CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom has sentenced a Kanawha County mother to probation and community service for her son's excessive absences from school.
Seven parents were ordered to appear before the judge Tuesday to answer charges of truancy concerning their children. Four of them did not show up, and warrants have been issued for their arrests.
Brenda Wright of Charleston pleaded guilty to first-offense truancy and was sentenced to 90 days of probation and five days of community service at J.E. Robins Elementary School. Her 11-year-old son has missed 21 days of school since classes began in August.
Wright also was ordered to pay a $50 fine and the court costs associated with her case. A second-offense truancy charges carries a possible jail sentence.
Earlier this year, Bloom sentenced several parents in truancy cases and jailed a few of them. Most received probation and/or community service at their children's schools.
Wright brought her two youngest children to her court hearing. Bloom criticized the mother for that action as they clambered shoeless about the courtroom, and he ordered a caseworker to help with childcare needs so she could spend a week at Robins.
Bloom said Wright needed to learn the importance of school in the community and in her children's lives. He warned her, however, that continued absences or a failure to put in the service hours could result in a jail sentence.
The judge dismissed the cases against two other mothers when it was determined that many of the reported absences could be errors.
But he ordered a caseworker and the mother to implement a new plan for a fourth-grader who missed 82 days last year and a substantial number of days this year so far because of a chronic medical condition.
The judge issued warrants for Frank Adkins, Grayden McCormick, John Perry and Tammy Allen, who did not appear for their hearings.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at cher...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4832