    2. GiveHerABreak! says:

      It’s not that it’s “hard”. Didn’t the article say she had 3 kids? I’m sorry, but, being a mother of 3 myself, we tend to “forget” stuff sometimes. So sue us! Geeeezzzz!!

      1. Campbell says:

        How ’bout we just throw you in jail?

      2. Notes are too hard says:

        Are you kidding me? Don’t be so lazy. Lots of families have 3+ kids. If you do, you have been through this school process at least 3 times, you should know this. Write the darn note and try being a parent. You made the family.

      3. Dan says:

        She couldn’t remember for any of those days? And then the subsequent notices from the school and the magistrate? Not once could she respond? These situations don’t happen in an hour, there are several notices sent to your home that you need to respond to so you’re not fined or sent to jail. This isn’t difficult. My 3rd grader has done her own for me to sign. Really if a 3rd graders can do it…

      4. specfriggintacular says:

        Dan—I have sent my son with his notes and where did they end up? Only after being notified by the school that it was not turned in did I learn “he forget to give it to the office”. Too late-it is now an UNexcused abscence and he had done this 2 others times during the same school year. Another issue to ponder when you criticize others parenting.

      5. michael says:

        I find that knowing the management chain helps in dealing with bureaucracies. The school district management chain is usually something like:

        teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent, school board, voters

        I work with a school board member and used to work with the spouse of another school board member. I also work with someone on the town council. Having political connections can make your passage a little smoother when dealing with the school district.

        The town that this took place in has a pretty low median household income so I’d guess that most people are struggling there. Dropping a $200 fine on someone without means (my assumption of course) isn’t demonstrating social justice.

      6. biglakekelly says:

        Email is awesome 🙂 I just email the teachers when my kids are going to miss for whatever reason. Teachers appreciate it, I can usually arrange through email to have HW picked up by sibling, it is an awesome tool, you should try it sometime 🙂

    3. John Galt says:

      She shouldn’t have to “write an excuse” to prevent herself from going to jail when she chooses not to have her child go to school on said day. Again, I’ll ask, are you on crack, Katb? The parent has absolute authority over that child, not the school.

  3. James says:

    This is kind of sad. Back in 1983, I missed 180 days of school from Carrick High School. Seems like nobody cared, they just failed me. The next year, I quit, and left Pittsburgh for the military. Best decision of my life though many of the instructors, and the Principal in particular told me it was a mistake and the Principal said “You’ll never amount to anything.” I served honorably and am now retired, and happily married off of a 10th grade education. Good luck to the family.

    1. Brad says:

      What does that have to do with anything? I mean we appreciate you serving, but why are you talking about your experience in 1983?

      1. carlahoag says:

        He was pointing how how things have changed?

        Why the irritability?

      2. Will says:


        You can’t figure that out?

      3. proudnot2bliberal says:

        carl thats the point ! Time have changed and while I find it a bit susspicos that no one sadi anything after he missed a whole school year I cna remember back to the late 60’s early 70’s when the family came down with the asian flu & the truant officer visiting the house.

      4. iamdan says:

        well there is not much Honorable Actions on how this lady is raising her kids. She teaches them to Make Excuses and Blame others. All she had to do was write a note. she didn’t and she got a fine, all she had to do was pay the fine, She didn’t and went to jail. All she had to do was accept it as her fault. She didn’t and now blames everyone else.

      5. chris says:

        People do get very buisy with important matters of survival (e.g. paying rent, electric, gas, telephone, internet, buying food, etc.) and sometimes forget petty matters like writing a note to the government school. The school could have at least made a courtesy call to her before issuing a fine, that she may not be able to afford to pay. How can anyone judge this lady and critisize her parenting skills when the only thing they know about her is what they read in one news article.

    2. carlahoag says:

      Thanks, James, something similar happened with our son, an Afghanistan war veteran.

      1. Cora says:

        Everyone knows that the public school system is awful and that hardly any of their “rules” make any sense to start with. Having to write a note for absences is ridiculous and getting fined for it is even more ridiculous. It’s none of the schools business where her children were or why they were absent. I’m glad I’m fortunate enough to send my kids to a private school where I don’t have to deal with this garbage. BTW. Why would I ask the school for permission for anything? I pay their salaries with my tax dollar and they should be asking me what they should be doing. Newsflash -did somebody forget along the way who is really in charge of my kids? Just in case they did, it’s me not the school. This woman is made out to be the bad guy because she didn’t have time to follow a rule that has zero merit to begin with. So unjust.

      2. michael says:

        There are lots of homeschoolers that do dual-enrollment at the high-school or even the middle-school level. Logistics can be very difficult. The colleges and universities that our kids attended dual-enrollment were 30 to 40 minutes away. We eventually got an additional residence to make the logistics easier.

    3. John N. says:


      Congrats for your own self-reliance. I wasted 3-1/2 years in High School which would have been much better spent playing tiddly-winks for all I learned. Still, Rice University wasn’t going to accept me without a H.S. Diploma. Said thing is, I had no idea how to study when it counted.

      For all you rule abiding citizens (I mean no disrespect, at all), consider that public schools are really just jails we go home from at the end of the day. If you really don’t want to be there, you shouldn’t be. It is most often a bad career choice, but as James indicates, not necessarily so. The truancy laws may be well intended, but not if the intent is to punish a mother whose child misses a few days. It’s all about the money.

      1. iamdan says:

        Hey John, she didnt go to jail because her child missed school. She went to jail because she didnt pay her fine. If you wasted 3 1/2 years in High School, then I would say you were like this womans kids. You had parents that thought school was a free baby sitter. Sorry your folks didn’t care but we need to get out of this rut. We need to hold parents accountable to be involved with their kids education. I hope if you have kids, you make it a priority to work with them with their school work and not be so concerned with your vacation.

      2. michael says:

        Both of our kids don’t have high-school diplomas but one is in grad school and the other is in college now. I could just print up a diploma if they really needed one but all it is is a piece of paper that may or may not represent what they know and what they can do.

        I didn’t learn much in high-school either. But I spent summers and afternoons studying topics of interest on my own. I bought books at the MIT and Harvard coop and studied them on my own and spent time in the Barker Engineering Library reading magazines and sometimes research papers. Kids can often learn best when a subject intensely interests them. An observant parent can parley a strong interest in learning one thing to other areas.

      3. John N. says:


        I wasn’t that my parents didn’t care, they pulled me from private school which had become a bad and expensive joke for segregation and put me into a Louisiana public school, which taught me absolutely nothing (I had already mastered all the Math and Chemistry that pitiful school would teach. There was no Calculus or Physics).

        My kids are at Drexel and Pepperdine today. Education is VERY important to me, I spare no expense and from my tax bill, neither does my government. Yet the average graduating SAT from the Houston Independant School District of some 200,000 souls is 900.

        I understand that this woman ran afoul of the law. In this case, the law is an ass.


        Please explain what credentials the colleges or universities your children attended were accepted.

      4. michael says:

        Dual-enrollment credits.

      5. John N. says:


        Bravo! Only available here if you wanted to go to a local college. Not a bad option, but not universally applicable. Still, no sense in wasting the opportunity. I does beg the question of when H.S. ends and college begins though, doesn’t it?

  4. john rateiten says:

    forget to pay your car bill for nine months too while your at it… she needs to get more organized… she obviously sucks at parenting… i feel bad for the kids… she probably forgets to FEED them….

    1. anne says:

      you try being a single mom and see what you forget to do. Writing an excuse after she probably already called the school to inform them of her child’s absence may seem like a small thing to her. If you don’t know or understand, then you shouldn’t reply…

      1. Darrel says:

        And not attending court hearings? And not paying imposed fines? What other excuses do you have for the inept bimbo?

      2. Donna says:

        I am a single mom, have been for over 18 years. You don’t forget your responsibilities. Fine, maybe once. But this seems to be a recurring event for her. Sounds more like she hoped if she ignored everything it would all go away. It didn’t and it doesn’t. You choose to be a parent. ACCEPT the responsibility. Don’t make excuses for being a single parent .

      3. Really?!?!?! says:

        Try being a single mother of four kids……I do it everyday and I have never once forgot to write an excuse. Really? Why are the kids not saying” Hey mom, don’t forget I still need an excuse!” Oh that’s right because they were thought to be irresponsible as well!
        The real stoy is that she IGNORED a court order, once again acting irresponsible. Come on parents….grow up before your kids do!!!!!!!

      4. Abe Noxious says:

        Being a single mom doesn’t figure into this. She took her three kids on vacation for a week. If she was paying for the kids tuition she wouldn’t be so forgetful and probably wouldn’t take them out of school for a week. she’s taking advantage of a “free” education system and lying about what the consequence is for.
        The REASON she went to jail was because she didn’t pay her fine for 4 months.

      5. McSorley says:

        John’s wife does it for him while he is down at the bar drinking brews with his pals.

      6. John Galt says:

        John, are you stupid are simply on crack? This is why the public school system is a joke- taxpayer funded SCHOOLS have no authority over the parents, and you’re apparently one of the many fools who believe a nanny-state is perfectly fine. You should be outraged, and the fact that you’re blaming the mother for “not following the rules” is sickening. Where in the Constitution does it say that the school has any authority over the mother, or the children for that matter?

  5. ben settle says:

    get real john, i t sounds like you might work for cps…if you was a parent you would say its difficult at times too…decisions made arent always that easy and i feel that if she was a bad parent tghey would not be in the home…my sons school has got to the point that they cant miss over 5 days a yr and the 5 days have to excused by a dr and not the parents..its getting tougher in schools

  6. Lisa says:

    She should’ve went to the hearings and asked some questions. For example,
    if she would’ve taken the time to write an excuse for her vacation, the school district would’ve still said they were “unexecused” absenses. Getting an excuse from a doctor each time your child misses a day is absolutely ridiculous. Do the teachers have to provide an excuse from a doctor each time they are absent? I highly doubt it. Is the school district providing health care co-pays in order to require these excuses?
    Once upon a time, when a problem occurred with a student, the school handled it. Now, the slightest little problem goes to the magistrate. Where does that fine money go? To the benefit of the students? Or is it going to pay more bureaucrats to enforce their Gestapo effect?

    1. PGH Public School Mom says:

      No, You DO NOT need a Dr.’s excuse everytime you miss school. The Parent needs to write an excuse stating that the child was sick. It needs to be turned in within 3 days after the absent. Come on, Is it really that hard??????

      1. FixPGH says:

        I remember my mom use to call the school if I stayed home sick, like a work call-off, that was enough for them. If it was an extended illness THEN I would need a doctor’s excuse. How hard is that? Not very, actually. The woman in this story is just a lazy parent. They’re a dime a dozen these days.

      2. Down with Big Government says:

        You’re missing the point…..

        So a parent forgets to write a note, the kid forgets to turn it in, or the school loses the note. You are ok with having to pay a fine because you CAN’T write another excuse after 3 days?!!!! But the school will accept a Dr.’s note after 3 days because they are “professional” and have records?! This is essentially the school telling YOU that they don’t TRUST you or BELIEVE you and that your word is irrelevant.

        Yeah, you keep the faith in BIG GOVERNMENT, Public School Mom….lol

  7. hejira says:

    This is a perfect example of government intrusion into our personal lives. I don’t care how many days the kid misses. If He can pass the tests, let it ride. Our government has no business telling parents how to raise their children, obviously as long as they are well fed and clothed, not living in squalor or being abused, and can meet minimum requirements of the education level for their age. That’s enough. After that, the government needs to STAY THE F OUT OF IT.

    1. Tirade says:

      It’s all about the money. The school gets paid tax dollars each time a student attends school. They don’t get money when a student is absent. This is why schools have such strict attendance policies. It is NOT about education. It is about padding the pockets of the school administrator’s. Less money means less chance of a raise next year!

      1. OhioGirl82 says:


        Our school funding is based on AYP (adequate yearly progress?), which consists of attendance rates and standardized test scores. Low attendance rate hurts the school’s AYP and it’s funding. A kid can be a straight A student but our school system will automatically flunk the kid in every single class for missing 7 days in a semester. Period.

    2. hejira jihad says:

      but theyll be the first ones you gripe to when something goes wrong.

      1. FixPGH says:

        What are you talking about? Are you two the types of people that believe everything on the internet and think the holocaust never happened? What is wrong with you? Paranoid much?

        States require students to spend x amount of time in school. NO child, especially young ones, would be able to pass tests if they never learned the material. You miss a lot when you miss one day. I hope you don’t have kids because they are probably stupid. This isn’t a huge government controlled operation meant to rule your lives and steal your money – it’s about being able to function in society and make something of yourself someday. So they need to go to school. What are they doing if they don’t go to school, reading up voluntarily on the material? Doubt it.

        Get a life, psychos.

      2. chris says:

        In the past, our family used to travel a lot out of the country so my oldest daughter that was in public school had many unexcused absences one year. That year the school said they would fail her if she missed one mode day of school, even though she was an “A” (honor roll) student. We had to leave our daughter home with close friends of the family for the rest of the school year when we went out of town. That does not make sense. Attendance does not always equal performance.

  8. penny for thoughts says:

    It certainly makes home schooling more and more attractive. Districts are more concerned with “testing scores” than actually educating students. And of course, as mentioned above, the tax $$ they get over the well being of the student. I also despise writing an exuse – I hate paperwork. Nowadays there should be an email option for this.

    1. Hah says:

      Some schools do have an email option. Just depends on the school. Most schools in Pittsburgh probably don’t even have computers since no kids in the city go to school because the parents don’t care.

  9. the real issue says:

    The headline to the story was completely false and misleading. This mother was not jailed because of her son’s lack of school.attendance. She was jailed for her own irresponsibility. She was issued a court hearing and a fine, both of which she completely disregarded. This mother thinks she is above rules, and laws do not pertain to her. If you miss a court hearing or fail to pay fines, there will be a warrant issued for you! No matter what the offense.

    1. OhioGirl82 says:

      You don’t get it, do you?

      Yes, she missed the court hearing, but the point of contention is whether the school and court system has the right to issue a fine and require a hearing because she took her kids on vacation.

      Analogy. Under the new healthcare law we could all be required to exercise so many hours a day to reduce obesity. If you don’t properly record your exercise, you could be fined and summoned for a court hearing. Would you attend? Is it really the govt’s job to force you to exercise and fine you if you don’t? Encouraging exercise is one thing. Forcing it is another. Encouraging note writing is one thing. Forcing it is another.

      1. Abe Noxious says:

        Taking her kids on vacation had nothing to do with it. Not informing the school was the problem.
        Best way to improve her memory is to let her pay tuition for her 3 kids. If she was paying for education, it would have more value to her.

    2. chris says:

      Maybe she missed a court hearing becuase she could not afford to take the time off of work, or could not afford to lose her job. Maybe she did not pay the fine because she did not have enough money left over after paying for rent, food, etc. The article said a friend paid the fine for her, allowing her to get out of jail. Let’s hope you never find yourself in financial survival mode.

      1. the real issue says:

        Time off from work? Money for food and rent? Are you kidding me! She took her kid on vacation to New York! Yeah, that sure sounds like she is in financial survival mode.

  10. Dan says:

    Wow, I’m surprised at some of the comments left here regarding this story. Statistics show that children do better and achieve when they consistently attend school on a regular basis. How hard is to write an excuse for your child? Is it that difficult to have your out of town trip approved by the schooll? I feel sorry for this child.

    The school and the district magistrate are upholding the laws. If you don’t agree with the law, then work to change it. Don’t ignore truancy papers or hearing notices. These officials are doing their job, too bad this mother can’t say the same thing.

    1. Pgh Public School Mom says:

      Right on Dan!!!! You hit the nail on the Head!!!! These peope only pay attention to what they want not what the story is truely about. Maybe they missed too much school growing up because they can’t comprehend the main issue of the story.

      1. the real issue says:

        Someone finally gets it!! Koodos to you Dan!

  11. swin says:

    I’m a retired teacher. I can’t tell you how many times I stayed after school getting students caught up because their parents took them on a vacation. What a lesson these parents taught their kids – play time was more important than school time. And we wonder why our country has lost its competitive edge with the world. This mother is probably the first to complain about the rotten job her kid’s teachers are doing, not realizing that she has a responsibility to meet as a parent and the teacher can’t do much if this responsibility is not met. And by the way, Pennsylvania school code lists only 3 reasons for excusing an absence, impassable roads, religious holiday, or illness. She broke the law, short and simple. I applaud Mt. Pleasant school district for their strict enforcement of their attendance rules – I wish my school district had been this conscientious and our local magistrates so strict.

    1. OhioGirl82 says:

      “Pennsylvania school code lists only 3 reasons for excusing an absence, impassable roads, religious holiday, or illness.”

      Educational opportunities outside the four walls of the school are forbidden. Just dandy. Yet you “wonder why our country has lost its competitive edge with the world.”

      You apply the one-size-fits-all mentality to teaching.

      For the record, we have received truancy letters for our kids. We called each time but the absences were unexcused. The kids get straight A’s and have never required a teacher stay after school to get them caught up. The kids benefited tremendously from attending an international science fair, more than they benefit from being in the classroom another day, but in this one-size-fits-all world of govt schools, we “broke the law, short and simple.”

