Update #3 ·

The Giles case is over, but Tricia Rescigno and other parents continue to be prosecuted.

Our efforts resulted in Mrs. Giles being offered a "plea deal" that was a fine of $100 and nothing else (not even probation). Mr. and Mrs. Giles had moved out of Screven County and that meant their children would be going to school in a different school district. Mrs. Giles agreed to pay the fine and, as a result, her case ended and no appeal could be made to an appellate court to seek a decision that parents of children who are meeting a certain level of academic success can excuse their children from absences from school.

We were then contacted by Tricia Rescigno, a married mother in Pickens County, Georgia, was issued two criminal citations in May 2016, and also was served with a summons to appear in Juvenile Court, because her two children, both honor students with all A’s and B’s, had accumulated more unexcused absences than the school district allowed. The boys' parents notified the school they would miss a few days to attend a family function out of state. The school officials decided these absences (each day being a separate absence) were unexcused resulting in the Sheriff issuing the criminal citations and the Juvenile Court issuing the summons (presumably to determine if the children are being neglected or are "deprived"). The National Association of Parents is defending Mrs. Rescigo from the criminal charges that could land her in jail as well as cost her family fines, because parents, if not harming their child, have the right to decide. We also are representing her in the Juvenile Court where her children could be adjudicated as "deprived." This isn't about whether or not school is important. By these children's grades, this family knows school is important. The State has a mandatory "attendance" law, not a mandatory "education" law. The State, arguably, has a right to require parents to ensure their children become minimally educated, but the State does not have a right to require parents to ensure their children attend . . . anything!

If charges against Mrs. Rescigno aren't dismissed, she pledges to appeal so that a court of appeals or the Supreme Court of Georgia can rule on whether a parent's note to a school must be accepted by a school district to excuse an absence so long as the child is meeting a minimum standard of academic success (grades, standardized tests, progressing to the next grade or more) reasonably established by the school district.

Help us defray the costs and fees being incurred in representing Mrs. Rescigno and in preparation of this case for appeal.

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