A Georgia mom said she was arrested and shackled because her honor roll-listed son, 10, had too many unexcused absences from school.
Julie Giles, of Sylvania, said she received a warrant for her arrest the day before Mothers’ Day because her fourth-grader son, Samuel, missed 12 days for illness — double the number the school district allows.
Giles, said she obtained doctors’ notes to cover three of those days after the fact, but did not get them for the days Samuel was home with the stomach virus.
“The truth is, l cannot afford a copay every single time they are sick, but I never want to send them to school when they feel bad or could possibly get others sick,” Giles wrote on Facebook on May 12. “I have NEVER been in trouble before in my life and the boys are beside themselves.”
The mother of two said she turned herself in and was placed in ankle shackles, which she was told was part of procedure. She was booked into jail and had her mug shot taken before she was allowed to leave on her own recognizance.
Days later, Samuel was presented with his prize for being “Student of the Month” because the teacher said “he always tries to make others feel better about themselves,” Giles said.
Giles is by no means the only parent sent to court for not working with the district, Screven County Schools Superintendent William Bland said, noting court was “a last resort.”
It’s important for these children to be in school and I think the courts recognize that,” Bland told WTOC.
Giles said the school last contacted her about Samuel’s absences in January, when he had missed five days. Her husband and father of her children, Keith, was not arrested.
Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile was not immediately available for the Daily News’ request for comment.
Giles, who sometimes works as a substitute teacher at the district, is scheduled to appear in court July 14. Her case has received so much attention that she is receiving free legal help from the National Association of Parents.
She told Fox News she was relocating her family and posted a listing for her current house on Facebook.
“I do not believe that after this that my children will be treated fairly in this school system, so we’re going to move,” she said.
Source: New York Daily News