      Govt failure!

      1. Dan says:

        The government has nothing to do with this mother’s irresponsibility. Peddle that somewhere else.

      2. OhioGirl82 says:

        Dan — you say the govt has nothing to do with this.

        You believe a one-size-fits-all approach that does not consider a student’s age or performance, and that determines educational opportunities outside the four walls of the school on a school day are against the law is reasonable. Wow.

        You are a blind sheep and will get what you deserve. My fear is that the number of blind sheep like you will surpass the number of us logical, alert people and that the rest of us will also get stuck with the seeds that you have sown.

        I bet you love the new health care reform law.

      3. Dan says:

        OhioGirl82 —

        This isn’t a conspiracy. Here is Pennsylvania you have to send your child to school it is the LAW. If you break the LAW you face the consequences. I don’t understand you one-size-fits-all concept here. Do you say to a police officer “sorry officer, I saw the speed limit sign, but really I’m driving a sports car, so I have to drive over the speed limit. No ticket for me. This is against my liberty.”? Really?

    2. Dr. Campbell says:

      swin, I mean Swine. I am sure you applaud jailing a parent for taking their kid out of school. We must all bow down to the almighty government. I am sure you were a member of the teachers union. You sing the tired old song of, the students are failing and it is always the parents fault. I can’t wait until we get school choice. Then rotten teachers like you will be forced to do a good job and prepare the leaders of tomorrow by actually educating them or guess what? You would lose your job or the under performing school would be shut down because the students would go elsewhere and take their money with them. Enjoy your fat retirement paid for by the tax payers who got a shoddy education for their children in return.

  12. BUSY MOM says:

    I agree. I have seven kids. It is a shame to go to jail HOWEVER write an excuse!!!!!!! i have over twice as many kids as her ages 17, 15, 11, 10, 7, 6, and 5 as you can see they are all school age, what kids of bologna is this. You know the rules, abide by them. From A REALLY BUSY SINGLE MOM WHO ALSO WORKS AND GOES TO SCHOOL ALONE!!!!!!!! IMAGINE THAT………..AND TWO OF MY KIDS I HOME SCHOOL AND THE RULES ARE THE SAME, SO FOR ALL MOMS WHO THINK THAT IT IS THE ANSWER, YOUR WRONG

    1. HerewegoPittsburgh says:

      I like your comment but if you are going to home school your kids you really need to learn the difference between your and you’re. Our society has gone downhill fast with regard to spelling and grammar.

      1. Dr. Campbell says:

        Herewego Who made you the grammar police? Should we all make fun of your lack of originality and vocabulary?

    2. OhioGirl82 says:

      Are you homeschooling them in grammar, too? Aye-yi-yi!!!!

  13. dog says:

    maybe we should just take her to the town square and stone her.

  14. Brian (Mount Pleasant) says:

    Clearly this ladies getting drunk the night before at the local bar and not waking up to get her kids off to school had nothing to do with it either huh …

  15. Brian (Mount Pleasant) says:


  16. dog says:

    hey busy mom, i’m wondering did you miss health class the days they were explaining birth control?

    1. FixPGH says:

      Guys that are jumping on Busy Mom, come on, you don’t know her story. She could have had all the kids with a guy and gotten a divorce! Did you ever think of that? God the city is full of the most judgemental pricks ever.

    2. Lisa R says:

      yep , you are a dog

  17. Smash Crasher says:

    You have got to be kidding me. She didn’t pay $200 so she goes to jail? How about the many deadbeat Democrats that didn’t pay their taxes who are now holding high-level cabinet jobs in the obama administration? Geithner? What about Rangel? Kerry? How about the 100s of workers on Capitol Hill that owe millions in back taxes?

    1. brian says:

      How about what your saying has nothing to do with this topic moron ! I guess you missed quite a few days of school too. Being behind back taxes and not showing up for court are two different thing and a completely different process .

    2. FixPGH says:

      Yeah Smash and I’m sure ALLLL the Repubes paid all their taxes…moron.

  18. ANN says:


    1. Brian says:

      LET ALL TALK IN CAPS LIKE ANN HERE. When talking politics in this county the number one topic that always comes up is education , yet nobody want to send there kids to school . Missing multiple days off school is a giant setback for your child . It hard to catch up and keep learning whats being taught when they return back to school . THUS LOSING MONEY BECAUSE THE TEACHES HAS TO TAKE EXTRA TIME OUT TO HELP THAT STUDENT CATCH UP !!!

    2. Brad says:


      Why are you yelling at us! This is not about the kids missing school. It’s about the mom who wrote the excuses for the child in all caps and the principal and school board thought she was yelling at them and isn’t accept them. So they jailed her. What’s next ? Is she going to log onto a popular website comment blog and type all in caps? Shame on her.

    3. Agree says:

      Exactly. The point of whether or not this mother is a responsible parent is a side note to the bigger story of government intruding into our lives due to school funding. The fact that the mother told the school and judge that they were on vacation should’ve been good enough. Is it now the responsibility of the parent to provide proof to the state that the child is in the care of the parent on an “hourly” basis? The government has crossed the line!

      1. ANN says:

        AMEN !!! WELL SAID !!

      2. C.Ryan says:

        OK, We all agree the government crossed the line. The question is, what are you going to do about it? Nothing. You’re going to keep pretending that your vote matters and you’re going to keep bending over and taking it. Otherwise, you’re a nutjob. Or a terrorist. Nobody wants to be labeled. Just saying.

  19. Christine Lutz says:

    actually no it isnt a waste of tax dollars….. if u read the story she really didnt go to jail for her poor parenting skills…. she went because she ignored the court date and she ignored her fines…. when u choose not to pay court costs and go to court when your suppose to then u choose the consequences that r handed down…. this time….. jail time…. she brought it on herself!

    1. anne says:

      My husband is military, and like this year, he isn’t always around during the summer. We often go on vacation during the year to visit family, and my son completes all his schoolwork during that period. The fact that she had to pay $200 in the first place is ridiculous. I would have fought it. This should have been handled under the school board and should not have any weight in the court system. That is crazy.

      1. Christine says:

        I am a military spouse-big difference here in that she did not notify the school or prepare for the trip. Or provide execuses for the absences. 200 dollars is nothing, if you can’t remember to send your kids to school with a note then you need a wake up-not suspend the child- so a fine is appropriate.

    2. Chris Bove' says:

      She should have never been in court. It’s absurd that people end up in court over school absence. Then the court fines her? How does that address the absence issue? Oh it doesn’t. The school is upset because when kids are not there they get less money from the feds. The court is upset because the woman didn’t pay them money. This is not about the child or his/her education, it’s about government institutions being upset because they want more money. Even more absurd, they probably spent more money prosecuting this woman then the fines equaled. And what if she’s a single mom? The kid(s) go into the states hands causing more cost. Morons.

    3. Retired Marine says:

      The Government has become too powerful of an entity when it refuses to allow a parent to “write an excuse” for her children after 3 days (this is the law in my state). I was called in to the school after my child “supposedly” had 10 unexcused absences. I was told that I was going to have to sign a paper that outlined the consequences and normally I would have been notified after 5 unexcused absences. When I refused to sign and asked them why I hadn’t been notified earlier, per the schools policy; I was told they didn’t have the resources. I asked to speak to my son’s teacher about the whereabouts of the doctor’s excuses that he had given, and the teacher had forgotten to turn them in to the office. I informed them of my thoughts and encouraged them to take a bookkeeping course. THESE ARE THE INCOMPETENT IDIOTS THAT WANT TO TELL US HOW TO RAISE OUR CHILDREN?!

      1. johngol says:

        parents not teachers are the problem why didnt you follow up about the doctors notes earlier if you knew they were incompitant…or had your son drop off the notes where they belong in the office

      2. LOL says:

        johngol –
        You must be one of those incompitant (sic) teachers. LOL!!!

        And people wonder why our kids can’t compete on the world stage.

      3. Spanky T Smackme says:

        I agree with you 100% From my sur name you know I am also a retired Marine.

        Since when have we become a SLAVE of the stae to blindly follow RULES ? The parent should NOT be punished for the offense of the child.

        Really, it shouldnt matter how many days ANY kid missed, as long as they PASS THE TEST to show they have the knowledge for that level to advance to the next grade.

        All of you who preach BLIND OBEDIENCE and willingly GIVING UP YOUR RIGHTS need to read the constitution, and stop trying to enslave the rest of us.
        REMEMBER, we as supposed to be a country of FREEDOMS governed by law, NOT a country RULED BY LAWS THAT TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOMS AND RIGHATS.

        Get rid of the fascist liberals

      4. Spanky T Smackme says:

        I agree with you 100% From my sur name you know I am also a retired Marine.

        Since when have we become a SLAVE of the stae to blindly follow RULES ? The parent should NOT be punished for the offense of the child.

        Really, it shouldnt matter how many days ANY kid missed, as long as they PASS THE TEST to show they have the knowledge for that level to advance to the next grade.

        All of you who preach BLIND OBEDIENCE and willingly GIVING UP YOUR RIGHTS need to read the constitution, and stop trying to enslave the rest of us.
        REMEMBER, we as supposed to be a country of FREEDOMS governed by law, NOT a country RULED BY LAWS THAT TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOMS AND RIGHATS.

        Get rid of the fascist liberals

  20. Gimmeabreak says:

    Give me a break. This is where the world is going. The headline was written merely to gain your attention and it worked. The fact is the mother going to jail is because she didn’t show up to court nothing to do with her child missing school. There are so many people on here justifying and making excuses for her that it is sick. She has the time to make excuses when the camera is rolling and I’m sure she can shed a tear on cue if the camera is there. All she had to do was write an excuse that’s it. Takes five minutes. She didn’t have to go to court or jail because she took her kid on vacation. She went to jail because she was lazy and thought that all those school rules, the subpoenas and court notices just didn’t apply to her. The number of days her child missed is not the issue. The problem is that out of NINE days she never wrote one single excuse. I have four kids (all to the same mother so please don’t bash me for sleeping around aimlessly) and if kids miss school then we write an excuse. It’s not that difficult. The worse is when people know the rules, don’t follow the rules, call the media and cry about the consequences, and THEN PEOPLE COME ON HERE AND DEFEND THEM!!! Come on people not everything can be defended. She was wrong and look at the big picture, again; SHE DID NOT GO TO JAIL BECAUSE HER KID MISSED SCHOOL!!! This is the same mother that will defend her child no matter what they do and the child will never be wrong. This child will never be taught the concept behind one simple word ACCOUNTABILITY.

    1. Amy says:

      Well-stated, Gimmeabreak!

    2. Debbie says:

      Exactly. Everyone is jumping up and down because of the government intrusion in their lives. Get real. We all enjoy the benefits of our government and the services that it provides. Yes, things are not perfect but if you don’t like the laws, rules, regulations, etc. then work to change them. If a child is attending public school, that child is the responsibility of the school while in the school. They have to have rules to ensure the safety of all the children. What if the school had never questioned the child not showing up? How would the mother feel if she found out the kid hadn’t gone to school for a month and she wasn’t notified. The point of the article is NOT that the kid missed 9 days — it is that the Mother didn’t do what she was supposed to (whether you agree with the rule or not). She was given multiple chances to write an excuse, explain herself at the court hearings, pay the fine, etc. She CHOSE to ignore all of those and went to jail. People need to be accountable for their actions — we all make choices — and we all must pay for those choices. At any point during this whole situation, the Mother could have taken the action to avoid going to jail. She did not. Her choice. If you are going to be a parent then you need to take the responsibility for the children and writing excuses for a child’s absence is one of those responsibilities (again whether you agree or not). Let’s get real. This Mother is solely responsible for what happened to her. We all need to quit making excuses for irresponsibility, laziness, negligence or whatever it is.

    3. Dr. Campbell says:

      You are an idiot. A mother should not be going to court or get fined because her child missed school, PERIOD. She is the supreme authority when it comes to her children. She loves her children and wants the best for them. The school does not. All she has to do is say, I know they were out and they were with me, end of story. As long as they pass the tests and are advancing each year leave the lady alone. Would you have clapped while they took your Jewish neighbors to the concentration camp? Any reasonable person would never want someone paying a fine or going to jail for their kindergartner missing school. Why don’t we give the state all power over our children? Public school basically trains them for prison anyway. Don’t move, travel in a line everywhere. When the bell rings move to your next assignment. Any variance from the rules will be punished. Take away recess for talking. Wake up America, THIS IS NOT FREEDOM.

      1. another parent says:

        nobody said she didnt have a right to take her children on a vaca or keep them out of school-the school requires attendance/excuses for not attending for multiple reasons…would you want a child that missed school because of a contagious illness coming back when they shouldnt be or notbeing made aware of the issue…there are many issues to consider here. She knew the rules when she chose to send the kids to public shcool, she needs to obey them as we would expect her children to obey other rules set forth for them.

    4. the real issue says:

      Right on!

  21. Lanhkmar says:

    I can’t believe all you Nazis who think she’s a bad parent (“probably forgot to FEED em too!”) because she doesn’t follow ZE RULES.
    Truancy laws are a crock, unless you really do believe schools are jails we keep kids in till they’re old enough to go to college.

    1. Matthew says:

      Amen. I don’t understand why so many people are willing to fall in line and goose step when any authority tells them too.

      1. Dan says:

        It is the law here in Pennsylvania. If you receive a hearing notice from the district judge, you respond to it or you will go to jail. That is the job of the district magistrate to enforce the LAWS.

      2. Dr. Campbell says:

        Dan-The law is stupid. A parent shouldn’t be going to court for their child missing school. Just because it is a law doesn’t mean it is write and judging from your comment we can see why idiots vote for such laws.

      3. Dan says:

        So if you feel that a law is “stupid” you just disobey or ignore it? Really? Based on your lack of knowledge of the PA educational system, I’m glad you’re from out of state.

        I learned about truancy from my parents and civics teachers in school, much like I learned the difference between “write” and wrong.

  22. Joanne Crawford says:

    ‘I brought my kids on vacation’

    Take responsibility for your children. If The District filed a complaint than you had more than a enough warning and perhaps you should have reconsidered a “vacation” when your kids had a history of excessive absences.

  23. JAUN says:


  24. eternalgreenknight says:

    Great observations everyone- duh- she went because she didn’t obey the court order to pay a fine. Ok, now that we’ve established the obvious a dozen times, how about thinking critically about a court system that would fine a parent for not signing an excuse for their kid and then jail them for not paying the stupid fine. Maybe we need more accountability in society, but the government, including the court system needs to prioritize and be responsible!

  25. Matthew says:

    She may not have great parenting skills, but since when do citizens answer to the public school system? Why are there laws requiring her to see a judge because she kept her children out of school? Ridiculous.

    1. cookie says:

      Yes ! Unbelievable !

      1. Nan says:

        That is the law in Pennsylvania. Speak about what you know and understand.

      2. Dr. Campbell says:


  26. john greenlee says:

    hope her kids escape this mom as soon as the can

  27. mike says:

    Good for the court. This deadbeat parent didn’t go to jail because her brat missed school, she went to jail because she choose to ignore the rules society has put forth. I see dozens of kids who mis 30,m 40, and 50 days of school each year and their deadbeat parents are never held accountable…well this deadbeat got caught. And for those of you who want to blame the school, take a deep breath, count to 10 (if you can) and realize that it was the legal system not the school that jailed her.

    1. Matthew says:

      Wrong. The court would not have a law about school absence without the school dictating what is acceptable. It’s really about the school system losing money when children are absent.

    2. Stevedave says:

      Ok, mike. Let’s break this down. this school year for all intents and purposes is half over, if this was over 9 days, it looks like you’re speaking of people twice as bad as this woman, who obviously would be in the running for negligent behavior, but nine days?. But excuse me, she’s a bad parent because of this. Correct? I mean, she could be doing such a terrible job, but you’re on a news site, criticizing how she operates? She’s a fed up mom with 3 kids, obviously you have the time though to do this type of activity, which leads me to believe you don’t know the first thing about raising children, however, when it comes to being obnoxious and ill-informed, or providing ill-thought out statements to the general public, who can in turn laugh at you. Well, looks like you’re setting a shining example, and i really hope more people in this country can be a beacon for change by whining at their keyboard on news sites. Go to college, become a DCF (dept. of children and families, different in every state) employee, and actually create some change instead of whining.

    3. cookie says:

      I sure hope you and every one who cast a negative comment lives by ” society’s rules ” as you put it. Dont throw stones when every last one of you lives in a glass house. !!

  28. Hank Warren says:

    Absurd laws wasting taxpayer money, yet another violation of our rights. Add it to the list of gov’t violations of our right:
    They violate the 1st Amendment by placing protesters in cages, banning books like “America Deceived II” and censoring the internet.
    They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns.
    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by molesting airline passengers.
    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars for foreign countries.
    Impeach Obama and sweep out the Congress, except Ron Paul.
    (Last link of Banned Book):

  29. Tdog says:

    Since when do parents answer to schools? This is twisted. While the reason she was in jail had to do with her not paying a fine, the reason for the fine in the first place is absurd. 9 days, out of 180 day school year? It have a hard time believing the the school didn’t contact her prior to the complaint, and clearly they would have known the student’s absences were acceptable by the mother. This is about control.

