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Should your child’s chronic school tardiness be a crime?
I don’t know about you, but my kids have been late to school many times over the years. Mostly it’s due to overtiredness because they stay up too late—often because they’re completing volumes of homework—despite my admonitions against doing so.
Is it disrespectful to the school, the teachers, and the child’s fellow students if he arrives late? If so, how “late” is late? Is being 2 minutes late okay while 15 minutes is not?
I’m not certain where I stand on that specific a detail, but I know one thing for sure: If my county government, backed by my children’s school, charged me with a misdemeanor crime for my children’s tardiness, I’d be outraged.
Think this is science fiction? Keep reading…
A couple in Loudoun, Virginia, was arraigned this past Monday for just that. The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office alleges that the couple’s three children—ages 6, 7, and 9—have been tardy too many times since school opened in September, and so they’re taking legal action against the parents. Officials with the Loudoun County Public Schools reportedly argue that they’re not to blame for the law crackdown since they’re simply following school district policy.
The husband and wife have each reportedly been charged with three Class 3 misdemeanors, which, according to Virginia law, each carry a maximum penalty of $500. So, this couple is looking at a fine of $3,ooo if found guilty.
Guilty of their children’s mostly 3-minutes-or-less tardiness.
What do you think? Isn’t this going way too far?