Lengthy school absences land Clendenin parents in court
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A Clendenin couple landed in trouble in Kanawha Circuit Court Wednesday over their children's school absences.
Those absences --15 days for their 7-year-old and 17 days for a 10-year-old -- were brought to the attention of Circuit Judge Duke Bloom, who is bringing parents to court in truancy cases.
Craig Rogers pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 days probation and must participate in the county Day Report program. He was fined $100 plus $322 in court costs and will have to do 10 days of community service.
"I should have got 'em there," he said, citing drug problems and work issues.
Bloom warned him that any more absences could mean Rogers spends time in jail.
His wife, Callie Rogers, failed to arrive for the hearing. The case was delayed nearly 45 minutes after Craig Rogers said she dropped him off at the courthouse door and went to find parking.
She never appeared and a capias was issued for her arrest.
"I think she has bolted, and is on the run," said Assistant Prosecutor Fred Giggenbach. "She was afraid she would go to jail today."
Callie Rogers is serving time on home confinement after being convicted of burglary and fraudulent schemes. Craig Rogers is also facing burglary charges.
Bloom ordered an investigation by Child Protective Services. He inquired about custody and was told the children, plus a 4-year-old sibling, are staying with a relative.
Craig Rogers appeared agitated and nervous in the courtroom.
"I suspect Mr. Rogers is coming off a high from last night and would test positive for drugs today," Giggenbach said.
Rogers admitted that he had taken drugs, including marijuana and opiates. He said he has applied for acceptance into the Drug Court program.
"Burglaries, fraudulent schemes and drugs," said Giggenbach. "That's why these children are not in school."
Bloom has jailed a number of parents for failing to have their children in school. He has sentenced several to perform community service in their schools and fined many of them for excessive absences.
He has also made it clear that he will remove children from a home if the parents cannot handle getting their children to school.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4832