Yes, a parent can be placed in jail if they fail to send their child to school after a certain number of days that are unexcused have been missed.

Parents have a duty to send their children to school otherwise they risk being faced with the consequences for not doing so. One Michigan mother learned this the hard way after she was given multiple warnings for not sending her child to school and was eventually placed in jail. Amanda McEntaffer, 24, of Whitehall was sentenced to 15 days in jail by Muskegon County District Judge Harold Closz back in March. Apparently, her child had missed 31 entire school days and 27 unexcused tardies. reported that McEntaffer was given nine chances to avoid jail and eight chances to avoid criminal charges, but she failed to comply with the requirements. Complaints began back in 2016 when her then 6 ½ year old missed 11 days at Whitehall Elementary School. McEntaffer was notified in writing of the accumulated unexcused absences. A second letter was sent home and a meeting was set up with the prosecutor’s office, but the mother never showed up. A phone conference was held to discuss the truancy and while McEntaffer finally agreed she would send her child to school, the problem continued. More meetings were scheduled and more notices were sent home and eventually, a criminal truancy charge was filed against her in March 2017.

A few months later, McEntaffer pleaded guilty with the understanding that he plea would be withdrawn and the charge dropped if her child was sent to school with no more unexcused absences being recorded prior to her March 16, 2018 sentencing. Unfortunately, the child missed more school days which resulted in the charges sticking. Aside from the 15 days she was required to spend in jail, she was also sentenced to an additional optional jail term of 25 days.

When can a parent be charged for not sending their child to school?

School is not only a way for children to learn and excel academically, but it is also a way to keep them out of trouble. When a child has accumulated nine days of unexcused absences, they are flagged for intervention. If school officials find that their grades have suffered as a result of the absences, they will try their own interventions. If those are not successful, the students’ parents are referred to the prosecutor’s office.

And if the issue is not resolved and multiple warnings are issued, the parent is then at risk of being criminally charged.

The fact is, parents are generally given multiple chances to correct their mistakes by getting their children to school. Many schools and agencies will work with parents who might be struggling with time or finances and provide transportation for their child so that don’t miss school. Not only did McEntaffer pass up on the transportation, but she ignored the warnings she received and was forced to spend time in jail.

If you are facing a minor or even serious criminal charge, it is important that you discuss it with a Lansing, MI criminal defense lawyer. The reason being is that sometimes, individuals don’t understand what they are up against and just how serious the criminal charges filed against them are.

At the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C., we will work with you to ensure you are aware of your charges, the penalties they carry, and what can be done in terms of fighting these charges so they can be reduced or even dismissed. If you have been charged with a crime and you live in Lansing, East Lansing, DeWitt, St. Johns, Okemos, Grand Ledge, or even Charlotte, criminal defense lawyer Stuart R. Shafer is available to help with your case.

You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:

1223 Turner Street, #333

Lansing, Michigan 48906