A 12-year old student of Stanley Middle School, San Francisco, California was allegedly threatened with jail term after he skipped three Zoom class sessions of 30 minutes each on a single day, as per a report by The Mercury News.
The report quotes Mark Mastrov, the father of the boy, as saying that he received a letter from the school principal in which his son was threatened with consequences, including jail time.
The father also reportedly added that his is not the only such case; other parents in the district have received similar letters.
“Out of the blue, we got this letter. It said my son had missed classes, and at the bottom it referenced a state law which said truants can go to jail for missing 90 minutes of class. I called the school and said, ‘Hey, I want to clear this up.”, the report quotes Mastrov.
As per the father, his son does not miss his classes, ever and it may be the case that he got a bit late and logged on after the roll call was taken.
According to Betsy Balmat, the principal of the school, if a student is absent from class, the school will make up to three automatic calls to the parent or guardian.
“If we have not heard back after three of those, we send a letter,” the principal adds.
California does have a new law that enables school districts to take action against students who miss their classes.
As per the state education code, a student is considered truant if he/she is absent from school “without a valid excuse three full days in a single school year, if consistently tardy or if absent for more than a 30-minute period during the school day without a valid excuse on three occasions in a single school year.”
Penalty for such truancy includes make-up classes, paying fines and even jail time.
The father of the 12-year old, however, reportedly denies having got any calls before the letter arrived.