A mother in Oklahoma is speaking out against a school policy she believes treats truancy too harshly.
As TownHall reported, the woman is upset after learning that her 14-year-old son was handcuffed by authorities after he missed too many days at Alice Robertson Junior High School in Tulsa.
The Muskogee Public School district, however, says it followed existing protocol after the teen missed four days over a span of four weeks.
“Four absences in a four week period can lead to a possible citation,” communications director Steve Braun said. “That’s Oklahoma state statute. It’s been on the books for decades now.”
According to the teen’s mother, identified in news reports only as Stephanie, the blame lies with her.
“It’s my fault!” she told WNDU, noting that she could “visibly see marks on his wrists” after the incident.
The upset mother described the treatment as “unacceptable,” saying it was “traumatizing” for her son.
She said authorities “shouldn’t have handcuffed him in front of everybody” even if he had missed 20 days, explaining that he couldn’t drive himself to school.
Stephanie further claimed that most of his absences were excused with a doctor’s note.
Braun noted that most such cases are resolved when a parent signs a citation following a fifth absence within the prescribed period.
“Parent comes in, signs the citation and goes about the day,” he said.
When a parent does not sign, he said the student is taken to the community intervention center adjacent to the Muskogee County Jail until he or she can be picked up by a guardian.
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