    1. Brad says:

      The amount of days isn’t the issue. She couldn’t be bothered to write an excuse. Would u be surprised if the school did contact her and she did nothing? I mean, a court of law wanted her to do something, like show up, but she failed to do that as well.

  30. Doug Warbinton says:

    I am a teacher and I am being evaluated on this kid’s performance. Parents are the biggest problem in education today, but it is the teachers who are getting blamed. I can’t teach a child who doesn’t attend school or who stays up until 2:00 am playing video games with a parent!

    1. YA for Doug says:

      I am not a teacher but I respect your profession more than any! You are 100% right. If the PARENTS don’t make the children listen how can the teachers?
      Keep on keeping on Doug……I commend you!

    2. Lisa R says:

      You are so right.Keep up the good work

    3. Chuck Bronson says:

      If a parent wants to keep their kids out of school for 2 weeks who cares? It’s the parent’s prerogative. I was routinely out of school for a week at a time to go on family vacations every year. It should not be an offense which can possibly result in jail time. Yes, she didn’t pay her fine, and she went to jail. Her bad. The point is she should never have had to go to court in the first place. School shouldn’t be mandatory. If I were your boss Doug, I’d try to have you fired. I know it would be impossible because of your union, but I would still try.

    4. Seas says:

      No Doug! The biggest problem in education is that it has become another “political” system. You are the reason that more and more parents are choosing home schooling! You just don’t pass muster!

    5. Evangeline Brabant says:

      Or on Facebook. By junior high, they leave Facebook on all the time and fit their homework in while concentrating on the most important thing, keeping in constant touch with their peers. What are parents thinking?

      However, there are still teachers who should be fired. There is NO other job where you aren’t evaluated, and where you can’t be fired unless you are convicted of a felony.

      I don’t see how good teachers maintain their motivation and integrity after years of watching lazy, incompetent teachers getting paid the same salaries and not doing the job.

      And, btw, my district has lots of teachers earning over 100K per year. And still…

      I agree that it all goes back to the parents, and if the parents paid attention, and if they cared, we would see an end to union control of our schools.

    6. JJ says:

      maybe you need a new job.. what the education system has done to this country over the last 40 years is a crime. News flash you suck at your job.

    7. Really wise guy! says:

      Live with it that’s what you get paid taxpayer dollars for at this period of time. That’s why I chose to study engineering, to get paid higher then you, and not have to deal with this crud. Being a teacher tells me you chose the path of least resistance “not your love for it.” I heard this over and over again and again and you complain more and more for more money, when really that’s what it’s worth. You will realize when you’re selected teacher of the year out of thousands for your expemplary performance of inspiring, remember the “above and beyond,” your call of duty? That’s when pay raises or bonuses really occur in the private sector which you also decided not to choose because once again, path of least resistence, your peers or competitors were beyond your expectation or imagination…

    8. HRoz says:

      Is that the case here Mr. Warbington? Does anyone even know what this childs performance is?! or how late he/she stays up and what they do?! I agree wholeheartedly that some parents can be part of the problem. I join my children in their homework 4 nights a week (they get Friday nights off) and I triple the work-load they’re given by their teachers, because teaching them is the responsibilty of the parents as well as the schools. My family and I work hard and we play hard, I notify the teacher that we sometimes take longer vacations or vacations that require my kids to miss school. They are model students and their grades are exemplary, but I’ll be DAMNED if the school reports me to the majistrate for fiscal reasons or statistical reasons the school may have. I would remove my child from that school so fast it would make their heads spin.

  31. united states of america says:

    welcome to the United states of china.
    Get used to it. If you think this is about a kid not going to school then you are still asleep or half awake. Good night.

  32. Darrel says:

    “You have three kids – you can’t remember to write each excuse.”

    You cant remember to attend hearings. You cant remember to pay the fines imposed. I guess you are basically a inept bimbo with zero real world capabilites to do anything at all.

    Your children should be removed from your care, and placed with adults who are able to accomplish small things as well as large. Knock off the excuses and get your stuff together!!!!!!!!!

    1. cookie says:

      I dont think it was that fact that she didnt write the excuse, didnt go to court…., blah blah blah…… The real issue here is – Im the parent, your the public school and you do not dictate to me what I am aloud to do with my kids. very simple – end of story.

      1. Jennifer says:

        The word is “allowed” not “aloud; you also need to use the correct form of “you’re”, as in “you are” not the possessive pronoun. Your mother must have written a lot of excuses for you.

        I too, skipped out on a lot of school, but at least I am literate and a college graduate. And yes, I am a teacher–of music, not grammar!

  33. Mike Coleman says:

    True story: I have a child in school in Pennsylvania. I sent in a note saying she attended a family wedding with me and they refused to excuse the absence, she was penalized by losing test and homework credit for the two days she was absent. Had I written “sick” on the note, no proof required, the absence would have been summarily excused. Ridiculous?

    1. Debbie says:

      Sorry that happened. We took our 5 year niece on vacation during the school year — 5 days. Her parents got the approval before we left, we received her assignments and we did homework on the trip. She even had to write a report of her “adventures” but the days were excused and while she may have missed some class time, she did not miss her homework and did not miss any of the classwork. We are not in PA, however, so maybe VA is not as strict as PA.

    2. delphap says:

      Assuming the 2-day absence wasn’t injurious to your daughter’s education, this makes me wonder whether the school was deliberately sabotaging her grades in order to justify their inflexible attendance requirement. Her attendance, of course, being very important to their $$budget.

  34. Maria says:

    Our house is chaos with 7 kids but, this would never happen. Not to mention the one time we did have a vacation during the school year, we informed the school and got their assignments in advance. Some people are procrastinators, I know many who put everything off until it’s too late but, it’s never their fault cause of the poor me syndrome. Who’s the grown up here?

  35. Worried Human says:

    This is why you should send you kids to privates schools.

  36. seanpatriot says:

    Time in jail? Im sure that just fixed her kids right up.


    1. Dan says:

      She says in the interview that she will send in written excuses from now on so I’m guessing the jail time was a learning experience for her.

      I don’t understand how anyone can justify breaking the law. All of the procedures and policies information is provided to my child at the beginning of the year from the school. I understand what truancy is. Honestly, I have from when I was in school during the 70’s — this isn’t a new issue or law.

      And private schools? Are you joking? Catholic schools wouldn’t put up with this for one day.

  37. Graham says:

    This mom is clearly responsible, she doesn’t write notes and she does not read them when they tell her to show up to court. How about she takes some responsibility instead of just making excuses.

  38. Stand Up And Parent! says:

    As a former truancy officer, I can tell you that kids who miss too much school, get low marks and are much more likely to drop out as a result. This woman’s children had 9 UNEXCUSED absences. How many TOTAL absences did her children have. I find it funny how so many readers complain about the quality of the education their kids get in public school, when the real problem is lack of parenting. Perhaps parents should teach their kids a work ethic by sending their pampered backsides to school. Seriously folks, how many days of school did you miss growing up? How many days is too many days. Many of you have indicated that 9 days at this point in the school year is not enough to worry about. That is an average of one day every 2 weeks? I’d be fired if my attendance at work looked like that. My guess is that there are also additional excused absences. So then are they really missing an average of one day each week? Generally, if a school doesn’t excuse a vacation, it is because there is already a pattern of poor attendance. Gee….I wonder why we have so many young people who don’t have a solid work ethic????

    1. sammy says:

      we are talking about a child in kindergarten and a child in first grade. ggeeeezzzz. Get off your high horse ggeeezzz,

      1. Stand Up And Parent says:

        Geeezzzzz, it would be a shame to lay the ground work for good attendance later on. How are good habits developed again????

    2. C.Ryan says:

      I’ve been reading your comments SUAP. So YOU be a good parent and lead by example. Don’t try to justify gov intrusion, theft and wasted taxpayer dollars on prosecuting someone for (what you believe given LIMITED information) being a poor parent. I didn’t fight to defend the United Nanny States of America!

    3. michael says:

      My kids never attended a day of school. Both started college at 15.

      I can’t believe how much time schools spend to teach so little. It really is more like daycare than education.

      1. chris says:

        The public schools are becoming more like jails and propaganda centers than places of education.

    4. OhioGirl82 says:

      Mr. Know-it-All,

      Pennsylvania school code says all vacations are unexcused. Only excused absences are illness, religious holiday, and impassable roads. Note, or no note, the trip to visit Grandma is considered an unexcused, unacceptable absence for this kindergarten kid and first grader.

      This is govt bureaucracy over reach when a 6-year-old can’t spend a week at Grandma’s without risking mommy getting a fine and a court hearing.

  39. texasnewt says:

    Hail Caesar, we, who are about to have our liberty die, salute you!

  40. Bishop says:

    Public school was a disaster from it’s inception.
    Do away with it.

    1. texasnewt says:

      Yes, public education is a corrupt scam at best, and an enormous danger to American liberty — remniscent of the Nazi Youth Corp, oppresive regimes seize control via ‘public education’ for propaganda and social re-engineering. What is really needed to fix today’s failing school’s is to turn the entire education industry over to private enterprise. The Dallas ISD school budget is over a billion dollars, can you extrapolate that to what a truly incredible industry this is nationwide? Imagine the improvements in efficiency and curriculum relevancy, if corporations such as Texas Instruments, IBM, Ford Aerospace, Dow Chemical, ad infinitum, where permitted to open-up subsidiary corporate schools to educate the nation’s youth! This would be true, genuine reform, consistent with a free people, rather than the endless polical scam of blaming teachers, unions, etc. Sadly, there is just too much money and vested interests at stake to permit such a reform.

      1. texasdina says:

        texasnewt, you are incredibly insightful, wise, but no one will engage the topic of adopting a frre enterprise model for public education versus the extant socialist model. Tragically, America went down the ‘left hand path’ adopting the socialist model, whereby the schools are owned and operated by the government — so sad, because it is completely non sequitor and inconsistent with our ideals and knowledge of which business models work. You are right, but the dialogue will not come antime soon, because addressing this issue in earnest terrifies the entrenchedj vested interests, the status quo, of a trillion dollar a year industry!

  41. Jim D Morgan says:

    I guess nobody understands its about the money. If the child is not at school, that school dose not get any money for that day for that child that’s what its all about.

    1. Nan says:

      Not true Jim D Morgan — that is not factual in Pennsylvania. I don’t know where you live but that is not the case in this state.

  42. Fairwind53 says:

    More corruption in the “School System” It is long past time to get rid of the public school system in favor of something that actually works! It is apparent that the school system doesn’t work – something that the unions are responsible for! We need to spend our money on Charter Schools only

  43. Kathy says:

    Some people have commented that, because of this woman’s experience, home schooling looks good. Let’s see…she finds it too difficult to squeeze in writing an excuse, but preparing lessons and spending time teaching and correcting them would work. Schools have gotten very strict with attendance since so many parents have treated school like public-funded daycare: I’ll take this trip now and that trip later. When their children return to class, they’re behind and disrupt the flow for everyone else. Sure, home school–parents who take school seriously do awesome jobs, but I don’t think this lady will do very well.

  44. Stand Up And Parent says:

    By the way….. schools are not funded based on daily attendance. They are funded based on current enrollment. An absent student is still enrolled in the school. In my state, they stay on the roles until they are absent for 15 days or until the school is notified that the student has enrolled elsewhere. This is not a money issue. It’s an issue of bad parenting.

    1. sammy says:

      all states are different, it is a money issue, not writing an excuse is not an example of bad parenting.

      1. Stand Up And Parent says:

        Just a lazy one?

      2. Dan says:

        Sammy – PA doesn’t have an Attendance Average calculator so it’s not a money issue but a responsiblity issue.

        I wonder how many of the people commenting here are going to be griping when this child is a drag on our entitlement programs in 15 years.

    2. michael says:

      Dan, why is it that so many here can’t read? The kids are A students. The dad is a military vet, gainfully employed and a soccer coach.

  45. Momgates10 says:

    1. Call the school to say he was gonna be absent
    2. Write a letter to say why he was out
    3. Go to your COURT DATE
    = ALL this could have been avoided, DUHHHHH

    1. michael says:

      The parents did #1 and #2. Read the posts from the father here.

  46. Jim D Morgan says:

    I guess nobody understands its about the money. If the child is not at school, that school dose not get any money for that day for that child that’s what its all about. If they cared about the children, the U S wouldn’t have one of the lowest G.P.A. Averages as a hole. Our children would be in the top 5.

    1. proudnot2bliberal says:

      yeah the US has some of the lowest test scores since all this new math, New english ect BS whicha lso is around teh time of the formation of the Dept of education. Dumbing down of america so they can take over!

    2. Anatchka says:

      Jim, judging by your use of “hole” vs. “whole” you appear to be a product of that sad system.

    3. A.M.D. says:

      whole. not hole. Thanks for the chuckle.

      Let me guess? You are a product of this system also?

    4. Parent of children in school says:

      Jim D. Morgan:

      You complain about the U.S. having low GPAs and you can’t spell “it’s”, “does”, or “whole.” You should be ashamed to comment.

    5. Jim D Morgan says:

      Well of course I am but that still doesn’t change what I said.

    6. Barbara Lanier says:

      Not true. The school gets the money whether the child attends or not. The school gets the money on “registered” students.

    7. TJ Jackson says:

      Where did you learn to spell?

    8. pepper says:

      Barbara, the school gets more money when they get to fine parents for absent kids. i believe that’s the money Jim is referring to.

    9. Joey Ramone's finger says:

      Nice grammer and spelling there, Jim.

    10. Debib says:

      I’m pretty sure that they don’t dock a school for a child missing a day. Don’t school districts get paid X amount of dollars per year for each student? I know when I homeschooled my oldest children in WA state, my son required some speech therapy. There, at that time, the schools allowed us to enroll him as a student, getting their money for him, yet we were only there 3X’s a week for 30 minutes each time.

      The arrest wasn’t because she took her kids on vacation, it was because she failed to make payments on the fine she supposedly understood and accepted as ok. So she can’t cry now & say she was jailed for taking her kids on vacation…come on.

    11. Abe Noxious says:

      As a hole? Another fine example of public school education

    12. Laura says:

      That’s “grammar,” Mr. Judgmental.

    13. ConcernedInFL says:

      Wow, leave Jim alone…a couple of typos and he gets all these comments about him…stick to the article.

      Maybe if the mom in the article homeschooled, she could take the children on vacation whenever she wants. However, when they are enrolled in school, and you don’t let the school know, they want to know why. Then, not showing up for court appearances is really why she went to jail, not because she took her kids on vacation.

    14. Steve Williams says:

      Your right it is all about the money, it used to be about the students. Now we have a Government agency telling you how to raise your children in all aspects of their development. This nation is very sick and needs help. We need to remove all the regulation and free our citizens to live as our forefathers did. We need to be responsible for our children and nobody else should be allowed that responsability without consent from parents. Making it a cime to take your kids on vacation is horrific and magnifies the evil intent of our leaders. Give our States the power back over its children and away from the lying criminals who swore to uphold the constitution and who think they know better than the parents. This is should never be an issue, regulation equals oppression from freedom. What we need is a lot less regulation and alot more freedom

    15. C. Bower says:

      …and if this person had gone to school, he would be able to spell the word ‘does’ and know the difference between ‘hole’, and ‘whole’

    16. Mark Matis says:

      No, it’s a demographics problem. Until this country is willing to address THAT elephant, nothing will change. And I don’t see that happening before the upcoming civil war.

    17. Philly Murphy Lotta says:

      Thats not correct, schools use designated days to count their enrollment. Usually 40th day, and 120th day enrollment counts are what’s used for funding formula allotments. A random day’s count doesn’t affect their membership or by extension the funding units.

  47. bcmorrison says:

    Stupid lady. Failure to appear in court and your done.

  48. silkee says:

    In my school district, we are not allowed to take the kids for a vacation while school is in session; this is not considered an excusable absence. We must take vacations when the teachers do, which really ticks me off as their schedule is not necessarily convenient to mine. So, since I don’t get to do it, I don’t necessarily think it is OK for her to do it.

  49. Cora says:

    Everyone knows that the public school system is awful and that hardly any of their “rules” make any sense to start with. Having to write a note for absences is ridiculous and getting fined for it is even more ridiculous. It’s none of the schools business where her children were or why they were absent. BTW. Why would I ask the school for permission for anything? I pay their salaries with my tax dollar and they should be asking me what they should be doing. Newsflash -did somebody forget along the way who is really in charge of my kids? Just in case they did, it’s me not the school. This woman is made out to be the bad guy because she didn’t have time to follow a rule that has zero merit to begin with. So unjust.

    1. Nan says:

      It’s the LAW so it is the school’s business. Why is this a difficult concept for people to grasp?!? You don’t break the LAW.

      1. michael says:

        We have a homeschooler in our state that routinely breaks the law and advises other parents to do the same thing. The school districts have never challenged her over the issue. She just refuses to comply with state laws on homeschooling requirements as she claims that they are unconstitutional and the local districts are afraid to challenger her as the entire law could be overturned as a result.

