A. The following kinds of orders of disposition may be made in respect to children adjudicated in need of supervision or delinquent:
2d. No child who has been adjudicated in need of supervision only upon the basis of truancy or noncompliance with the mandatory school attendance law shall be placed in a public or private institutional facility or be removed from the custody of the lawful parent, guardian or custodian of the child.
A Muskogee junior high principal utilized public school police powers to place a boy in handcuffs in front of the student body and detain him indefinitely, in order to compel a parent to come to the school and sign a notice of absence. Parental rights advocates are outraged, along with Stephanie, the mother of the 14 year old.
The mother, Stephanie, says her son was ill for some of the absences. They produced a physician's note to the schools when that happened. But he also had a relapse (perhaps from resuming school attendance too soon), which the family did not seek a doctor's note for. And her family lacks automobile transportation to facilitate the travel to school, which an ill child may need when recovering. She did not reveal to media outlets about any mental or emotional issues her son faces, but she did say that he was left with marks on his body from the shackles. These are marks which would otherwise be used by DHS investigators to take her son out of her custody, if they would have responded to child abuse complaints in the home.
And the child being humiliated is hauled to the County Jail's unit for juvenile incarceration. The school district presumably pays the cost of that indefinite incarceration. Keep in mind that no indictment was ever issued and no hearing was conducted. It's essentially a criminal contempt order issued on a child.
If a child misses 4 days of school within a 25 day period, the parents are expected to sign a waiver. As to how that waiver is issued & delivered, is not clear. If they are placing that responsibility in the hands of a young child, perhaps they are to blame for the failed delivery? But if a disabled parent is required to find special transportation in order to return a signed notice, then yet another problem arises.
- If a parent can't or won't comply with a school district policy, then is it not abusive of the school to hold a child in criminal restraints for several hours (or longer)?
- Why does our public school system feel the need to resort to these Orwellian tactics in order to offer a free public education?
- Perhaps our schools are more motivated by the acquisition of optimal funding windfalls by having a high average daily attendance number?
- If a student's home life has such challenges to getting to school, is the answer found in criminalizing a young child?