Mother of two Lorraine Cuevas of Hanford, California has been convicted to 180 days of jail time under California's chronic truancy law.
The woman is facing 180 days in county jail, under new state regulations. Her children were attending second and third grade at the Monroe Elementary School in King's County, California, opposingviews.com
Cuevas was also fined $2,000, the equivalent of €1540. She has already served a quarter of her sentence since being arrested, some two months ago.
According to Californian law, the school is obligated to notify parents if their children are missing school. After public school reps have performed their duties and the parents are made aware of the issue, their negligence or refusal to bring their kids to school is considered a felony.
Cuevas's children have missed more than 10 percent of the classes during the last school year, which amounts to a combined 116 days.
School spokesmen claim to have notified Mrs. Cuevas of her children's absence from classes, having their efforts ignored.
"It's a process that takes months to get to this point. On average we're making 15-20 calls in dealing with these issues," superintendent Tim Bowers of King's County Schools said.
The 34-year-old mother is the first Californian to be convicted under the new truancy law. The maximum penalty for this misdemeanor is a year in jail, and Mrs. Cuevas already had a criminal record.
This is not the first time King's county officials take measures against parents that condone truancy. Last year, mother of three Victoria Jeff was brought to trial and jailed, after being arrested on the same charges. Mrs. Jeff's children had only missed 20 days of the school year.
“We take attendance very seriously, and we really want our kids to be in school,” superintendent Bowers said, explaining the decision to continue prosecuting parents under the aforementioned legal act.