Her Kid Missed 5 Weeks of School. Mom Is Going to Jail

Michigan's Brittany Horton sentenced on a truancy charge
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2018 2:08 PM CST
Brittany Horton.   (Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office)

(Newser) – After a 6-year-old Michigan girl missed a bunch of school without the appropriate notes from home, the school tried to meet up with her mother to find out what was going on. After school officials say letters to Brittany Horton went unanswered and she didn't show up to meetings, they contacted the Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office, which charged Horton with truancy in March, reports People. She pleaded guilty in May, per FOX 17 News. Prosecutors pushed off punishing the 28-year-old mom, however, trying one more time to work with her to remedy the absenteeism issue. What happened next: Horton's daughter racked up 14 more unexcused absences, adding up to 26 days missed in total.

The end result for Horton at her sentencing on Nov. 16: five days in jail, plus nine months of probation and $520 in fines, reports the Muskegon Chronicle. The girl's absences fly in the face of the area's "Operation Graduation" initiative, which takes a hard line on truancy and gets involved after a student has nine absences (not counting those for legitimate illnesses or other excused reasons). "We go through extraordinary steps to resolve the issue without prosecution," a prosecutor's office rep tells People, adding that the vast majority of such cases the office sees don't result in charges being filed. "This case represents one out of many, many cases where the mother absolutely refused to deal with the problem." (A California mom got 180 days for her kids' absences.)

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