SE Mo. authorities charge parents of truants

By The Associated Press

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - Two more parents have been charged under the Cape Girardeau School District's tougher school attendance policy.

The Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has charged 33-year-old Yvonne Rachelle Garza with educational neglect for violating the compulsory school attendance law. Steven Clark was charged with two counts of educational neglect. Each count carries up to 15 days in jail, and a $300 fine.

Local media reports say Garza's daughter had 57 unexcused absences from the beginning of the school year until Jan. 28.

Clark's two young children missed about 25 days of school between Nov. 3, 2010 and Feb. 8.

At least six parents have been charged with educational neglect since the district enacted its tougher attendance policy last semester. The policy makes 10 unexcused absences an actionable offense.

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