Parent keeps children home for safety, complains about unexcused absence
12:03 AM, Jan 11, 2013
12:30 AM, Jan 11, 2013
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Audra Macon's son, Colton, and daughter, Lauren, both attend Lincoln Park Academy.
Macon heard rumors about potential violence in St. Lucie County schools that might happen on campus the day before winter break, December 21st.
"After so many school shootings and so much violence on campus, I didn't want to take that chance," she said.
She decided to keep them home that day, notifying the school they would be out as a safety precaution.
"I don't want to teach my children that it's okay to lie," she said. "So I told the truth, and now they're being penalized."
Macon found out her children's school records now reflect an unexcused absence. Even though she said students are only penalized after five unexcused absences, it's the principle that bothers her.
"I called today and I spoke to the attendance clerk, and she said yes, it was a school board decision, that it would not be an excused absence," said Macon.
Macon said she was justified in keeping her children home, in response to the potential violence at school.
"Two people in St. Lucie County were arrested (over the incident), and they're playing it like, oh, it's not an excused absence," she said.
St. Lucie County school district spokesperson Janice Karst said in an email, "Policies regarding excused absences are outlined in the student handbook which all parents receive. Also, it was publicized that Friday, Dec. 21, schools would operate as normal."
Macon said the day her children missed was only a half day, but she would not have allowed them to miss any school at all, if it weren't so serious.
"Whether it's half or whole, you're going. But if your safety is an issue, it's not worth it," she said. "For four and a half hours of school, it wasn't worth their life."