Still no sentence for parent charged because child skipped school

By Christy Millweard - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - You can ground them, take away privileges, or even lecture them, but what do you do if your child still refuses to go to school? One woman finds herself in that very situation.

Susan G. Hager is charged with violation of education requirement for a child. Basically, her son has missed too much school.

Today, a Cape Girardeau County judge gave her one month to gather the money to pay a fine.

The Prosecuting Attorney's office says if she doesn't she could see up to two years probation. But the spokesman says jail time is off the table.

One local parent says she thinks it is the parent's responsibility to get the child to school, no matter how old her or she is.

"Not all of it is a parent's problem, but it's a parents job to fix the problem," said Robin McCollough.

McCollough is a parent who feels as though parents need to be active in their child's life. She says that can include volunteering at the school, supporting the child at games or activities, and making sure their kid gets to school.

"Even as a parent you may have to physically take them to school, and you know that's not comfortable for you, that's not comfortable for the child, but the parent is the one in control," said McCollough.

And she says as the one ultimately in control, the parent is the ultimately the one responsible. Now, meaning the consequences will come from the law.

"As a parent if you're not going to teach your kid to make good choices, than you're going to have negative consequences, to me I don't understand how anyone could expect it to be any other way," said McCollough.

"When it comes to attendance it's very simple, if you're not here, we can't teach you," said Cape Central High School Principal Mike Cowan.

Cowan says it's important for kids to be at school. His high school students are each allowed 5 days of unexcused absences. No more.

He says he's met with employers from around the state who say showing up, is probably the most important part of the job.

"They went right to attendance, you know showing up everyday, on time, punctuality," said Cowan.

"In this day and age you practically can't even flip hamburgers at McDonalds if you don't have a high school diploma, so where are you going to work?" said McCollough.

McCollough says even if you're child is older, in some ways, you might have to go back to the basics.

"It's just like brushing you're teeth and tying your shoes, they have to be taught," said McCollough.

There have been a few other people charged with the same crime as Hager. Two of the cases were excused after the parents provided documents like doctor's excuses. The other two are still active, but Hager is the only one who has entered a plea.

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