        This lady is spearheading legislative changes to drastically reduce homeschool regulation in the state and she has a lot more support given the November elections. The homeschoolers in our state are politically active and that’s what you have to do if you want to change stupid laws.

    2. Stand Up And Parent says:

      So, to you….school really is just a drop-in daycare center????

      1. Dan says:

        That’s a lovely story Michael but that doesn’t change the fact that in this state (PA) if you break the law and disregard hearing notices from the district magistrate you may find yourself in jail. I’ve been reading these numerous comments on our educational system but they’re mostly irrelevant. Michael, perhaps the local school district doesn’t want to take on this parent in a court of law or maybe they don’t have the resources to litigate this mother’s issues for years to come. That being said, would you ignore a hearing notice from your district judge’s office? And then would you have the gall to whine about it to the media?

      2. michael says:

        In regards to Dan, as the nesting level doesn’t permit replies to his post:

        I believe that people should have the right to challenge stupid and unconstitutional laws. I have access to considerable resources to deal with legal issues involving education so what I would do could differ markedly from what others should or could do. We just basically negotiated an educational arrangement with our school district where they would leave me alone and I would educate our kids. Basically something worked out one-on-one. The power of personal persuasion. Of course I had to do this multiple times as superintendents left or retired.

        We spend a massive amount of money in this country on schools. I’d guess about $10,000 per student per year. That’s $120K per year per student. We educated our kids on a tiny fraction of that amount. Education really doesn’t cost much. Just take a look at Asian countries and how much they spend against their results.

        I also understand that we have a Criminal Justice Industrial Complex and that part of its goal is to sustain itself and grow. One only need look at the Duke Lacrosse Case to understand the motivation to garner the best in pensions and salaries possible by the CJ system by job rotation. Our legislatures try to legislate behavior or outcomes and the result has generally been failure.

        Part of the message of the last election is that we don’t want big government and government intrusion into our personal lives. I came from a very humble background and understand the trials and tribulations of raising a family with only one parent. It’s a lot easier if you have the financial resources to hire people to do errands for you and if your work environment is flexible so that you can work anywhere at any time. It appears to me that this lady doesn’t have these resources. I understand that it’s really easy to pick on those that don’t have much and struggle but you might be there someday.

      3. Dan says:

        Michael — again thank you for the interesting story about the educational system. This still does not change the fact that in Pennsylvania you must obey truancy laws.

        What resources does one need to write a note? I’ve been at my daughter’s school when the school has provided a parent with paper and a pen to write their excuse. Resources aren’t the issue here I’d guess but rather responsibility.

      4. michael says:

        Dan, the parents wrote notes for each absence. Do a page find for Chad – the father has posted twice on this thread with far more information provided.

      5. Dan says:

        Michael – I don’t know who is commenting here or not, but on the video and article the mother clearly and succinctly says that maybe she forgot to send in a note and she can’t remember to write each excuse. She also states that she understands the fine but yet doesn’t pay it from last year. How long should she have been given to pay the fine exactly?

        The mother also acknowledges that she will write a note the next time. Problem solved, no government agency necessary. Write the doggone note.

      6. michael says:

        Dan, you’ve made a number of disparaging and insulting remarks to this family and about the kids. The dad is a military veteran, the kids are A students. The parents take care of their kids. The dad is a soccer coach. Did you thank the father for his service to his country?

    3. ANN says:

      I agree 100 %

      1. ANN says:

        I agree 100 % with Cora.

      2. Oberon123 says:

        You agree with Michael? Then you’re as dumb as he is. Michael, retrieve your head from your posterior. “[A]bout $10,000 per student per year” does NOT equal “$120K per year per student.” You home schooled your kids, did you? Or is that “hom skoold?” Hope they managed to pick up an education despite your illiteracy.

    4. Jessica says:

      You sound really stupid!! You make education out like it is not important. If we did not have such poor deliquent parents, these rules would not need to be enforced. But, since we have parents who don’t deserve there kids because they don’t know how to take care them, the government should step in.

      1. michael says:

        Following your logic, perhaps the government should just have them all sterilized before they can have kids.

        How are we doing with the kids that do attend every day?

        How many high-school graduates understand algebra? I see a lot of kids in college taking chemistry and physics that don’t understand algebraic concepts, that are weak in trigonometry and don’t understand math with units. These are the top half of our students – the ones that attend universities. The government has stepped in.

        The New Jersey funding experiments have shown that it is very difficult to compensate for affluent, intact families.

      2. michael says:

        Regarding Oberon123: sorry, I’m dealing with a roof leak.

        I have multiple degrees from schools in Boston. Anyone can see from the context that I meant 120K for 12 years. Both of my kids started college at 15.

  50. shane says:

    I cannot believe someone could even be fined for their own child missing school. How about a little less law and some more freedom. Land of the free my ass.

    1. Stand Up And Parent says:

      Then leave.

      1. DaTroot says:

        What an incredibly mature answer. Do your parents know you skipped school today?

  51. momgates10 says:

    Chuck – i take my kids on vacation to BUT the differance is i let the school know so that way it is not an unexcused absent…… if you dont call in or show up to work for 2 weeks what would happen to you?????? School is mandatory it is an important tool that keeps kids learning so they can hopefullly get somewhere in life….

  52. perseus317 says:

    The bottom line is that the woman is irresponsible and is making excuses for her irresponsibility. Beyond the unexcused absences, there is the failure to appear for a court date, and failure to pay the fine. What she needs is a good “kick in the pants” to wake her up to her responsibilities. A critical problem in our society today is the fact that too many young folks don’t take their education seriously, and end up undereducated and underemployed. Parents need to communicate the value of a good education to their children so that they don’t become a burden on society as undereducated adults.

  53. johngol says:

    its about time making parents accountable for their children instead of teachers…this should be happening in every town and city…..every kid gets a christmas vacation she couldnt plan it while her kid was off????? she didnt make arrangements with the school so they would be excused absences????
    sounds like she is full of it and i applaud the schools and authorities of mt. pleasant for taking a stance

    1. OhioGirl82 says:

      johngol — the visit to the grandparents would be unexcused NO MATTER WHAT with the school rules. There are 5 unexcused absences to start with.

      Perhaps she did spend Christmas vacation visiting one side of the family, and the other trip was to visit the other side of the family.

      Fines and the threat of jail because a kindergarten student and first grader visited the grandparents. Really?!?!?!

      1. Dan says:

        Again OhioGirl82, she did not receive a fine for taking her child on vacation but for not following the truancy laws of Pennsylvania. Drop the phony outrage.

  54. Oren says:

    So, it’s easy to go on vacation but hard to remember to write an excuse?

    Charge her more nex time, maybe she’ll learn or is that beyond her understanding also?

    She flunked out of life.

    1. C.Cryan says:

      Fascist .

  55. Strong, Independent Woman Needs Support says:

    It’s the father’s fault. No wait. Mom divorced him because she was “unhappy.”

  56. Jackson says:

    Why is this story being reported as the mother going to jail for her kid’s unexcused absences? That’s NOT why she went to jail. She went to jail because she missed court appearances and didn’t pay her fine for four months. THAT is why she went to jail. News outlets need to stop sensationalizing this no-story story.

  57. Whatever says:

    Why are we spending taxpayer’s money on government parenting of single women?

  58. Jack McCoy says:

    So it’s not really because she didn’t send the kids to school. She got arrested for failing to appear in court and failing to pay her fine. Actually, I don’t have a problem with locking a parent up for not sending a kid to school. As a prosecutor, I have successfully tried those cases and parents serve time. The law is simple. Kids have to attend school, whether it be public, private, or home school. I charged parents with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for not sending them. Sick days and other legit excuses are ok. No excuse to just blow it off.

    1. Da Troot says:

      You’re a hero. “Blah blah blah. I capitalized on the shortcomings of those less fortunate than me. I lived off of your tax dollars. I wear a tie. Law is simple. I’m a pig with no badge and no gun. Blah blah blah.” Jesus is embarrassed by you.

      1. sammy says:

        Ditto, I agree Da troot ! plus we are still talking about a first grader and a child in kindergarten……….

    2. michael says:

      I’m familiar with Pierce vs Society of Sisters and we say that the state has an interest in the education of children but the laws just state that you have to be present. Similar to prison. You can’t force a child to learn. What’s the biggest issue on schools right now in the news in the past two years? In our corner of the country, it’s bullying.

      Do kids attend home school? How do they do that? We just took off on vacations whenever we felt like it. There was a big advantage to traveling when the kids were in school as prices and availability of travel resources were much better compared to school vacation times.

      Kids can learn a lot of things on their own. With or without instruction from parents or teachers.

  59. China Now says:

    America is free. Yeah. Right.

  60. C.Ryan says:

    So the government found a way to steal $200 from (what appears to be) a single mother struggling with three children? She was even put in jail at taxpayers’ expense? When are Americans going to finally wake up and realize that this is no longer the home of the free. It certainly doesn’t appear to be the home of the brave anymore! Otherwise, we’d stop typing about how angry we are, and revolt , as is our constitutional right….nay, DUTY!

    1. sammy says:

      People need to get some balls and stand up for our rights before we have none left. I cannot believe the comments from these people who are ok with public schools becoming the new parent police . thats ok- what are you gonna say when they come after you – oh sooner or later they will, and its because you allowed it !!!!!!

      1. Stand Up And Parent says:

        So, for the record, just how many days of absence should all of the other taxpayers paying for your child’s education expect in a 5 month period?

  61. MKRao says:

    I thought America was a democracy?! This is worse than commies. Its her and her childs life. Afterall 5 days is nothing. I think so much of governamental interfearence in public life is deplorable in a democracy. I am surprised by comments as well.

    1. MKRao says:

      I believe no governament can never care a child better then it’s mother.

    2. Paladin says:

      MKRao, The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic according to The Constitution.

    3. But Seriously says:

      The U.S. is a republic. There’s a significant difference.

    4. mikec711 says:

      Constructive Criticism, most of us use news portals today and yes, I did come in via Drudge (although have no major hate to spew … and I must admit that there is hate being spewed … all by Drudgies? … who knows). As for this woman, yes, she had all kinds of options. In this case, the school district and DOE was much less out of bounds than they often are. You want constructive solutions … how about school choice. Right up until the time an umbilical cord is cut, the mother has the choice to destroy the child at taxPayer expense. Once that cord is cut, the parents do not even have the option on how to educate their child (home-schoolers are constantly under attack from a system that is driven by the teacher’s unions). Put the money with the child and let the parents make the proper choice. The cost/benefit ratio for most private schools is much higher than those of public schools. And getting into a much higher quality school will likely be an incentive for parents that care … and they might just push their children to behave and achieve … instead of making excuses for them.

    5. Steve Wiliams says:

      MKRao, America is a Republic. A free Republic. A Republic who has a democratic way of life.

      Democracy is a political form of government in which governing power is derived from the people by majority vote.

      A Republic is a state under a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, retain supreme control over the government.

      So you see it is both most people forget the Republic part becasue they feel it is antiquated, they could not be farther from the truth. Our Free Republic is the only one of its kind. No other nation on Earth has done so much for the rest of the world than our nation has. But The rest of the world hates us because they don’t understand us. We fear what we don’t understand, and we destroy what we fear. The main reason other countries won’t follow our example is because their government does not give them a voice to choose, ours does.

    6. Dave says:

      We are NOT a democracy. We are a Constitutional Republic. Another failure of the gov’t education system. We don’t know our history at all.

  62. Christine says:

    As an non-practiciing educator its not “just about the money” its part of it, but being absent creates disruption-student misses work , lessons, etc. Since when is school just an option? The dumbing down of America starts at home-when parents don’t make school a priority-like scheduling a “vacation” during the school year-why not go on winter break? Look within to find solutions-volunteer-mentor-donate! As we can all see evry communtiy is struggling to fund education-your tax dollars are not enough! Just got my license in November of ’10 not easy to find a job as a teacher. I am also retired from the Army. This mother is a fool and is not a good citizen as evidenced by her in ability to function within the system. Set up so that people who can;t afford private education can have their children educated. I am guessing she does not pay taxes….

  63. Oberon123 says:

    Since when is a vacation considered more important than school attendance? Lady, get your priorities straight. And, if you can’t juggle three kids, then maybe you shouldn’t have had three kids.

    1. michael says:

      I’d suggest reading a biography of Steve Jobs.

      Then make a list of billionaires without college degrees.

  64. Roz says:

    I have a good one, why the hell do you people feel the need to comment on something that isn’t even any of your business. It’s not like a murder in the community took place. I have a feeling that if it were a single DAD, you wouldn’t be putting this person down so much. And since when does being forgetful make one a “bimbo”? Idiots.

    1. Christine says:

      If she were my employee her “forgetfulness” would get her fired. Anyone excusing/condoning herirresponsible behavior is as foolish as she is.

      1. sammy says:

        I feel very sorry for anyone who would work for you- your attitude is appalling !

      2. Stand Up And Parent says:

        I have no problem with legitimate absence. That due to illness (vomiting, fever over 100 degrees, etc), funerals, medical/dental appointments or pre-approved family vacations/outings. However, there is no way on earth that I would allow my kid to miss 9 days of school, barring a serious medical problem, within the first 5 months of the school year.

  65. Show Me the Money says:

    Public schools receive money on each school that attends class. That is why a government agency (public school) reported the absence to another government agency (Court).

  66. Mazaniac says:

    Hey Cora, maybe she is simply not as good a parent as you. As for the schools needing to know where children are, it isn’t them so much as the nanny welfare state wanting to know since, hey, newsflash, there are some “parents” out there who could not care less about their kids and the schools are the front lines in the states’ battle against neglect and abuse of children.

  67. Share says:

    I can’t believe that hardly anybody sees the consequences to “the rules” as excessive. Yes, society has rules, but come on! Fines for not writing notes to the school? Really? Just suspend the children, but to bring the parent before the court system is too much control. Will we all be okay when the rules become excessive in other areas of our life? How about when the government tells us when we can and cannot drive? When we can and cannot have the power on? When we can or cannot speak out against the government? All in the name of “for our own good”?

    1. susan g says:

      The woman was jailed because she failed to make court appearances. She was fined because she kept her child out of school without notifying anyone 9 days. There are compulsory education laws in every state. She made her own bed, and is trying to make it sound like she was a victim. She is not, she is just lazy.

      1. michael says:

        She and her husband notified the school before the went on the vacation. There aren’t compulsory education laws. There are compulsory schooling laws. If there were compulsory education laws, then half the country would be in jail.

  68. toyroy says:

    What happens when the student misses so many days they fail? Thats right we
    just blame it on the TEACHERS AND THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. This parent forgot nine times to write a note and then forgot to pay her fine. I sorry lets blame that on someone else to. Not all teachers are great but NOT all parents are the best.
    When this kid grows up he will be able to blame someone else becaust that was what he was taught.

    1. Just Curious says:

      To: toyroy
      So do you blame your spelling on your teachers or your parents?

      1. toyroy says:

        I blame myself because I hit the wrong key, but someone as anal as you will blame it on someone else. The point is some people play the blame game.

    2. michael says:

      This parent did write a note before the vacation. The kids are academic stars too. Does that compute for you?

      1. Oberon123 says:

        One of their kids gets a couple of awards and now they’re all academic stars? Get real. Oh, I forgot. You’re the same fool who can’t do math and then claim that anybody would understand you from the context.

      2. michael says:

        I have a graduate degree in computer science from Boston University. A computer science degree is essentially applied and theoretical mathematics. How many patents do you have?

  69. Single Mom and Earned It says:

    It’s about time judges start throwing American woman in jail. Women have the attitude that they are above the law.

    If this was a man, the dad would have served the full sentence and paid the fine from his own pocket.

  70. jay tee says:

    The lady went for jail for failure to appear. Simple.

  71. RaulJones says:

    She didn’t get jailed because her precious little darling missed school, she got jailed because ignored the appearances & didn’t pay the fine. Stupid on her part.

  72. Ann says:

    I say paddle Jessica Heiser!

  73. Jake says:

    Why would a parent choose the school year to go on vacation with her kids… that sounds crazy to me. Obviously her kids education is not a priority with this woman… even if you take out the vacation… that is still 4 days of unexcused absences… what the article doesnt say is how many days total the kids missed.

    The fact that she managed to turn this into her being the victum is the most appalling part. Those kids need help!

    1. michael says:

      I guess that you’ve never worked for a manufacturing plant where they close down at certain times of the year. Or in other jobs where the schedule of work dictates when you can take your vacation.

      The kids are academic stars in the school.

  74. JustSayNoNow says:

    Didn’t pay the fine…..arrested…went to jail. No problem, nothing to see here.

  75. Frog Prince says:

    MOUNT PLEASANT, what a RAT HOLE that place must be………….

  76. Jason Blotsky says:

    maybe now she will have a little less money to eat, and she needs it, maybe she has been sending her kids out to get her food instead of them going to school

  77. Oh Really? says:

    Very misleading article. She was NOT jailed for her kids missing school. She was jailed for not paying a fine, so a warrant was issued.

    Sloppy journalism.

