Poor school attendance leads to charges against parent

2013-09-27T13:29:00Z 2013-09-28T22:46:05Z Poor school attendance leads to charges against parentBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
September 27, 2013 1:29 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A 33-year-old Portage woman has been charged with a felony count of neglect of a dependent as a result of a boy's repeated absences and late appearance at school.

Moina Lucious, of 6208 Kathryn Court, faces six months to three years behind bars on the D felony charge.

Porter County Juvenile Probation Officer Molly Payne said she received a referral in August 2012 from Crisman Elementary School in Portage for Project ATTEND, which is a truancy diversion program.

The fifth-grader had 19 unexcused absences and was tardy 30 times during the 2011-12 school year, according to the charging information.

The boy had had 15 unexcused absences and was tardy four times during the prior school year, Payne said.

He was placed in the Project ATTEND program Sept. 11, 2012 and yet had reportedly accumulated 10 absences and was tardy nine times by Oct. 25, 2012.

The problem continued into the 2012-13 school year, during which time the boy had accumulated 10 unexcused absences and was tardy 18 times by March 12, 2013, Payne said.

Payne said she had difficulty meeting with the boy because of his absences. Lucious reportedly said in October 2012 she would drive the boy to school, but his poor attendance record continued.

Payne said she and other officials met Nov. 29, 2012, with Lucious to discuss the problem.

The problems continued during the later part of the 2012-13 school year with the boy racking up three unexcused absences without a parent call and four unexcused absences with a call, in addition to being tardy eight times, she said.

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