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Do you think this woman's punishment is too much?
October 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Mom Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail for Letting Her Kids Skip School 

Posted by Julie Ryan Evans on October 4, 2012 

Lorraine Cuevas Wow, California isn't kidding with its truancy laws. After her two kids -- a second grader and a third grader -- skipped a bunch of school, 34-year-old mom Lorraine Cuevas has been sent to the slammer. And not just for a quick lesson to be learned either -- for 180 days!

It's not the first time we've heard of parents or students facing jail to stop truancy, but this case is harsh to say the least. Of course, it wasn't just a couple of days that her children missed either. According to KMPH, between her two children, they missed 116 days of school last year -- that's 10 percent of the school year.

School officials say they tried other methods, like sending letters and making phone calls, but she still didn't manage to get her kids to school. So now she sits behind bars, and her kids are reportedly attending school regularly. Problem solved, right?

I'm not so sure.

When it comes to education, I'm as big of a proponent as any. Making sure my children get the best one possible is one of my biggest priorities as a parent, and I work hard to make sure they know that working hard in school and performing to the best of their abilities academically is a non-negotiable in our house. But, should a parent be jailed because they aren't of the same mindset? I don't think so.

It just seems like such a slippery slope. What about older children who defy their parents and don't go to school? Do we really want to see parents land in jail because of rebellious teenagers?

Also, there are so many reasons why parents let children skip school, not all of which necessarily come with a doctor's note. Not all of them are noble or in the child's best interest, but I always bristle at the government telling parents what they should and shouldn't do with their own children when it's not a matter of their health or safety. Putting them behind bars for going against the mainstream (as detrimental to their child's future as it may be) seems especially overzealous and not likely to address the real issues at hand as to why they're not sending them in the first place.

Do you think this woman's punishment is too much?



  • SabrinaLC
    October 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    I don't totally agree with the parent being punished for truancy.  Some of the time it's not their fault.

    The child needs some sort of discipline though.

  • Meltopia529
    October 5, 2012 at 4:17 PM
    I agree

    Quoting SabrinaLC:

    I don't totally agree with the parent being punished for truancy.  Some of the time it's not their fault.

    The child needs some sort of discipline though.

  • kimberly161
    October 5, 2012 at 5:33 PM

     I don't agree with government involvement either but remember the kids were 2nd and 3rd grade. Maybe she should have just considered homeschooling.

  • mysticalmalissa
    October 6, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    Yes I think 180 days is to long, I could see maybe doing weekends?

  • sweetlyblissful
    October 6, 2012 at 8:55 PM

     Hmmm what's worse?  A kid missing a couple days of school? Or their mom being jailed for 6 months of their life?  I think it's harsh and really wrong!!

  • LuvingRN
    October 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    My first question is what is the cause that the mom was not able to get her kids to school....116 days is a lot!!  I agree that something needs to be done, but 180 days in jail is a bit much.

  • GirlsofSummer
    October 7, 2012 at 5:18 PM

     I disagree with the poster, or writer, whom ever commented at the bottom. Sending children to school is not just a parents responsibility to their child but to their community. In my state, jail time is not threatened, but they can absolutely be taken away from the parents and put in foster homes. No matter what the parents wishes may be, deciding not to make their children attend school is neglect of the child, and grounds for state intervention. School attendance is required by law and should have consequences for non-compliance.

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