The Pryor Times

December 15, 2013

Parents charged for truancy

Staff Writer
Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — This week five individuals were charged with aiding/abetting a minor in need of supervision.

Locust Grove Early Learning Center was cited as the agency filing charges against Heather Cummings, Pryor, and Charity Fleming, Peggs.

Locust Grove Public Schools was listed in the charge against Amanda Dilbeck of Locust Grove.

No entity was listed, however, in the charge against Bryan Phillips, also of Locust Grove.

Charges were filed by the Pryor Police Department against Michelle Edmonds Wednesday.

The charges are all misdemeanor. The cases were continued to the truancy docket Jan. 7.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education it is unlawful for a parent/guardian  of a child who is over the age of five and under the age of 18, to neglect to send the child to school, whether public, private or homeschool.

State statute continues in saying that any parent/guardian found guilty of violating this provision, upon conviction, will be guilty of a misdemeanor offense. Punishment for the first offense includes a fine of not less than $25 and not more than $50, or imprisonment for not more than five days or both fines and imprisonment. A second offense is subject to a fine between $50 and $100, or imprisonment for no more than 10 days, or both.

Fines for a third offense range from $100 and $250. Punishment can also include imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or fines and imprisonment.

“Each day the child remains out of school after the documented oral or written warning has been given to the parent/guardian the child has been ordered to school by the juvenile court shall constitute a separate offense,” according to the department of education.

In lieu of issuing fines the court may sentence a guilty parent, upon conviction, to perform community service for the school district. Parents can also be required to  verify attendance of the child with the school daily, attend meetings with school officials, take the child to school, attend school with the child or in some cases undergo an evaluation for drug, alcohol or other substance abuse.

Five of these misdemeanor charges have been filed this month but the total year to date is 39. The month with the highest reported charges was May, with 18 cases of aiding/abetting a minor in need of supervision.