Wow, California isn't kidding with its truancy laws. After her two kids -- a second grader and a third grader -- skipped a bunch of school, 34-year-old mom Lorraine Cuevas has been sent to the slammer. And not just for a quick lesson to be learned either -- for 180 days!
It's not the first time we've heard of parents or students facing jail to stop truancy, but this case is harsh to say the least. Of course, it wasn't just a couple of days that her children missed either. According to KMPH, between her two children, they missed 116 days of school last year -- that's 10 percent of the school year.
School officials say they tried other methods, like sending letters and making phone calls, but she still didn't manage to get her kids to school. So now she sits behind bars, and her kids are reportedly attending school regularly. Problem solved, right?
I'm not so sure.
When it comes to education, I'm as big of a proponent as any. Making sure my children get the best one possible is one of my biggest priorities as a parent, and I work hard to make sure they know that working hard in school and performing to the best of their abilities academically is a non-negotiable in our house. But, should a parent be jailed because they aren't of the same mindset? I don't think so.
It just seems like such a slippery slope. What about older children who defy their parents and don't go to school? Do we really want to see parents land in jail because of rebellious teenagers?
Also, there are so many reasons why parents let children skip school, not all of which necessarily come with a doctor's note. Not all of them are noble or in the child's best interest, but I always bristle at the government telling parents what they should and shouldn't do with their own children when it's not a matter of their health or safety. Putting them behind bars for going against the mainstream (as detrimental to their child's future as it may be) seems especially overzealous and not likely to address the real issues at hand as to why they're not sending them in the first place.
Do you think this woman's punishment is too much?
Image via KMPH