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Boy Battles Illness, Parents In Trouble Over His School Absences

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Ralph Iannotti Ralph Iannotti
Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Parents of a Mercer County child are upset because their son’s school has gone to court because of his repeated absences.

Steve Zorbas and his wife blame their son’s absences on his health and say the school has long been aware of the problem.

Zach Zorbas, 11, is at Children’s Hospital because of colitis and other health problems that have plagued him all his life.

“He has colitis – he developed that over the last couple of years,” Steve Zorbas said. “The new issue that we’re coming up with now is they ran a scope test and they can’t find where the bleeding’s coming from so they’re not sure.”

Hillview Elementary School is stepping up pressure to get him back in the classroom. The Zorbas could face fines and even a possible warrant for their arrest.

“I don’t understand how a school district can take a disabled kid and make him appear in front of a judge so the judge can tell him, ‘Zach, you have to go to school.’

“Well, he knows he has to go to school, but is he supposed to go to school when he’s bleeding out?,” Zorbas said.

Zorbas estimated his son has missed two months of school this year. The family has two options – plead not guilty and go to trial or plead guilty and face a fine. In that case, charges against Zachary would be withdrawn.

The school principal, Tammi Martin, said the district has worked hard with the family to resolve the problem.

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