  78. Former student and parent says:

    This is not rocket science, she was told to get a permission from the Principal to allow her kids to be absent from school the five days, NOT for permission to take them on vacation. I am sure the Principal had ne problem doing this if asked. She did not do this and had to pay the price. Education is the most important part of our kids lives. Now she is crying that she is being punished for not being allowed to take her kids on vacation. She needs to grow up and assume the role of a good parent. If my son misses a day, I write an excuss and call the school the day he is absent. this is required in our school district. Most of all, this never should have been on the news. It is a private matter between the school and the parent, she got what she was looking for, free publicity, a chance to make people feel bad for her all courtasy of our great local news channels looking to say you saw it hear first!

  79. joe says:

    For all of you that think it is about the money and she district not getting money for the student being out of school those days, the school gets money for the enrolled students for the year, not the days they are there.
    Get a life and get educated before opening your mouths!

  80. George G. says:

    She sounds to me like an unfit mother. Child Protective Services might do well to investigate.

  81. Jim D Morgan says:

    I guess nobody understands its about the money. If the child is not at school, that school dose not get any money for that day for that child that’s what its all about. If they cared about the children, the U S wouldn’t have one of the lowest G.P.A. Averages as a whole. Our children would be in the top 5. There is that better ? Of course I’m a product of that failed system I thought that was obvious. None of this changes the fact that all they care about is the money. The public school system spends 2 to 3 times the money as private schools. And end up with horrible results. How about commenting on the cruces of the reply.

    1. pepper says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with you Jim. The private schools operate on MUCH less and have MUCH better results. The DOE is a sham. And nothing more than an ILLEGAL money making scheme.

      1. Oberon123 says:

        Private schools also don’t have to take any kid that they don’t want to take. Public schools are the dumping grounds for Heiser children across the nation.

      2. michael says:

        His kids are academic stars at their school. I would think that any private school would want his kids.

      3. Dan says:

        I say send them right now — I’ll get the paperwork for Mrs. Heiser though… Should I fill in all the questions too? Write her tuition check out for her as well? Does she need someone to wipe her nose for her too?

      4. michael says:

        You’re a rather rude and disrespectful guy. The father served in Afghanistan, risked his life for his country and his kids do well in school and yet you still denigrate his wife. How would you feel if someone attacked your wife in the same way?

        I had a look at PA laws and it appears that compulsory education is required at no later than eight years of age. It starts with the first day of attendance. The wording is rather interesting. A child doesn’t have to start going to school until they turn eight but if they start earlier, then they must continue.

        I think that a legal way to take a vacation would be to just file homeschooling papers with the school district, go on vacation, and then come back and re-enroll. The paperwork for homeschooling in PA is more involved than it is in some other states, but it’s something that could be done in a few hours by someone familiar with the law. It would also create a paperwork mess for the school district. I do think that the homeschool law has been used in this way in our state as Superintendents have tried to tighten up regulations in our state over parents using the homeschooling laws to take a break. No chance of that happening – mess with homeschooler in our state and we storm the State House and blitz legislators with phone calls and active campaigning for their opponents.

      5. HRoz says:

        Hey Olbermann, you are a disgrace.

      6. michael says:

        This guy expects people to send their kids to public schools but then states that public schools are terrible. So he wants parents to send their kids to a terrible place. I think that obe has some issues to work out.

    2. Constructive Criticism says:

      i’m curious: assuming most of this traffic comes through via Drudge, what suggestions do you folks have for improving the system? it’s easy to point fingers and say things like the DOE is terrible, but what alternative to it do you have?

      i read Drudge daily, but the overwhelming majority of comments that come from Drudge readers are filled with hate, finger-pointing and/or racist/classist comments that don’t really add anything to the debate and only serve to make the Drudge audience look stereotypically stupid. for me to take your opinions seriously, i’d like to hear something constructive, not destructive.

    3. Duude says:

      While the nation’s schools clearly spend too much time on indoctrination and lowering standards to meet the desire for learning posed by the students, I truly believe a larger problem exists within our multicultural society. The worst of schools are generally the inner city schools. It isn’t due to lack of money as Washington DC schools prove. The problem is attending students denigrate those students that actually do homework, get good grades, and generally pursue excellence. If you study, you’re a ‘schoolboy’, or acting ‘white’. As adolescents its important to be accepted and with that acceptance comes with showing you don’t care. Its sad and demented but true.

    4. Dr. Campbell says:

      You are asking for a solution “constructive criticism” The solution is simple: Parents get to choose the school their child attends. We currently spend over $9,000 per student in Georgia. That money goes with the child to the school of the parents choice. If a school does not perform, parents will choose to take their children elsewhere. School will fire bad teachers, bad schools will be shut down and good teachers will actually get paid more than mediocre ones. This is the system we have for colleges and universities. The only reason we don’t have it now for lower schools is two words “teacher unions.” Vote for school choice, vote for vouchers, vote against teachers unions who have ruined our school system. If we did this our school system would improve dramatically in a few short years.

  82. Rob says:

    Schooling is a privilage, not a right. They are almost all run by elected school boards. If ylou don’t like the rules, change the school boards or teach them at home. At least get involved, which this slug of a mother obviously isn’t.

  83. jack says:

    Lets see… education versus a family vacation… hmmm… as a responsible parent what should I do? Gee, I’m not sure, let me pick up my crack pipe and think about it in a few minutes.

  84. mike hunt says:

    Why don’t you so-called “parents” learn the rules of the school district and FOLLOW them. It might serve you well to learn and then teach your child some responsibility. That is the problem with much of the youth today, they take no responsibility and that is mainly due to poor parenting. I applaud the school district for making an example of this “mother”. However the preponderance of comments suggest that you yinsers got a long way to go to learn responsibility in parenting.

    1. Spanky T Smackme says:

      Since when have we become a SLAVE of the stae to blindly follow RULES ?

      It shouldnt matter how many days ANY kid missed, as long as they PASS THE TEST to show they have the knowledge for that level to advance to the next grade.

      All of you who believe in BLIND OBEDIENCE while GIVING UP TOUR RIGHTS need to read the constitution, and stop trying to make this a land of slavery.
      REMEMBER, we as supposed to be a country of FREEDOMS governed by law, NOT a country of laws that strip away our freedoms. Get rid of the fascist liberals.

      1. FixPGH says:

        Spanky you’re an idiot. Stripping our freedom? Since when is setting up academic requirements stripping freedom? They’ve had these rules for decades and you’re just now complaining? You are a crazy Repube I see, trying to blame “liberals” for laws that Republicans and Democrates made and keep in line no matter who is in office. How are kids supposed to pass a test if they aren’t learning the material? Tell me that?

      2. neva says:

        yes, stripping our freedoms, just like when people used to go to debtors prisons. I see that you and the rest of the sheep in this occupied nation have no problem with any government entity imprisoning you over money that they have no legal right to. If the kid is a truant the situation should never equate itself with a monetary value or else government is only in it for the money and not corrective action. Hmmm, sort of like our drug war on the people, too many pols and pigs making money off the “illegality” of someone ingesting a plant.

      3. chris says:

        You sound a bit juvenile and uneducated. I’m guessing you’ve missed more (unexcused) school days than valid points made in these posts.

  85. Experienced Mom says:

    They only go after the good parents. Schools are ridiculous now, absolutely no respect for parents or family time. Zero tolerance, etc., etc. – just home school your kids, they’ll learn more and what they learn will be worthwhile and appropriate.

  86. suz says:

    it has nothing to do with the kid missing school. She was fined for unexcused absence – she forgot to send notes in within 3 days…no wonder she forgot to pay the fine lol

  87. Evangeline Brabant says:

    The money: To contradict a few comments above: the school gets the money only if the child attends, or is out because of illness with excused absences. If you take your child on vacation, tell the school ahead of time, and get homework from the teachers ahead of time , the school also gets their ADA (Average Daily Attendance) money. All that concern really is about the money. Students can carry vodka around in water bottles and do lines of coke in the back of the classroom and no one seems to catch on, but let them miss a few days of school and the district begins to threaten.

    Those of you writers who seem to think a tyrannical government is acceptable, for our own good, are being illogical in criticizing contributor’s misspellings. That is precisely the point.

    In California we also have a new law, passed by the Progressives, that parents can be sent to jail over a child’s attendance records. All of these draconian laws should be appealed and finally sent to the SCOUS.

    As a long time educator, I can tell you that our horrible education systems, and the union control of our systems is dangerous to our future, and much of today’s education is a waste of time, and is merely a place for agenda driven teacher and systems to supplant academics with social engineering experiments, all ultra left in origin and purpose. This is mostly obvious in the blue, left-wing, union controlled states, but all states have teachers and textbooks designed to drive our young people toward the far left. And, students can miss school and miss very little of what they need to learn. Problem is, they will have have volumes of busy work/homework to do when they come back.

    In addition, our schools, especially high schools, and even in the “good” districts are frequently horrible, with environments that adults would not tolerate in their working world.

    My five children are all University of California graduates, but if I were bringing them up today, I would home school them, even if I had to work nights to pull it off.

    One of my children, who maintained a 4.1 GPA in high school, hated high school and missed at least one day a week, if not more, all through school. She would call me at work to tell me she had stayed home.

  88. 31337 says:

    Interesting, Vacation is her story and she is sticking to it. they were unexcused so I don’t understand. If my parents pulled me out of school for vacation they would call the school and the school would let the teacher know and I would come home the day before vacation with a back pack full of homework to do and a list of assignments. If I was sick my parents would call the school and let them know I was out sick. these in turn would be called “excused absences” So she didn’t call the school to let them know her kids were going on vacation? Are these kids even hers?

  89. Christopher says:

    1. Child belongs to the parent, NOT the state.
    2. Parent must be responsible and take responsibility for her actions, or lack thereof.

    The parent is responsibile for the training, and education of this child, NOT the state, as many are led to believe. That being said, the parent in this situation is clearly not concerned with the education of her child, nor is she interested in teaching her child self-discipline, and responsibility as she herself admitted she “forgot” to fill out the vacation forms for her three kids.

    Personally, I was homeschooled, and I see why my parents chose to do so. Aside from the lack of performance in schools, and the negative influences all around our kids at schools these days, the fact that the government has so much power in these “State Institutions” is ridiculous, and scary.

    If you want to have control over your childs education, training, and up-bringing, and want to control what influences they come across on a daily basis, then simply take the responsibility on yourself to homeschool your child.

    If you leave it to the STATE to educate your child, then suffer with the consequences/results of that choice when the dust settles.

  90. David says:

    Big brother knows best…

  91. Pensieve says:

    Let me get this straight – schools require a doctor’s note for an absence?

    No, thanks. I’m the parent. I’ll decide whether Johnny, who is hacking and wheezing and sneezing, gets to stay home, not the school, and not even Dr. Jones. Nor do I see any need to take my kid to a doctor’s office, waste my time and money, waste the doctor’s time – for what? A bad cold?

    And guess what? The teachers (and I’ve been a teacher) will secretly be thanking me for not sending a contagious kid to school – and so will the other parents.

    And if I decide one Thanksgiving to have the kids take a little extra time because I have a feeling this may be Granny’s last Thanksigiving on this planet, I am not going to go hat in hand to some officious biddy at a school begging for permission. I will have the courtesy to inform – and that’s that.

    These are my calls, not the school’s. Hey, school personnel are public SERVANTS, not public BOSSES. They work for me, not the other way around.

  92. Lou Voren says:

    Where is the father?

  93. Spanky T Smackme says:

    Since when have we become a SLAVE of the stae to blindly follow RULES ?

    It shouldnt matter how many days ANY kid missed, as long as they PASS THE TEST to show they have the knowledge for that level to advance to the next grade.

    All of you who believe in BLIND OBEDIENCE while GIVING UP TOUR RIGHTS need to read the constitution, and stop trying to make this a land of slavery.
    REMEMBER, we as supposed to be a country of FREEDOMS governed by law, NOT a country of laws that strip away our freedoms. Get rid of the fascist liberals

    1. Oberon123 says:

      I NEVER gave up TOUR rights. I love taking tours. Especially to parts of Western Europe.

      Thanks for showing us so clearly why the right-wing, anti-education crowd is so wrong. Maybe it isn’t too late for you to go back to school. You certainly need to learn some basics, like spelling for instance.

      1. michael says:

        I’d consider complaining about spelling to be an Ad Hominem fallacy. The typical use by Oberon123 is to attack the person and not the argument.

  94. Above it all says:

    So sad to see people siding against this mother. Going to jail for this non reason is pathetic. This is not a worth while reason to go to jail Really !! Get over yourselves. Since when is not writing a note worthy of going to jail even if it is for ten minutes. If that’s what you think then we should lock you up for being dangerously stupid.

    1. Oberon123 says:

      She went to jail for her failure to pay the fines that the Court ordered her to pay. She did not appeal the fines; she just didn’t pay them. She also didn’t show up for at least one hearing. A bench warrant was issued and she was picked up on it. What’s the problem? It seems to me that you right-wingers are also law-and-order types. What’s so different about obeying a judge or challenging his/her ruling if you don’t like the ruling?

  95. philinnyc says:

    The school system is a joke. The kids are indoctrinated into liberalism. Keep your children home!

  96. Oberon123 says:

    I’m still shocked and amazed that nobody questions having all these kids that she obviously can’t look after properly. And to the lady who thinks it is acceptable to have SEVEN kids, the planet cannot afford all of your selfishness. Even if you can afford to feed, clothe, and educate so many kids, the planet cannot afford the air and water. People like you and incompetent Heiser make China’s one-child policy look more and more reasonable.

    1. michael says:

      The parents seem to be doing a fine job of raising their kids.

      How many kids have you raised?

      BTW, you make liberals look idiotic. There are a lot of liberal homeschoolers that detest the school system but have the problem of following the party line on schooling. There are many liberals that unschool – this is the practice of letting kids do whatever they want to – totally unstructured learning. Use the natural strengths of how kids learn instead of shoving what you think they should learn down their throats. If you think that you’re liberal on education, perhaps you should read up on holistic education.

  97. snowflake says:

    send the parents back to school..

  98. JJ says:

    More baby boomer logic. Pretty sure the soviet union doesn’t have anything on US laws and locking people up

  99. Kathy C says:

    This is not about the education system, it is about parents taking responsibility for themselves and teaching their children responsibility. The woman is responsible to write an excuse for her child’s absence…how hard can it be? She ignored her responsibility and then, again, when fined, refused to pay the fine and accept responsibility for her actions.

  100. Duude says:

    While the nation’s schools clearly spend too much time on indoctrination and lowering standards to meet the desire for learning posed by the students, I truly believe a larger problem exists within our multicultural society. The worst of schools are generally the inner city schools. It isn’t due to lack of money as Washington DC schools prove. The problem is attending students denigrate those students that actually do homework, get good grades, and generally pursue excellence. If you study, you’re a ‘schoolboy’, or acting ‘white’. As adolescents its important to be accepted and with that acceptance comes showing you don’t care. Its sad and demented but true.

  101. DrDarby says:

    Ana spoken like an ass hole

  102. Scott says:

    And people still send their children to government schools.

  103. BryanZ says:

    Get in line and eat your gruel. Those are the rules set for you. What’s so hard about following that. Just get in line and eat. Not hard

  104. Maggie Fanelli says:

    I’m too lazy to look, but how many “Ferris Bueller” references have been made on here already? “9 times….” Hehehe..

  105. Cara C says:

    This is insanity. America is supposed to be the land of the free.

    Parents should certainly have the ability to take their children out of school for vacation without facing fines or jail. Nine missed school days? Big deal. Much of school is a waste of time anyway.

    All Americans who care about liberty need to join the Tea Party and fight back against this blob of expanding government that is turning us from free citizens into slaves of the state.

  106. Genie O says:

    Im sorry, but why isnt she taking any responsibility in this matter? The fact is, she failed to follow the rules. This has nothing to do with her children, but instead, her excuses. Whether she liked it or not, she was to get approval from the principal for the vacation time and did not. She thought it was “stupid”. She then was fined, and did not follow up with the terms of the fine either. You just can’t go around deciding what you are going to do and what you are not without taking responsibility. Now she is claiming the sad story that she had to sit in jail with criminals. Cmon!! No, you sat in jail because you did not follow the rules! The really sad part is the bad example she is setting for her children. She should be ashamed and should be rectifying the manner (not having her friends bail her out) instead of being on TV playing a victim.

    I wish the best for her children, and hope that she wakes up and takes accountability for her decisions.

  107. Parent of children in school says:

    If you don’t attend school, you are likely to not be able to pass your tests. The “note” the article refers to is a NOTE FROM HOME saying that the parent authorized the absence. Parents by law need to be notified if little Johnny is “cutting” school, because parents should be responsible and know where their children are. If they are not in school and the school has not received notification from the parent then the school expects the parents to explain the absence. That way all parties responsible for the safety of the child communicate their whereabouts. Kids run away all the time and this is a safely precaution so that the students’ whereabouts are known. Imagine if your cild cut school for 5 days without your knowledge and the school didn’t tell you. You would be upset with the school. Why is everyone so quick to blame the school? No one wants any standards or accountability for themselves or their kids. America is behind because we are lazy and have LOW expectations for ourselves, the parents and the students.

