Tardy Children Send Parents To Court
LEESBURG, Va. (WUSA) - Every parent knows how tough it can be to get their children to school on time. But should parents be summoned to court when their kids are tardy?
"The issue that we have is making it criminal," said Mark Denicore, who has been charged along with his wife Amy, with a class 3 misdemeanor for their children's excessive tardiness at Loudoun County's Waterford elementary school. They could face a $3,000 fine.
"I don't think it's appropriate for the county to basically make up laws and they try to enforce them in order to intimidate or bully parents into compliance," said Denicore, an attorney who is representing himself. He says the statute applies to truancy and children skipping school. "We know where our kids are. They in our car and we're trying to get them there."
But Loudoun school spokesman Wayde Byard says tardiness is unfair to the other students. He says they first try to work with parents before referring a case like this to the court.
"When the bell rings, people are in their desk ready to work. So you're coming in at the bell your disrupting the day that's already begun," says Byard.
"We're not trying to punish the kids that s the last thing we want to do is punish children. I think we wanted to work out with the parent how we can alleviate this problem. Obviously if you've been late 30 times in half a year, that's a problem," said Byard.
The Denicore children have been tardy about 30 times so far this year. Last year at one was tardy 68 times and absent 15 says.
Denicore says he and his wife are trying to teach their children personal responsibility, such as getting themselves dressed, fed and making sure their sure their teeth are brushed.