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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — You may not know that if your child misses too much school, it’s a crime. The husband of a Brunswick County woman says she’s in jail for 10 days for just that.

According to an arrest warrant, Jerri Collis is charged with attendance law violation, which is a misdemeanor. Deputies say the child’s principal had a criminal summons taken out on Collis after the woman was warned about unexcused absences. The warrant says when the number got to 10, Collis was charged.

In the warrant, the principal at Cedar Grove Middle School said she met with the mom to determine if she had made a good-faith effort to comply with the law. When the principal decided she didn’t, she sought the criminal summons.

A social worker with Brunswick County Schools says this law is aimed to protect the child, not punish the parent.

“If they are missing academic instruction, they are missing class work, and they are missing homework, they are missing tests, their grades are going to drop, and that’s a part of it we generally see,” Jennifer Ordonez said. “We do have multiple interventions that we utilize before having to make a decision to charge a parent.”

WWAY spoke to Collis’s husband over the phone. He tells us she is serving a 10-day sentence. He says the child has some health concerns and was recently bullied, and that was the reason for the absences.

Comment on this Story

  • surfcitytom

    Meanwhile, Junior is enjoying life on the outside. Wonder if this will impact birthday or Christmas gifts?

    Health concerns? Not likely; a doctor’s note would have taken care of the issue.

    What you have here is 1 parent making continued excuses for the child rather than requiring him or her to attend school. Another entitlement bleeder in the making.

  • dmendeleev

    I just want to say, as a teacher, that students miss 30+ days and parents never get into trouble. For a person to receive jail time they have to go above and beyond to ignore the school, social workers and court system in demands that the child attend school or have some evidence to prove their child should receive home bound services.

  • Lord if your child has ant kind of learning dissablity they will not help.I do not like the school system in brunswick or pender county.They should be punished for doing more to help these children!!!!

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