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CA Mom Jailed for Kids Ditching School

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By Andrew Lu on October 05, 2012 7:01 AM

A mother of two was sentenced to 180 days in jail because her kids missed more than ten percent of school under California truancy laws.

As if the California penal system was not overtaxed enough, now bad parenting can land you in jail just the same as murdering someone or robbing a bank.

Thirty-four-year-old Lorraine Cuevas is one of the first parents in the state to be convicted under the relatively new law. Her two children (one in second grade, and one in third grade) missed a total of 116 days of school last year, reports Fox News.

The superintendent of King County Schools said that, "We take attendance very seriously, and we want our kids to be in school," reports Fox News. Yeah, no kidding.

The superintendent added that Cuevas ignored numerous phone calls and letters warning her of the consequences should her children continue to miss school. On average, he said that a school will make 15 to 20 calls before taking action. Parents in the school district should take notice as Cuevas is now the second mother in the district to be jailed for violating California's truancy laws.

With Cuevas scheduled to be locked up for half a year, the question is now who will watch the kids and make sure they go to school in her absence? If the mother had this much trouble getting her kids to go to school, would a surrogate be any better?

Instead, of putting Cuevas to jail, maybe the law should have allowed her to perform several thousand hours of community service or even enacted a larger fine than $2,000.

Children unnecessarily missing too much school is obviously a problem. But it's not sure if jail is necessarily the best solution. Compared to other criminals, Cuevas is a relatively minor threat to society. Yet she will now spend a significant amount of time in jail and her kids will be without their mother.

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