Jun 17, 2013

Mom lets kids repeatedly skip school: Lorraine Cuevas jailed for 180 days

Mom lets kids repeatedly skip school: Lorraine Cuevas jailed for 180 days. A California mother has been jailed for 180 days after her two children missed more than 10 per cent of last year's school year, setting an example as one of the firsts by a new state law.

Lorraine Cuevas, 34, was arrested after school officials said her second and third grader at Monroe Elementary School in Hanford together missed 116 days of school.

The school board says the mother had plenty of warning of the new state law combating chronic truancy with a number of phone calls and letters sent to her home that they said went ignored.

'It's a process that takes months to get to this point. On average we're making 15-20 calls in dealing with these issues,' Superintendent Tim Bowers of Kings County Schools told KMPH.

Pleading guilty to her crime, Cuevas is one of the first to be convicted under the state's law and the second to be jailed in the county this year.

County officials say there are many others currently at risk of the new law.

Part of mixed reaction to the punishment, Melissa Mooney said she had received a letter of warning home herself after one of her children missed two weeks while sick. Her child returned with a doctor’s note, she said.

'Put her on the freeway or something, clean up the mess or something but who's going to watch her kids if she's in jail?' Ms Mooney expressed her upset of the punishment to KMPH.

'I would've given her a year. Honesty, I think that punishment is not enough because a kid's education is really important,' Adriana Casteneda, another mother told the station.

Since her arrest two months ago, Cuevas has served roughly a quarter of her sentence that comes with a $2,000 fine.

School officials say Cuevas' kids have had good attendance this school year.