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Parent disputes arrest on national airwaves
Fri, 06/05/2015 - 1:45pm
Ten parents or guardians have been arrested during the 2014-2015 school year for a count of failure to comply with mandatory school attendance.
But one, a former substitute teacher in the school system, has taken her displeasure with her arrest to the national television media.
Julie Scott Giles, 43, of Sylvania was arrested on May 14.
Giles has been on the Fox Network’s Fox & Friends. She had her story published on People.com and other major news outlets have picked up her story.
According to her Facebook page, Giles is receiving legal assistance for her arrest for her son’s excessive unexcused absences.
Giles reportedly now has partnered with the National Association of Parents, and is receiving pro bono legal assistance.
On her Facebook account, Giles stated the fundraising being done by the National Association of Parents is to “help with legal costs that are incurred while protecting parent’s Constitutional rights to parent the way they believe is right, as long as the child(ren) aren’t hurt by them doing so. Donating to this group is vital, it could be YOU that needs their assistance next.”
Giles also reportedly has established another account.
“The gofundme account is a personal fundraising site,” Giles put onto her page. “We have many expenses and decisions ahead and costs mount quickly. Not only have I lost my job, I am facing fines and possibly 7 months in jail.
“We ask that you learn more about The National Association of Parents,” Giles writes. “See if how they support parents and if they share your beliefs. Regardless as to whether you choose to donate to either account, I wanted to clarify what is being done. Your prayers and kind words of encouragement mean more than you know!!”
Screven County school officials will not speak about individual situations.
A new protocol that follows the guidelines set forth by the state was established before the start of the 2014-2015 school term.
A copy of Georgia law that provided the framework for the Screven County policy is as follows --
§ 20-2-690.1. Mandatory education for children between ages six and 16
(c) Any parent, guardian, or other person residing in this state who has control or charge of a child or children and who violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, community service, or any combination of such penalties, at the discretion of the court having jurisdiction. Each day’s absence from school in violation of this part after the child’s school system notifies the parent, guardian, or other person who has control or charge of a child of five unexcused days of absence for a child shall constitute a separate offense.
§ 20-2-690.2. Establishment of student attendance protocol committee; membership and protocol; summary of penalties for failure to comply; reporting
(a) The chief judge of the superior court of each county shall establish a student attendance protocol committee for its county. The purpose of the committee shall be to ensure coordination and cooperation among officials, agencies, and programs involved in compulsory attendance issues, to reduce the number of unexcused absences from school, and to increase the percentage of students present to take tests which are required to be administered under the laws of this state. The chief judge is responsible for ensuring that all members of the committee are notified of their responsibility to the committee and shall call the first meeting of the committee in each county. The committee shall elect a chairperson and may elect other officers.
(b) Each local board of education shall participate in, consider, and make publicly available, including but not limited to posting in a conspicuous location, its decision regarding the recommendations of the committee as provided in this Code section. Independent school systems may participate in the committee in the county where the system is located. Independent school systems whose geographic area encompasses more than one county may select one of such counties in which to participate.
Superintendent William Bland said the parent or guardian or enrolls a child would be the person who could face charges if that child has excessive unexcused absences.
When appearing on Fox & Friends last week, Giles said she was shackled even though she turned herself in to authorities.
Sgt. Brett Dickerson said it is protocol to shackle a person if that person entered into a restricted area.
“Everyone who is booked inside the secured jail area must be shackled,” Dickerson said. “Policies are put into place. Jail staff are taught to follow the policies.”
Dickerson said Giles was not handcuffed at the jail.