  108. Nick Manning says:

    She took them out of school for a week she should of wrote school note saying that, but going to jail for a day is kind ofharsh and fines also. She made a mistake give her a pass first time next time then send fines and jail

  109. woodNfish says:

    The simple solution is to get rid of public schools. Giver parents tuition vouchers and let them send their kids to the school of their choice. No more jailing kids when a good whack on their backside will solve the problem. Bad kids can be expelled. No more teacher unions so good teachers can excel and get paid accordingly. No more city, state, and federal bureaucracy sticking their noses where they don’t belong.

  110. Paula Bosco Szum says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but aren’t there three months during the summer to go and visit family? My parents never went anywhere during the school year. My husband and I also have that same rule – no vacations during the school year. It is also possible that there was not another time she could have gone, but then make it a weekend trip only. I would suspect family would understand – education comes first!

    1. McSorley says:

      Agreed ….. I have told my family they can only have birthdays, anniversaries, funerals and weddings in the summer. School comes first no matter what.

  111. mp1019 says:

    Has anyone stated the obvious yet? Kids get over two weeks off for the holidays. Why did she need to take her kids out of school for an EXTRA week? FYI, no good parent takes their kid out of school for a week. Second, if she would have just paid the fine, she would not have gotten into further trouble. Every school gives you clear guidelines as to how often your children can miss, she knew what she was doing. She just chose to ignore the rules.

    1. Chad Heiser says:

      We did not ignore the rules. We left a week early because that’s is when I had off for work. Excuses were sent in for the 2 days in Feb and the 2 days in May. Who are you too judge us from a 3 minute story on the news. My children made up their work because a good parent would make them, which we did. I will NEVER allow a school district to dictate when and for how long I take my children on vacation. Go to WPXI’s website and take a look at the 2 academic excellence awards my oldest son received for Math and Reading this year. If my child misses school the work is made up. Scroll up to see my point of view. This never was about the fine, it was about the fact the the school has the power to tell us when and for how long we can take a vacation. If the same situation occurs again I will hire a lawyer and fight the district. Get off your high horse!!! I guess we should be better parent’s like all of you out here. Thank God my children are raised well enough not to be so quick to point the finger and condemn someone as horrible. Most of the comment’s on here make me feel sad being an American and I’m a military veteran. This country had conformed so much to allowing school district’s raise our children..Just sad!

      1. Oberon123 says:

        What kind of a dirtbag are you to take your kids out of school during the school year and then let your wife take the fall? So what if it was when you “had off for work?” Your kids didn’t have it off for school! Wonderful grammar, by the way. Do you want your kids to grow up to be as ignorant as you are? Apparently so.
        We also have a lot more to judge you by after reading your statements. You’ll :never allow a school district to dictate. . . .” You sure do let your job dictate your time off, don’t you? Now we know what motivates you, namely money! You should be forced to pay for your kids’ educations. Apparently, that’s the only way that you’ll put any value on their education.
        But I digress. I’d still like to know what kind of a man lets his wife blow off court dates and then be put in jail without raising a finger or saying a word. I find it interesting that you’re not mentioned ANYWHERE in the article. Looks like you’re just another dirtbag ranting at the system after the fact. Obviously you’re too much of a dirtbag to even write a note for one of your children.

      2. michael says:

        The guy served his country – he’s a military veteran. Have you served in the military? Did you thank him for his service?

        The last election was about jobs. These parents clearly care about their children and the education of their children. There was no educational risk here. The decision was quite reasonable.

        His grammar is much better than the average poster on this thread. I don’t see why you continue to make ad hominem fallacies in this regard.

        Have you ever been interviewed by the press? They can take what you said and make it sound like you said the opposite thing. They can cloud and color by omission. The job of the press is to sell advertising and copy. Truth and facts are lower down on the priority list. You didn’t take a course in media communications?

      3. HRoz says:

        I applaud and commend you Chad as my family and I appreciate true Americans like yourself for the freedom my family enjoys today. Don’t pay any attention to Mr. Olbermann, he’s just p.o’d that his life sucks so much and you have fun. Guys like Olbermann are part of the reason why this country is headed in the direction it is.

      4. Lynn Mansfield Lawson says:

        I agree to a point Chad. When my kids were in school, we kept them home on Memorial Day because to us it is a legal holiday. To the schools in this tiny mountain town in GA it was a school day. I never called in, thought it was a day off, saw the buses and realized it wasn’t. Oh well, sue me for negligence. As a family we had an enjoyable day! The next year, the school was closed for Memorial Day. How ’bout that?

        The way the Georgia school system operates is crazy. They open in the beginning of August and close the last day of May. What about the parents who only can take August vacations? What about divorced parents who have custody in August in another city or state?

        OTOH, you and your wife should have paid the fines for truancy. Schools have rules just like employers do. Shape up and raise your kids to respect authority or you and your wife may be down at the morgue one day doing a very horrible thing.

      5. SusieCute says:

        Very well said, I agree completely!!! This is insane. What a pain to have this go on. They are your kids and they made up the work. What is the big deal? It is like everybody had to harp about everything and get in everybody’s business.

  112. Melvin says:

    This is why schools invented school vacation, thats when you take a vacation with your kids.

  113. Apeon says:

    Our overals geepeeA is in th3 Hoal—–And nu f u edercated peeple cud reed the KJversion in the ohrignal ether


  114. Great Grandfather says:

    I am a big fan of Joey Ramone’s use of the word “grammer” way up top. My favorite thing about grammar correction freaks is that eventually you see a dip like him mistyping or using a word they don’t know the meaning of. It’s a true glimpse of what i like to call the superior members of the attempt-to-be intellectual society.

  115. Aaron says:

    I bet this is a pattern among the family. I get the feeling the apple didn’t roll far from the tree. Where is the father in all of this? I bet those kids grades are lower than a brick in an ocean. The problem w/ our schools today is that they have to do most of the job that parents should have been doing all along. I bet those kids didn’t do any school work while on vacation. Besides, the kids only go to school 180 days a year. Couldn’t she plan a vacation around the summer of other periods of time they’re not in school?

  116. Mr. J says:

    Wow!! I am stunned at many of the responses to this article. After reading halfway down the page at the responses, I had to stop. The fact that so many spout off at the mouth with negative comments towards this woman, with such limited knowledge, is amazing to me. Such a judgemental society we all live in. Maybe she is lazy and just refusd to take the time to write a note. Maybe not. Does that really make her a horrible parent, as so many have suggested? Some people stated that she is just lazy and her kids are going to grow up and be worthless individuals and suggested she is not following through on the missed classwork while on vacation. How do you know this from what you have read? Again, so judgemental ranting and raving when you have zero idea of the situation at hand. I’ll give you a personal example. My daughter has missed seven days so far this school year (through fall and up unitl now). She is a perfect student. I demand that of her. She is the top reader in her 2nd grade class and is 2nd in Math in her class. She is well versed (for a FIFTH grader) in writing, spelling, history, science, etc… I work with her everyday (which is what I am supposed to do as a parent). My father is dying of a terminal disease. Every chance we get, I go visit with him. She has also been sick twice this school year. I am a single father of two girls, and yes, without a support system, this does have a huge impact on our everyday lives (as many above do not believe). I usually follow through with excuse notes and always (if traveling) give her teacher adequate warning, except for sick days obviously. I have recently forgotten to return an excuse note. It happens. Our day is non-stop from the minute the 3 of us wake up until bedtime. Sometimes you just forget. Do I deserve to be “bashed” like many of you on here have done to this woman. Absolutely not. When my daughter misses school days, do I have her make all of the missed work up (even when the teacher says she doesn’t have to)? Absolutely. How in the world can many of you read into this brief article with so little details and determine everything that you have about this woman to pass judgement on her in the way that you all have? I could be in that same boat (or a somewhat similar one because I would have made the payment). Do I deserve the same judgement (lazy, worthless parent, whose kids will grow up and be useless to society)? If you believe so, I am glad to not have known you in my life. What has happened to America? Everyone is soooooooo judgemental! Get the facts people before passing such hurtful, hateful comments upon people.

  117. Mr. J says:

    Wow!! I am stunned at many of the responses to this article. After reading halfway down the page at the responses, I had to stop. The fact that so many spout off at the mouth with negative comments towards this woman, with such limited knowledge, is amazing to me. Such a judgemental society we all live in. Maybe she is lazy and just refusd to take the time to write a note. Maybe not. Does that really make her a horrible parent, as so many have suggested? Some people stated that she is just lazy and her kids are going to grow up and be worthless individuals and suggested she is not following through on the missed classwork while on vacation. How do you know this from what you have read? Again, so judgemental ranting and raving when you have zero idea of the situation at hand. I’ll give you a personal example. My daughter has missed seven days so far this school year (through fall and up unitl now). She is a perfect student. I demand that of her. She is the top reader in her 2nd grade class and is 2nd in Math in her class. She is well versed (for a FIFTH grader) in writing, spelling, history, science, etc… I work with her everyday (which is what I am supposed to do as a parent). My father is dying of a terminal disease. Every chance we get, I go visit with him. She has also been sick twice this school year. I am a single father of two girls, and yes, without a support system, this does have a huge impact on our everyday lives (as many above do not believe). I usually follow through with excuse notes and always (if traveling) give her teacher adequate warning, except for sick days obviously. I have recently forgotten to return an excuse note. It happens. Our day is non-stop from the minute the 3 of us wake up until bedtime. Sometimes you just forget. Do I deserve to be “bashed” like many of you on here have done to this woman. Absolutely not. When my daughter misses school days, do I have her make all of the missed work up (even when the teacher says she doesn’t have to)? Absolutely. How in the world can many of you read into this brief article with so little details and determine everything that you have about this woman to pass judgement on her in the way that you all have? I could be in that same boat (or a somewhat similar one because I would have made the payment). Do I deserve the same judgement (lazy, worthless parent, whose kids will grow up and be useless to society)? If you believe so, I am glad to not have known you in my life. What has happened to America? Everyone is soooooooo judgemental! Get the facts people before passing such hurtful, hateful comments upon people.

  118. Catherine A. McClarey says:

    It was perhaps a dumb idea to fine a parent for a student’s excessive unexcused absences — BUT this mom gave a pretty lame excuse for not notifying the school of the reason for the absences at the time. Plus, once the courts get involved with civil fines and payment orders, things get a LOT more serious. I’m a collections secretary in IL, and I often hear from debtors who blew off all their scheduled court appearances, including a Rule to Show Cause hearing, and are stunned to learn that there’s now a bench warrant out for their arrest. $45 a month is a very small monthly payment amount on a typical small claims debt payment order (doing without a daily convenience-store coffee and newspaper would cover it), and this mom does NOT therefore have a good excuse for blowing off the monthly payments on her fines.

  119. McSorley says:

    I agree with the comments about her needing to be a better parent but where I have a major concern is how in the hell the court system becomes involved with a family who’s kid misses a few days of school. This isn’t the only story out there where the school calls the cops or gets the legal system involved over some minor issue (there are a ton of them). The fact that your paying administrators hundreds of thousands of dollars and they cant pick up the phone and call the family to see what is going on but would rather process paper work to have the mother fined and go to court is just dumb.

  120. Donna says:

    It’s not that deep people. This mother is nothing more than a whiner. It has nothing to do with money and nothing to do with government intrusion. Her 3 kids get a free education with only the simplest of courtesies being offered in return, such as the decency to let the school know she is aware of their absences and the easy task of scheduling vacations around the numerous days school is out of session. It’s not that her kids were sick or that she took them to visit family. It’s that’s she is too self-absorbed to write a note or take responsibility for her own decisions, preferring to blame others instead – nothing more and nothing less.

  121. Mom of 3 young children says:

    This woman sounds very irresponsible. When she ignored the school district’s request to find out why her chikd missed so many days of school, she ignored that. When she was requested to appear for court for a hearing, she ignored that. When you are dealing with irresponsible people, the system has to come up with some way to make them comply and I guess going to jail did the trick. I am raising 3 school-aged children of my own and manage to take care of my responsibilities. Just curious, do you work Mrs. Heiser.

  122. Jamie says:

    This is not about a mother taking her kids on vacation! This is about a grown adult that refused to pay the fine.

    At Spanky T Smachme’s comment- clearly you are one that did not take education seriously…. Parents should be intelligent enough to know taking your kids out in the middle of the school year is detrimental to their learning. Its not about giving up rights, its about a woman that refused to pay her fines.

    If the woman would have paid what she was suppose to, then this would not be an issue. Furthermore, the title of this article is very misleading.

  123. Bea says:

    She went to jail for not paying her fines. Period. The school attendance was why she had the fines. Listening to her, I’m sure she’s raising some real great kids, who won’t know what being good citizens means. Look at her track record on responsibility, she doesn’t send her kids to school, she doesn’t tell the school why, she doesn’t pay her fines, she doesn’t show for a hearing, and someone else even payed the fines, and none of this is any big deal to her. The people defending her must think that taking responsibility for your actions is optional. Schools give plenty of chances to parents, and the courts did too. She just didn’t care.

  124. dudefromdixie says:

    Typical idiot attitude. Parents, You are responsible, no one else, for the upbringing of your children. You are responsible, no one else, for insuring that your children get an education. You are responsible, no one else, for making sure that your children stay out of trouble, stay off drugs, don’t start drinking or smoking, don’t get pregnant, don’t get someone else pregnant, don’t get in trouble at school, eat right, have clothes to wear, have a warm safe bed to sleep in, learn to respect their communities and neighbors, and every other d&amned thing that is wrong with kids today. It is your fault you stupid parents.

  125. zerubabel says:

    Privatize schools…. let free enterrpise work. Stop taxing people to educate children and let parents pay for the education of their own kids. There is a name for taxing me to pay for the religious indoctrination of other peoples children—stealing! I paid twice to education my 5 kids. Once to pay for someone else’s kids to be indoctrinated in state religion and again to pay for my kids to be indoctrinated in MY religion. So much for separation of church and state.

  126. Shawn says:

    The amount of support I see for the state shows how much we have lost it as a society. Jail should only be for people who are a serious threat to society, not because she failed to pay a tiny fine. How many people have you seen sent to jail with outstanding credit card debts? Maybe their bank account will be garnished but jail is ridiculous. 9 missed days of school, are you kidding me? Pathetic.

  127. gary says:

    my children belong to me, not the state. It is my responsibility to educate them, not the state. Her problem is she doesn’t know that, if she did, her child would not attend a public school, she would not have been taxed the 200 dollars. wake up people, this is the usa, control your own destiny, stop letting the gov run your lives, rise up and change the big gov, before it’s to late

  128. Jennifer says:

    Seriously, like there isn’t enough time out of school already? I am sick and tired of people who think they can just ignore the school calendar and do their own thing. You don’t need to schedule your family reunion for the middle of February, but your children DO need to become literate! From the looks of many of these posts, I shudder to think of the children coming up. I am a teacher and I have received many emails from parents who don’t understand “to”, “two”, and “too” or “your” and “you’re”. If parents are this ill-informed, what of the children?!

  129. Someonebangedher says:

    good lord

  130. This story should be on "The Onion" it's so ridiculous says:

    Seriously? How have we let the government get all this power? This is sad. When are Americans going to realize that the rights we should have are turning into privileges we have to ask for? I can understand intervention needing to happen if a child is being abused or neglected but she’s getting fines for taking him on a vacation? Really?? Since when does the United States government own our children?

  131. Irish says:

    Thiis is bloody ludicris,if I want to take my kids on vacation I will but I would first let the school know which is wot the mum should have done,my youngest daughter who lived with her dad was allowed to run the streets of they’er town when she was 14 then he allowed her to just drop out of school so in my opinion Anchorage needs to also go after the parents who allow they’er kids to skip or drop out!

  132. Meeo Mie says:

    Poor reporting. She went to jail for failure to abide by a payment order or for failure to come up with a valid excuse for noncompliance She did not go to jail because of a child’s truancy.

  133. nunya says:

    Reading most of these comment makes me realize that personal liberties don’t mean squat to most of you. Onward till the government tells you every way to live your life.

  134. daveh says:

    PS, I spent five years working at VQ, Pittsburgh people should know that VQ doesn’t mess around with delinquent/dependent children.

  135. Steve Williams says:

    I have to laugh at these teachers who complain about when a parent decides to take vacation. The world does not revolve around the school house. A good number of so called teachers fail to even care wether students pass or not and just rush them thru so the school can get their money and build the Monument schools you see these days. If the school system cared as much about its students as it does about how architechually cool their buildings our children might have a chance. Just because a student misses a week or two of school does not keep him from passing or failing a grade. It is the parents responsability to make sure they make up the work and learn the material. This has to stop all this passing the buck onto the school system. It is all about personal responsability, something our schools no longer teach they are to brainwashed into believeing the Green Planet lie and that the smarter kids have to be held back so the slower ones can catch up. This is sick and is not how our nation was built. What they teach now is socialism and progressive iedology our kids won’t have a chance unless we educate them ourselves. I made the mistake of leaving my childrens minds in the hands of our school system. That will not happen with my grandchildren they will get a proper education and will not be part of the endoctrination that has stripped the pride and motivation from our youth of today. If any of you have children in public educatio you should do your best to home school and teach them your values instead of a corrupt governments ideology.

