Young mother jailed because her kids missed school

Lorena Cuevas  
By: Sarah Weiss 

(Scroll down for video) A young mother was jailed after her children missed several days at school, according to reports.

A California mother was sentenced to 180 days in jail after pleading guilty to allowing her children to miss more than 10 percent of school last year, according to reports.

Lorena Cuevas, 34, is one of the first parents in the state to be convicted under state law for chronic absenteeism, according to the report. "We take attendance very seriously, and we want our children to be in school," Tim Bowers, the Kings County Superintendent of Schools said.

Bowers said Cuevas ignored phone calls and letters warning her about the possible consequences. He told the news media, on average, the school will make 15 to 20 calls before they take action. Cuevas is the second mother in the district to put behind bars for this type of crime. She has a son in the second and third grade, and they both missed a total of 116 days of school last year, according to the report.

Parents at Monroe Elementary School in Hanford, California, seemed to have mixed reactions to the sentence, according to the report.
"Put her on the highway to clean up the mess or something," said Melissa Mooney, a parent at the school. "Who will care for her children? I think 180 days is extreme."

Adriana Castaneda, another parent at the school, said the mother got off with a light sentence. "I would have given her a year," she said. "Honestly, I think the punishment is not enough. Education for children is very important."

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