Mother Keeps Daughter Out of School - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/24/05

Mother Keeps Daughter Out of School

It's the second week of school, and for the most part, redistricting pains in Savannah are over. Most of the students are settled into their new schools. Redistricting switched more than 1,600 high schoolers to new schools this year. And before they could even start class last week, their parents waited in line just to show proof of residence.

"It wasn't fair," said Robin Parker of Savannah.

She decided to keep her kid out of her new school. She certainly can get in trouble, but Parker says she would rather be put in jail than endanger her daughter, 16-year-old Shamarra Maxwell.

"I just don't want to go to Savannah High," Shamarra said.

Shamarra is a sophomore who went to Johnson High School last year and isn't happy about transferring to Savannah High.

"She's scared to go to Savannah," Parker said. "She's really scared."

Parker says her daughter has had problems with a few students at Savannah High in the past. "She has to go back and face those kids that were threatening her. It's hard for her, it's really hard for her."

So for the last seven school days, Shamarra has stayed home. "I am protecting my child's life, really I am," said Parker.

And she could pay a price for that protection.

"Parents are held responsible when they fail to send their kids to school," said Chief Ulysses Bryant of the campus police.

Georgia law says a parent or guardian who violates the attendance law will be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine or imprisonment.

But Parker says all she is doing is trusting her child, no matter what the outcome. "Believing the type of child she is that never gets in trouble, I believe her," she said.

This year, both campus and local police are cracking down on truancy and they say more than five unexcused absences is just that.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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