  136. RigidPrinciples says:

    Why would anyone send their kids to a school like that ? The best part about homeschooling is you can thoroughly teach your kids that most of what their government does is unconstitutional. Furthermore, I’ve found that kids really love practicing with their AK-47’s during gym class 🙂

  137. Ed Rooney says:

    So far this semester he has been absent nine times. If Ferris thinks that he can just coast through this month and still graduate, he is sorely mistaken. I have no reservations whatsoever about holding him back another year.

    1. regina says:

      mike is right, this is hilarious

  138. Pat says:

    There’s a responsibility that comes with having children. One of the many is to educate them to become contributing members of society. If this mother chose to put her children in a public school, I’m sure she signed all kinds of memos of understanding at the beginning of the year that say she has read and understood the student’s code of conduct. End of story. She’s obviously someone who should have stopped at one kiddo, she’s in over her head, and by the way — where’s daddy in all of this?

  139. shevrae says:

    Reason #346 I homeschool my kids – when I go to visit family or we tag along with my husband on a business trip, I don’t have to get permission from anybody else. I’m not risking a fine or jail time.

  140. What What What says:

    American children score the lowest compared to other countries. A vacation was better for the children.

  141. Steven says:

    That is 9 unexcused absences….that’s not counting the ones that were excused. And we wonder why kids aren’t learning what they are supposed to learn at school. She could have sent a note, an email, a phone call or a personal visit to the school. Any of those are acceptable for excusing an absence. She wasn’t jailed for the absences anyway, it was for not paying the fines.

  142. TiredOfJerks says:

    Like mother, like son. Mother flips off the RULES; son follows suit. Mother goes to jail, son will soon follow. Put birth control in the drinking water!

  143. Sarah says:

    Such an idiot.

  144. Kevin says:

    My GOVMINT SlaveMaster, whatever you say. So let it be written, so let it be done.

  145. neva says:

    This is why my kids don’t go to a guvment skoo. Jail time for not paying extortion? what a concept…wlecome to Amerikkka

  146. Burghnerdman says:

    What is wrong with you people? When this so called parent thinks it is okay to have her children miss school for an extended vacation. She is sending the message too them that it is okay to miss school, (Work) for any and all reasons.
    These children have off school for 3 months in the summer. Go on vacation then. She is going to wonder why her children are not going to keep a job, when they get older, or why they can’t finish college. They don’t know what priortys are. There not being taught correctly at home.

    1. michael says:

      Work has changed since the 1960s.

      People where I work come into the office when they want to. Or not at all. We have people working around the world, some in offices, some in homes, some at the cafe’. When I go on vacation, I take a laptop with me. I can work just as hard as I can when I’m in the office if I choose to.

      Learning can take place on the car, bus or train ride. Have you heard of the concept of study abroad?

  147. Bob Lozano says:

    Clearly this lady is on crack! Look at the picture! Mount Pleasant is white trash heaven. Her son was probably out with the sheep.

  148. g says:

    stupid democrats.

  149. JB Destiny says:

    NINE days?!? Out of how many in the school year – 200? How is that neglectful? Why does that deserve a fine at all? The school’s paperwork was out of whack, kid’s file was incomplete – boo hoo.

    Did the school call mom when the kid didn’t show up, or is that not their job any longer, either? Seems they can’t even warehouse them properly anymore.

  150. Michael says:

    They should do away with public schools and start over.

  151. Ken says:

    Is it the States kids or hers? What this amounts to is they didn’t get their money. Same reason we have red light cameras. Money! has nothing to do with safety. YOU VILL COMPLY!!! PAPERS PLEASE!! It is power, greed and funding the beast….Government!

  152. bishop says:

    All of you should know that in California, a note is no good for child absences.
    The child must have a note from a Doctor stating why they did not come to school.
    Too many absences within a semester, the Los Angeles District Attorney steps in, and will fine a parent up to 2500 dollars, or a year in jail.

    There are not many Whites in Public school out here any more. (Los Angeles).

    Public School is a Socialist concept, (look up John Dewey).
    But you probably know that already.

  153. Vernon Todd says:

    I am a 50 years old American and a veteran of the armed forces. I am stunned at the mind set of young Americans these days. We have truly lost sight of what it means to be an American and how precious our Constitution truly is. The youth have been brainwashed and find normal so many infringements of personal liberty that would never have been allowed without MASSIVE resistance and outrage just 20-30 years ago. I am truly afraid for my children’s and the world’s future. The Orwellian vision of “1984” is most certainly here. God Bless America, and God Bless the World.

  154. mamab says:

    Unfortunately when your child is enrolled in public school you are accountable to the system. You choose to give up some of your parental rights when you allow the government to be in control of educating your children. This mother is not forgetful, she is lazy. She should have written excuses for her child and spoken with the principle and teacher before going on vacation for 5 days. It should not be that difficult to be responsible for three children. She was arrested because she did not pay her fine. Maybe she forgot that too? I can not imagine being so flippant with a court order that concerned my child!

    II homeschool my kids now, but my oldest did attend public kindergarten. She was sick several times with strep throat. Each time the school was presented with a doctor’s excuse. After 7 absences the school social worker called threatening me with the court if the behavior continued. I guess the fact that my child had 103 temps and throwing up didn’t matter (or that she was under the care of a doctor with his excuse each time). I then assured her that I would be more than happy to drag my sick kid to class the next time to infect the other children and staff if I needed to. And there was a next time. Just to keep the school off my back I did carry my child with a 103 temp to her classroom where she proceeded to throw up on the floor . OF course that illness was yet again strep throat that was followed by a doctor and his note for her school file. The school social worker didn’t call me again. My husband and I decided that we didn’t enjoy being harassed for being good parents and have homeschooled ever since. The schools have gotten way too much control over our children, but if you choose to send your kids for public education you need to follow the rules.

  155. Vernon Todd says:

    In reading these comments I find it very hard to believe they are written by Americans that believe in the founding principals of this country. Their HAS TO BE a massive group of people making a massive effort to flood these forums with anti-American thinking to make the rest of believe that what they write is acceptable, normal thinking. There is an obvious effort to destroy this country at every single level. When this country and its principles are gone the rest of the world will follow. We have to stand up for freedom and liberty NOW before it is too late.

  156. Chad Heiser says:

    I am Jessica Heiser’s husband. I find it absolutely ridiculous that most parent’s would concede to having their child’s principal dictate to them on when and for how long they can take their child or children on vacation. The situation is this, We contacted the school and informed them of when and for how long we were going on vacation. If we could have sent in an excuse we would have but that was not the case, We needed to receive permission.. Should we have ignored the Magistrate, absolutely not, Should we have paid the fine, absolutely not. It was never about the fine, it was about the charge of truancy for going on vacation. Upon our return, all homework was made up and turned in and both of my children passed with A’s. Furthermore, My oldest son who missed the 9 days of school, 5 of which were due to the fact of the vacation, 2 happened in Feb. and the other 2 day’s in may. Excuses were turned in for the for days missed in Feb and May but since they were not doctor’s excuses they were not accepted. I do not need to take my child to a doctor when I know he has a cold or an upset stomach. On one final note, My oldest son, has received 2 Principal’s awards for academic excellence in both reading and math (CHANNEL 11 ACTUALLY SHOWS THEM IN THEIR REPORT) for this year and he is at the top of his class. We are both good parent’s, I help coach my son’s soccer team, I’m a military veteran, and I take the upbringing of my children very seriously but I guess KDKA didn’t find news in that. Point the finger all you want but when we decide to take a family vacation the same situation will occur once more. I will contact the school and let them know where, when and how long we will be gone, all homework will be made up and my boy’s will pass with flying color’s again. The fine that will be imposed will not be paid because if a situation like this happens again I will contact a lawyer and fight the district. I will NEVER let the school district or the school’s principal dictate to me, when I can go on vacation. I raise my children not the district!

    1. michael says:

      Thank-you for providing the background information. It sounds like you are doing a fine job raising your kids. I think that you should be on the school board so that you can see that junk like this doesn’t happen.

      My experience with principals is that they act like tyrants over their domain and generally speak in a condescending way to parents. It was far easier for us to deal with the Superintendent in homeschooling – they have to be more careful politically.

      The principal should have just used their discretion in handling the matter. In our district, issues like this can get escalated to the school board level where they are discussed in the non-public session. The school board represents parents and voters and is more likely to be composed of real people and more likely to treat you as a person. Schools are institutions and institutions tend to treat you like numbers.

    2. Pkpost says:

      Chad, it can be summed up as thus: Liberals and the rest of the effeminate busy-body class need to be told to drink a nice, hot cup of STFU when it comes to the welfare of our kids. It has never been – nor will it ever be – their place to dictate to parents a single word regarding the whereabouts of their children when they are in their parents care. Their sole job is to educate. If a child does all of the work requirements and achieves academic success, teachers and administrators should have absolutely ZERO power and ZERO say outside of those limited, defined boundaries. Your attitude and take on this situation is spot on and I salute you and your fine wife for raising such responsible kids. God Bless you both.

  157. another parent says:

    Nobody is thinking about the fact that the school also keeps track of children not showing up for safety reasons. I am guessing if her child went missing & the school never notified her, assuming she took them on another trip, she would be the first to complain about the school not caring for her childrens whereabouts. IF these children are scheduled to be in school, they need to attend & the school should be notified if they are not going to be there. On many levels, she is selfish & ignorant.

    1. michael says:

      The parents notified the school district that they were taking the kids on a vacation.

      1. skip says:

        That what heiser342 says Michael…

        Another parent — you’re so right, I’m guessing Mommy would be the first to complain if the school or district magistrate were not doing their jobs. It’s refreshing that these officials are doing their jobs.

  158. Really wise guy! says:

    I have yet to read a post that decides what “justice” should be imposed on this woman for “not” following the rules. Fines, then goto jail, “So who wants to play judge?”

  159. J Appleton says:

    The woman has a skewed sense of values. I can’t imagine taking children out of school for “vacation” purposes.
    No mention of the father’s concerns here–or is this just another “family” where a father isn’t in the picture?

    1. michael says:

      The father is posting here and has provided more information on the issue. His kids are academic stars in the school.

      I worked in a manufacturing company many years ago. Every summer, at a certain time, they conducted a physical plant inventory – the bean counters did this. The manufacturing employees took vacation time then as the plant was unavailable for their manufacturing work.

      Today, I have a job where the management can say that we need to get certain work done by the end of the year. Cancel all of your vacation plans in December. We will reimburse you for the travel and hotel reservations that you’ve already made. Well, at least you are not out any money but you are out the time. That has happened.

      Others have mentioned requirements for military service corresponding with school vacation times.

  160. Joe Shmo says:

    You want to take a vacation during school time, then you discuss it with the school first, find out how to make up the work, and you do it. It ain’t that hard.

    1. michael says:

      That’s what the parents did.

  161. Chicago Nick says:

    This rule is in place thanks to the ghettoites who can’t be compelled to attend school for any reason other than to score or deal drugs and to pick up skeezers and slime to hook up with to either cause yet another ‘convenient abortion’ or create yet another child dependent on the taxpayers of America to feed house and clothe…

    So because of them we all suffer when your child has a legitimate reason to be absent from school like this woman apparently is claiming.

    The same thing in the airports when we know that the muslims cause the problems because of liberal out of control PC we have to act like we’re screening everyone when we all know they’re not the problem.

    Solve that problem real easy: Muslims line up over here or don’t fly until they create an All Islamic Airline where they can pray and blow up the things all day long for all I care.

    Same thing in the schools should be in place: any child with a GRADE AVERAGE BELOW C are subjected to extra scrutiny no matter what color they are. That’ll sort out by itself when you see the only ones with d’s and f’s are you know who. So therefore, THEY miss 9 days THEIR parents get jailed.

    Oh but that would be RACIST!!!! what morons.

    Fatherless families are to blame for most if not all of societies ills from the suburbs to the ghetto’s and until children stop having children because their parents aren’t there to teach them what happens when you get smacked and cracked up and have sex with anything that moans and groans.

    So rules like this essentially prove that the schools in the inner cities are nothing but holding pens for the kids 8 hours a day lessening the damage they can do to society at large if they’re not supervised a little bit at least a day and then they can’t even do that?

    Turn the inner city schools into prisons and it would cost us less and they’d be caged up all day every day ..anyone in the ‘kiddie prison’ who gets a B and above average for 2 years then can graduate back to the normal schools and the others just graduate to the nearest state prison. Its cheaper to keep them in prison than it is in school if they don’t wanna be there.

    1. michael says:

      The kids are academic stars at the school. They notified the school of the vacation and the kids made up all of the work. And they have A averages. Perhaps you jumped to conclusions a bit early.

    2. mikec711 says:

      ChicagoNick, this is not an issue of race and making it one is at best going to cloud the issue, and at worst shows a propensity on your part to make that the issue when it is clearly not. This, and the issue where a woman was jailed for enrolling her kids in a school in the next town, are a perfect example where teachers unions and the lack of school choice are causing these issues. A private school would have been a whole lot less likely to have a parent fined or thrown in jail when their student (high-performing or not) misses school. They may miss opportunities … but that’s the cost of missing school time. As for your concern about inner city kids underperforming … the parents there who care could take their voucher money and go to a better school. Oh, and go Steelers.

  162. jimmy Mcslapyousilly4beingsouptightlystupid says:

    Follow in line sheep. And if you dont wanna be a good sheep, you will be treated as a terrorist. Get back in line sheep!! Dont question the authority over you! Dont try to use your own brain, just read what we feed you, do what we tell you, be a good little sheep. I think the people who think themselves intelligent, are missing the elephant in the room. When you can be locked up just because your child didnt attend their daily brainwashing, you have to start wondering whats gonna be next? I agree with the guy who said soon well be locked up and have to do free slave labor for the state. All in due time sheep, just keep following in line till you die, then your kids, and kids kids, and call reap the benefits of a police society bent on absolute control. Personal freedom will be a myth kids talk about in the future. So to all you sheep who love to follow the rules just because your told to, we thank you, sheep dont wanna think for themselves, they wanna be lead. So pat yourselves on the back for a job well done, this world will soon be under total control all due to your lack of free thinking.

  163. marcs2 says:

    and i thought that debtors prison was a remnant of the distant past. i was wrong

  164. Lawrence Godwin says:

    We live in Southwest PA and our school is completely ridiculous on this policy.
    We DID turn in excuses for our daughter going on vacation with us, and now that she has 10 days (EXCUSED), any further absences for the remainder of the school year must be accompanied by a doctor’s excuse or we get fined.
    It’s completely asinine. I went into the school to speak to the truancy officer concerning this, and in the short 5 minute meeting he condescendingly insinuated that I didn’t know how to send an email or know how to read the letter that was mailed to me.
    Considering the apathy of some teachers, and bureaucratic nonsense like these policies, it’s no wonder that many parents choose to homeschool.

  165. DCline says:

    Reporters need to provide better in depth reporting. Why was the mother jailed, but not the father? What kind of grades did the children earn despite or because of their absences? Why did this have to go to court? Couldn’t the school and/or district just call and ask why the kids were not in school?

  166. MC says:

    What kind of idiots think that visiting with family for a few reasonable days and building those relationships isn’t more important than answering “present” for the union-pay census in a school that probably teaches junk and if like the schools my kids attended sometimes forces them to sit in auditoriums watching movies that have nothing to do with education, so they can be marked “present.” Schools that don’t teach, led by teachers with lame imaginations who don’t know much, except about disenfranchising parents. So you people who castigate the parents for not sending the kids for more education days are without basic critical thinking skills. School should be for learning but not learning how to fit into a bureaucratic box and little more. I taught my kids that they had to learn for themselves, that the bar was comfortably low in “school.” Those who just want to follow the school rules be what they are. Just don’t force others into the stupid box. Suppose you want to take your kids to France for a week– think they won’t learn more on that trip than in a week in a public school?. Private schools would make reasonable accommodations and work with the parents, after all, the parents are paying and the schools need to be reasonable with their customer-users. But in public schools? There are “rules” that replace the common sense you’d see in the private school, because no one has to be reasonable and the attendance days of your children are beans that are counted without any concern besides achievement of the bean counting mission. By the way– do your fighting first, before a fine is issued and when fined pay unless you want to go to jail as an act of civil disobedience.

  167. Nickelodeon says:

    Well, I’ll I can say is that this is the reason I homeschool my kids. The gov’t and it’s lackeys(teachers, police, etc.) don’t own my kids. I do, and I care a heck of a lot more about them then any stranger could.

    The lesson for this Mom is that she should remove her kids from gov’t schools and not worry about reporting to come bureacrat on what their family is doing or who is not in school and why.

  168. DonM says:

    Another good reason to homeschool. Schools should be a service to the community, the notion of government fines to a parent for truancy or having to write an excuse is darned silly.

    Unless you really do think school is a prison, and the kids, without having committed a crime are sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.

  169. California Teacher says:

    School is only @180 days in this country. Not 240 days like most other countries. Every instructional minute counts. Remember, with NCLB, every child must be proficient by 2014. Schools are being closed and teachers fired. This is one of the few stories in the press where a parent is being held accountable. Yes, schools lose money, but electric bills and water bills and salaries still have to be paid whether the child is there or not. She didn’t even pick up the phone and call the school. I have no sympathy for this woman.

