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Mother fined for kids' truancy speaks out

April 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For the first time, an angry Victorville mother is telling her side of the story as she battles a local school district over more than $3,000 in truancy fines. The district says that's the penalty for not insisting her children attend school."What my mama instilled in us is that, more or less, school is the best key because you could go anywhere, and you can do anything," said Michelle Evans. "So it's very important for my kids to be in school."

But the school district says Michelle Evans's children haven't been in school, at least not enough. They have an incredible number if truancies and a judge recently fined Evans $3,500, saying she was guilty of not living up to her obligation to make sure her kids got to school.

"I'm a very good mom," said Evans.

Evans has six children, four of whom are enrolled in Adelanto School District campuses. She says there are valid reasons why her kids have missed class.

"They have seizure problems, gastro-reflex, you know, stomach problems," said Evans. "My oldest, she has chronic migraine headaches real bad, like beyond bad."

Eyewitness News talked to the Adelanto School District a week and a half ago. At the time they said they couldn't talk about specific cases, but did say:

"The right to go to school for students in the United States of America is ages 6 to 18, and it is a civil right," said Melva Davis, Adelanto School District at the time. "We expect parents to honor that."

Evans disputes the $3,500 fine, and in her eyes, she only owes less than a thousand dollars. Whatever the case, since the recent ruling, she says her kids haven't missed a day of class.

"She's been in school since the -- every day since the incident, so this is harassment," said Evans. "Every day. Every day she's been in school."

Eyewitness News called the school district for a response to what Evans had to say. They had no further comment at this time.


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