Judge cracking down on parents who won't send their kids to scho - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Judge cracking down on parents who won't send their kids to school

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A judge is cracking down on parents who refuse to make their child's education a top priority.

On Wednesday, Judge Duke Bloom heard a truancy case that involved parent Craig Rogers.

His wife, Callie Rogers, was also supposed to appear in court but did not show up.

Rogers is charged with two misdemeanor counts of truancy for two of his children, who are in elementary school.

The kids have missed more than two dozen days combined since the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

Rogers admitted he has not been the best parent.

"I guess I was being a bad parent, bad decisions," he said.

Judge Duke Bloom sentenced him to 60 days of probation and a fine since it was his first offense.

Rogers risked getting into even more trouble when he admitted to the court that he would test positive for drugs.

Rogers did not answer questions from 13 News about his drug use.

Bloom took over truancy cases involving elementary kids last year.

Before that, they were being handled by all of the circuit judges.

Bloom is passionate about truancy cases and offered to handle them.

This consistency is something Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants said helps with the process.

"When you start looking five or ten years down the road, this will make a difference because more kids will be in school instead of being on the streets.  I commend him greatly for the extra work.  He doesn't have to do this," Plants said.

There were 400 truancy cases filed with the courts in Kanawha County during the 2011-2012 school year.

Bloom said the next few months will be a good indicator if their efforts are working for the new school year.

"The next 90 days will tell whether we've had a big impact or not because the numbers generally increase January, February, and March, so we'll see what happens. I hope the kids are going to school," Bloom said.

Bloom says the point isn't to punish the parents, but to get the kids back in the classroom.

Second offense truancy cases can result in jail time.

Parents can also lose custody of their children if there are underlying factors, like child abuse.

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