    1. michael says:

      Written like a bureaucrat.

      The parents did notify the school of the absences. The father has written two posts on this thread with much more background information. NCLB is a joke. Why should parents and students care about NCLB? Are schools about NCLB or learning?

      1. Nan says:

        So you keep saying Michael — do you know these parents personally or do you always believe what you read online? I have bridge for you too…

      2. michael says:

        Nan, anyone with an ounce of internet skills could just do a news search. There is a much better article at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review verifying what the dad has posted.

        Here is a fair use snippet from the article:

        Heiser, whose two sons were then in kindergarten and first grade at Rumbaugh Elementary School in the Mt. Pleasant Area School District, said she called to let the school know her boys would be absent while the family visited relatives in New York. A secretary told her she had to request advance permission from the principal, or else the absences would count as “unexcused.”

        “I said, ‘Why should I have to do that?'” Heiser remembered. “These are my children. I’m their mother!”

        With plans already made, Heiser said, the family left without the principal’s permission.

  170. Aldstan says:

    My question is – and maybe it’s been mentioned – how do the statutes in place apply to people who want to homeschool their children? When the time comes for my child to be in school, can I expect fines, harassment, and jail if I choose to educate her myself?

    1. michael says:

      The laws are different in all of the states. If you are considering homeschooling, you should take a look at the laws in your state. I think that all states have active homeschooling email lists and they can provide you with links to the law for your state along with English translations.

      There was far more harassment in the past and there are many homeschoolers that had to deal with harassment in the past so that we can enjoy the relative freedom to homeschool today. In general, you notify your school district that you are going to homeschool your child or children. Some states do not require notification (this is from the last time I read legal summaries of state homeschool laws which was several years ago) if you’re starting out. There are some states that are approval states – you have to get permission to homeschool by meeting a set of conditions. MA goes by case law – “Care of Charles” where the rules are fuzzy and where neither side wants legislation as there’s always a risk with legislation that your side will lose.

      The map at this site ranks states by levels of regulation:


      PA is considered a high-regulation state.

  171. HRoz says:

    I don’t know about anyone else but the part of the story that annoys me is that the school “complained to the magistrate”, then the court fined her?! For 9 absences?! I know we’re facing the most difficult of times and we all could use the money but, where does this end? with the U.S.S.A.?!!!!!! and the N.S.A. becomming the modern day K.G.B.?!!! Next thing you know the government will be “running” the internet…..and charging us to use it! Oh yeah, they already got that ball rolling……only a matter of time before they “run” it….straight into the ground. This is absolutely deplorable folks. God help us, because they’re even working on removing him from everything this country represents.

  172. V says:

    These comments remind me of the Salem era witch trials. Just look at the comments on this site, youtube or any other website. Mostly petty, judgmental, mean-spirited blather. Americans are selfish, mindless consumers. Police state? Sure, just don’t take my ipod away. Accuse her of being a witch and just get on with it and burn her. I have to update my facebook. lol and all that

  173. societyin decline says:

    This woman is so typical of today’s irresponsible, excuse-making, uneducated, baby-makin’, trailer livin’, ding-dong eatin’ , rasslin’-watchin’ parent that shouln’t have ever procreated.

  174. Thomas Kase says:

    Do what I do – I send my two daughters to private school – none of this idiocy.

    Far better education too.

  175. Tyler says:

    Chad Heiser and his family are doing what a lot of us are afraid to do! Stick to your guns, man. Your kids are making up their work and all the notifications are made. You did nothing wrong. It IS about the district collecting money. Anybody who thinks the school/state/whatever can dictate their vacation may as well be living under King George III. I’ve taken my kids out of school for a weeks vacation and had no problems here in Texas.

    1. Dan says:

      No, all the notifications were not made. Did you see the video? She admits it. I’ve taken my child out of school for vacation here in PA and not had one issue because I prepared the appropriate paperwork on my end and took responsibility for my child’s education.

      1. Nickelodeon says:

        Just a note Dan, it was the reporter that said those things…not the Mom….maybe the reporter was accurate…but it wouldn’t be the first time if she wasn’t. I’ve been misquoted by local reporters ever time I’ve ever given an interview…sometimes in minor fashion….some times not.

  176. URAPUNK says:

    I also served in the military and fought for my country. That being said AS A MILITARY VETERAN, I also understand that there rules governing just about every aspect of your life.

    I don’t condone anything that Mr Heiser has said. Again, she did not go to jail because they took their son on vacation. She went to jail because she did not respect and honor the judicial system that Mr Heiser and I and thousands of others have fought for , been injured, for and have seen things no one should ever see for.

    All you people come on here and complain about schools not telling you when to take your kids to school or how many days they can miss. You know what you are right. Withdraw your kids sign them up for some “home school” and let them learn absolutely nothing up rules and authority. Better yet, the government should remove any standards and rules in place and if you want to send your kids to school then go on and if you don’t then don’t.

    You let your wife go to jail while stood back. Your a punk. For you to come on here and play the “I’m a veteran, I served this country, I went and fought for this country” card your a disgrace to myself and the men and women who did what was expected of us. I could sit and list name after name of the BRAVE comrades I served with that don’t have the opputunity to come on here and complain about following rules because THEY GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THIS COUNTRY.

    Grow up be a man and accept the responsiblity. Pay the fines, get a job, and move on.

    1. michael says:

      What are you, 10 years old? A Nifong supporter? A racist?

      Schools are a service to the community. They should be responsive and responsible to the community. There is a governmental management structure in place. That management structure should exercise discretion. In my town, it would have been handled by the school board; no the police department.

      Home schoolers are all over the place. Liberal, conservative, religious, gay, straight, christian, jewish, in the military, out of the military. You seem to like to paint with a broad brush.

      I agree with you on providing educational choice. If someone doesn’t want to learn, they won’t learn. You can spend as much as you want to, and we do try.

      Your a punk? Are you 10?

  177. chris says:

    Right and wrong of THE RULE aside, like it or not, there are rules we must live by when we decide to do certain things (i.e., if we decide to drive, the rule is that we have to wear a seat belt; we decide to drink, the rule is that we do not drive if we are above the legal limit, etc.). This woman decided to enroll her child in public school and then did not follow the rules set in place by that school system (btw, she was aware of the rule, but with three children, she apparently forgot or didn’t have the time to follow the rules), and THEN she did not pay the entire fine handed down by the court, which is why, eventually, there was a warrant for her arrest. Rules are rules, and if you don’t like them, you do whatever you can by writing letters, making phone calls, getting on board to try to change the system in question… If one ignores the rules of an institution into which they willingly enter and then expects no repercussion, such arrogance not only breeds problems for themselves, but for society as a whole. I’m making no commentary on the rights or wrongs of the public school system, I’m simply saying that if you don’t like the rules, seek another option to educate your child that better fits in with your lifestyle. Oh, and pay the fine so you can keep yourself out of jail, try to turn it into a learning experience about responsibility for your children and move on. Wah Wah Wah…

  178. Alamitos Bay says:

    Scrooooooo the schools establishment. Sell all the schools and colleges into private enterprises. Destroy the unions. Arrest and jail the top dogs in the education bureaucracies. Kill the truancy laws. Don’t give anyone any tax money for the purpose of “education.” Pay for your own damned kids or don’t have any kids.

  179. Josey Montana says:


    The school is nazi-like. Welcome to the “new normal” America: Comply or die. Resist and die. Disobey and be punished.

    Slaves – in the land our fathers invented.

    These little Hitlers and their Nazi-like ways can go to the devil. It’s time to put an end to their petty reigns of terror while we remain free enough to do it.

  180. Cindy says:

    of course if you are here illegally these rules will not apply to you or your children so go ahead and go back to Mexico for the motth of December like many
    of you do. The state is out of control.

  181. kmasitti says:

    yes the mother was irresponsible in not taking care of this before it turned into a warrant, but you should not get fined and dragged into the legal system over a few missed notes in the first place. It’s elementary school. If the schools really cared about the kids they would get rid of the greedy unions and tenure.

  182. Marc says:

    I think the major issue here is displaying that we are somehow beholden to the State (not state), and that we have to answer their every whim. The bigger question that needs to be asked is why was she fined? Because her child did not attend class? What if she decided to Home School her children, would the State come and jail her again? If the child fails to attain the needed credits to complete the grade, then they repeat the grade, end of story. What’s at issue here is we are losing our Liberties and we are losing them fast. Wake the hell up people!

  183. joe jericho says:

    Scroo the government!

  184. Jamie says:

    I do not like the fact that she was thrown in jail for the situation but people are blaming it on the school and law enforcement, but it is in general her fault, while she did not need to “ask permission” to take the kids on vacation she should have notified the school, that is all that they required was notification. And for her to “forget” to write an excuse, you don’t even have to write an excuse call the school and tell them hey my son or daughter will not be in today he is sick, or he will be out of school next week we will be out of town. That is all that is required. I do not have my son in a public school so I do not have to worry about this, I am a homeschooling mother and I am allowed to take vacations when I want and do what I want without worrying about fines or jail time but if you are going to put your child in a public school follow the simple rules that go along with it its really not that hard to do.

  185. beautress says:

    Time to homeschool our own children!

    No school should ever have the right to jail a parent for nonpayment of a debt.

    This reeks of debtor prisons.

  186. Melanie says:

    This is precisely why we homeschooled for years. My son is attending the public school this year (11th grade) because he wanted to ‘checkit out’. What a joke that place is! We took him up to a long promised trip to visit the AirForce Museum in Dayton, Ohio. We toured the Cincinnati museum and the famed historic structures of the city (and the pilgramage to Roebling’s bridge-I am a structural engineer) and the school would NOT excuse his absence for that trip. Then I took my son to a mechanical engineering convention at AuburnUniversity where he sat thru an entire day of seminars and PHD presentaions….and the high school would NOT excuse that. What a bunch of morons…no interest in REAL education whatsoever. Looking forward to homeschooling next year after writing this year off as a complete waste of time. They ought to just abolish the Georgia Departement of Education.

  187. Keith Olbermann's Bad Throwing Arm says:

    To Oberon123-

    What a sad loser! LOL! This dweeb stays on the internet. Just google his name. He’s all over the web. Well Oberon, I congratulate you on your illustrious Internet posting career, sir. If you keep posting all over the web then maybe you will be promoted to Internet Poster Chief Executive. LOL! Why yes…. your web rants REALLY are making a difference!

    Some advice… If you ever try to pick up a girlfriend, just don’t tell her about your…. ahem…. internet accomplishments.

  188. brad says:

    Home school your children. Don’t let government schools teach them things you disagree with. My 3 boys were home schooled and tested very high compared to national averages for their ages. Sometimes in the top 1%!!! Not because we are so smart, but because when they are young they learned to understand what was taught to them. And the best part was being there when they learned. They really enjoyed it. Why would anyone give up the chance to love their kids that way?

  189. B.E.Smith says:

    I think that the time spent by multiple government employees (School officials and teachers, police, jail guards,bailiff, court reporters judge etc.) most likely far exceeds the amount of the fine imposed. I don’t see where it’s the governments responsibility to make sure the kid is there as often as they need to be to complete their studies for the year. When they are absent, mark them down as absent. Why do they even need an excuse? When the child exceeds the maximum number of days they can miss to complete the school year, expell them for the rest of the year and don’t let them come back till the next school year. Make them take the same grade level over again. When the parents are faced with hiring a babysitter or daycare to watch their children for the rest of the school year they will make sure they get to school the next year. If the kid does the same thing for 3 years, kick him or her out permanently. No excessive cost to the state or county, and the responsibility is put where it belongs, on the parents. I realize this isn’t going to happen because it makes too much sense, and it takes power to control peoples lives away from bureaucrats in state and local governments.

  190. john smith says:

    Here we go, another example of the “Marxist Push” to get all the little pupils in school and harsh punishment to accomplish the “Push” Never Qurestion, Never do any thing that is not exactly the School’s biddubg.

  191. David says:

    This is what is wrong with America…If you make use of any service provided which you are already paying for…you must then sign any rights you have over to this money system…then they tell you what to do with your child from that point on…KEEP YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL if you think you can w/o getting arrested.

  192. Delaney says:

    It does not bother me if someone decides to keep their child out of school for whatever reason they choose. I just do not like it when they return and have not done any schoolwork in their absence and the entire class has to “wait” while the teacher spends her time playing catch up with the child who was absent.

  193. Kathymac says:

    Straighten up and do what’s best for your children. Don’t send them to school, don’t send in a note, don’t show up for court numerous times, don’t pay a fine, but please do whine about it. A great example for your children. All of this could have been avoided with a simple note to the teacher. Buck up and take responsibility lady! The only thing that made an impact and made her pay the fine (her friend paid the fine actually) was jail time for a matter of hours. This is the problem with society now. You have a job to do. Just shut up and do it, if not for your sake, for the children’s!!!

  194. Charles C says:

    I think the court is very justfied. Like all of us, this woman has responsibility to her children to properly educate them and a responsibility to society to produce children who will be responsible, moral and productive members. If all summer, legal and religious hpolidays were not enough time off and she thought her kids would be better educated by an additional family vacation, then she should have put that into writing to the school. She could have then been able to know what material the children would have missed in school and the kids could and should have made it up. Then to blow off the court— I have no sympathy for irresponsibility wraped in supposed freedom!

  195. Van says:

    If you put your kids in public schools then you have to follow the rules. I beleive kids have a Spring Break, Summer Break, 2 weeks off during Christmas. Her vacation for 5 days should have been scheduled for one of these times or keep your kids at home and home school them. Rules may not be right and just but you still have to follow them regardless. One of the rules is if the kids are going to miss time then you contact the school. She probably could have gotten the 5 days as excused if she had only talked and made arrangements with the school. IE Tell them, get their lessons and have them complete them. This is the problem parents just do not take responsibility for the responsibility that comes with having kids.

  196. Mister Rogers says:

    Let’s just face it, the Mom is a Jag-off

  197. Sara Cart says:

    She’s the reason that teachers like me have to fail her kid because they’re so far behind they can’t catch up!

    Get a clue lady. You weren’t put in jail for taking your kids on vacation. You were put in jail because you didn’t pay a truancy fine. She’s too stupid to figure that out. She’s too busy practicing her “everyone is after me, I’m innocent” mentality.

    Why don’t you worry about your children’s well being instead of going on a vacation.

    1. michael says:

      Her kids are A students.

      Teachers like you that can’t read or reason contribute to the decline of the US education system.

  198. Bob Lozano says:

    If this horribly looking woman would have paid her fine none of this would have happened. Typical woman looking for attention.

  199. Parent of children in school says:

    Can you just imagine what would happen to these three children if this irresponsible mother home taught them? Heaven help them. She can’t even remember to call the school when they are home all day with her. I bet she can’t remember to go to work either. There is more to this story. I would bet her house is a pigsty and she doesn’t pay her bills on time. A model citizen.

    1. Oberon123 says:

      You are one of the rare folks who gets it. This mother is an idiot.

  200. minnie says:

    All these dumb comments and no one cited the fact she was taken from her kids to go to jail. Real smart. She had a right to take her children to visit family. Your family is the most important thing, everything else takes second place and can be worked out. She probably did not pay the fines because the district was being stupid. Just because you work for a school district does not mean you are smart.
    Believe me I saw this first hand at my son’s school. I work at the school district for 10 years.

    1. Oberon123 says:

      Are you for real? Society has rules, and there are consequences if you don’t follow them. She didn’t pay the fines and she went to jail. It’s where she belonged for such flagrant disregard for a judge, society’s rules, and and the LAW.

  201. Oberon123 says:

    I found it interesting that nobody challenged the idea that the jerkoff father didn’t just kiss his job off to go on a vacation whenever he liked, but it’s fine to blow off school. Real good priorities, people.

  202. Jared says:

    Listen, it’s about ‘first principles’ people. And the “LAW” has no innate relationship to principles. The two are separate things unless you’re some sort of blind lemming. The government is not your daddy or your mommy. We hire the government to perform services FOR US not to TO US. WE set the bounds of the government. Common sense and the Founding Fathers clearly indicate that there are some areas that are simply off limits for the government, namely people’s rights. Governments are meant do DEFEND them.. not INVENT them, not IMPOSE them. True rights are innate to human beings. And within the scope of their rights other people ought not have the first say about how they are exercised – PERIOD. We hire the schools, we pay for the schools. They are accountable to us not we to them. How is it that our creation, the government, has exceeded it’s set bounds? .. And how is it that so many blindly follow? .. It is because our public debate has moved beyond primary principles — principle-based jurisdiction and authority. Of course the gov’t can write itself an authority for anything. This does not make it so. I for one am not fooled….

  203. saberlilly says:

    I went to jail for the same thing here in Oklahoma, and i want to say my son missed ONE day and they said i did not call in. This is insane, my son is 6 years old and now i have my mug shot in papers and all over the place. I am a single mother of three and i try so hard to make things right for my kids, they should not do this. I found out about my warrant when i was on break at work and was reading the newpaper. This is all so wrong, very very wrong

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