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Tipsheet

Middle Schooler Arrested for Too Many Absences

Junior highs are cracking down on truancy across the nation. Some Oklahoma school are going even so far as handcuffing middle schoolers and taking them to the slammer according to NBC 16 WNDU.

Muskogee Public Schools arrested a 14-year-old in Tulsa, OK at school after he missed too many classes. His mother is outraged and says the arrest was an act of abuse.

via NBC 16 WNDU

"It’s my fault! Exactly! It’s not my 14 year old sons fault. He doesn't have a car to get himself there."

Stephanie - who doesn't want to use her last name - says she's upset her son, a student at Alice Robertson Junior High, was treated like a criminal.

"I could visibly see marks on his wrists,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie takes full responsibility for her son's missed absences, but questions why the school had to go to such drastic measures for her son. 

"Even if it's 20, they shouldn't have handcuffed him in front of everybody." But she also said that most of the days he missed were simply from being sick and excused with a doctor's note. As for those that weren't excused, the mother said, "Kids get sick, and they don't always have to have a doctor’s note."

However, the school district says what they did was perfectly legal. 

via NBC 16 WNDU: 

"Four absences in a four week period can lead to a possible citation. That's Oklahoma state statute. It’s been on the books for decades now,” said Steve Braun, Director of Communications at Muskogee Public Schools.

Muskogee Public Schools says they can't comment on specific cases, but Braun says on the fifth absence, a citation is issued and parents must sign, which he says they typically do.

“Parent comes in, signs the citation, and goes about the day."

But Stephanie insists that the experience was "traumatizing" and "unacceptable." 

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