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.

  • just stating the facts

    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!

    • Jim Thompson

      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.

    • Conservbro

      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.

      • biglakekelly

        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.

    • Fred

      I agree with Bob. Thank you!

    • gili4

      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?

    • Lisa

      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.

    • Michael

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

    • Willis

      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.

    • Mike Klinge

      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.

    • tom smithwick

      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.

    • specfriggintacular

      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…

      • jd

        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.

      • Janice

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

    • Bob

      Fantastic response thats exactly what occurred

      • Heather

        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.

      • michael

        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.”

      • Sean

        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.

      • specfriggintacular

        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.

      • Willis

        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.

      • michael

        Re: Heather

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

      • Trever

        @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.

      • Rich

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

    • Chris Bove'

      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.

    • Crazy_Redneck

      “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.

      • yyz

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

      • Faith Kristine

        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?

      • Susan G.

        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.

      • Epstein's Mother

        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?

      • michael

        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.

      • Epstein's Mother

        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).

      • Chad Darnell

        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.

      • Chris

        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.

    • sb

      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.

    • remembers how school was

      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.

    • iamdan

      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.

      • specfriggintacular

        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!

      • Mark Williams

        Dear freeman,

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

      • specfriggintacular

        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.


        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.

      • freeman

        “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.

    • OhioGirl82

      “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.

      • michael

        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.

      • specfriggintacular

        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!

      • Dan

        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?

      • iamdan

        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..

      • OhioGirl82


        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.

    • MT

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

    • Warhawk

      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.

      • Sandy

        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.

      • JD

        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”

    • Mary Gallant

      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.

      • michael

        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?

    • Abe Noxious

      none here either! Well said!

    • Tiger

      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.

    • Paula Bosco Szum

      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!

    • RM

      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.

    • JJV

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

    • Ellen

      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.

    • michael


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

      • lala

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

    • John Galt

      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?


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

    • Jared

      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!

    • ryan treviino

      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.

    • fingered

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

    • Jason Quinn

      “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.”

    • Philip B Kirschner

      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.

      • michael

        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.

    • Me

      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?

    • I P Freely

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

    • Egomet

      Stating — You’re an true-blue imbecile.

    • Annie

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

    • Biglakekelly

      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.


      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

    • bill okeefe

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

    • Lee

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

    • Ned Carter

      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.

    • Lets be responsible

      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.

    • mshope

      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

    • Felix Schmieder

      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

      • Dave

        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.

    • Tim

      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.

    • tutor

      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.

    • Becky Beasley

      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.

  • Katb

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

    • Lisa R

      lol that’s what I was thinking

      • OhioGirl82

        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.

    • GiveHerABreak!

      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!!

      • michael

        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.

      • specfriggintacular

        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.

      • Campbell

        How ’bout we just throw you in jail?

      • Notes are too hard

        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.

      • Dan

        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…

      • biglakekelly

        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 :)

    • John Galt

      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.

  • James

    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.

    • Brad

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

      • http://carlahoag.wordpress.com carlahoag

        He was pointing how how things have changed?

        Why the irritability?

      • Will


        You can’t figure that out?

      • proudnot2bliberal

        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.

      • iamdan

        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.

      • chris

        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.

    • http://carlahoag.wordpress.com carlahoag

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

      • michael

        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.

      • Cora

        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.

    • John N.


      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.

      • John N.


        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?

      • iamdan

        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.

      • michael

        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.

      • John N.


        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.

      • michael

        Dual-enrollment credits.

  • john rateiten

    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….

    • anne

      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…

      • Darrel

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

      • Donna

        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 .

      • Really?!?!?!

        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!!!!!!!

      • Abe Noxious

        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.

      • McSorley

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

      • John Galt

        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?

  • ben settle

    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

  • Lisa

    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?

    • PGH Public School Mom

      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??????

      • FixPGH

        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.

      • Down with Big Government

        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

  • hejira

    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.

    • Tirade

      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!

      • OhioGirl82


        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.

    • hejira jihad

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

      • FixPGH

        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.

      • chris

        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.

  • penny for thoughts

    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.

    • Hah

      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.

  • http://childabuseheadlines.com/2011/02/03/child-abuse-news-2311/ CHILD ABUSE NEWS 2/3/11 | Child Abuse Headlines.Com


  • the real issue

    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.

    • OhioGirl82

      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.

      • Abe Noxious

        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.

    • chris

      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.

      • the real issue

        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.

  • Dan

    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.

    • Pgh Public School Mom

      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.

      • the real issue

        Someone finally gets it!! Koodos to you Dan!

  • swin

    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.

    • OhioGirl82

      “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!

      • Dan

        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?

      • Dan

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

      • OhioGirl82

        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.

    • Dr. Campbell

      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.


    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

    • HerewegoPittsburgh

      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.

      • Dr. Campbell

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

    • OhioGirl82

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

  • dog

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

  • Brian (Mount Pleasant)

    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 …

  • Brian (Mount Pleasant)


  • dog

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

    • FixPGH

      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.

    • Lisa R

      yep , you are a dog

  • Smash Crasher

    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?

    • brian

      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 .

    • FixPGH

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

  • ANN


    • Brian

      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 !!!

    • Brad


      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.

    • Agree

      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!

      • ANN

        AMEN !!! WELL SAID !!

      • C.Ryan

        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.

  • Christine Lutz

    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!

    • anne

      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.

      • Christine

        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.

    • Chris Bove'

      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.

    • Retired Marine

      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?!

      • johngol

        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

      • LOL

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

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

      • Spanky T Smackme

        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

      • Spanky T Smackme

        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

  • Gimmeabreak

    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.

    • Amy

      Well-stated, Gimmeabreak!

    • Debbie

      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.

    • Dr. Campbell

      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.

      • another parent

        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.

    • the real issue

      Right on!

  • Lanhkmar

    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.

    • Matthew

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

      • Dan

        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.

      • Dr. Campbell

        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.

      • Dan

        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.

  • Joanne Crawford

    ‘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.

  • JAUN


  • eternalgreenknight

    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!

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