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State Dept. of Education not notified of protocol concerns
During the recent weeks, Screven County’s school system has been on the national scene for its attendance protocol. However, according to officials with the state department of education, no notice has been made to their office concerning the dispute over a resident’s May arrest for failure to comply with mandatory school attendance as her child reportedly had excessive unexcused absences. Julie Scott Giles, 43, of Sylvania was arrested on May 14 and has a July 14 court date in Screven County. Giles has been on been on national television with Nancy Grace and even had her story published in Cosmopolitan magazine. Giles has partnered with the National Association of Parents, and is receiving pro bono legal assistance. While the state education department acknowledges that it is aware of Giles’ national accounts, the Atlanta office has not been contacted about the situation that involves a state-mandated attendance protocol. Garry McGiboney, Ph.D., Deputy Superintendent for the Georgia Department of Education, said Monday to the Sylvania Telephone said each school district in the state must follow the protocol. “We never hear any complaints about the student attendance protocol,” McGiboney said. “We may get ones about truancy, but not the protocol.” McGiboney said the protocol involves multiple agencies that work together. “The statute is very clear,” McGiboney said. “I think it is straight forward.” McGiboney said if a person has concerns about a child having excessive absences, then that individual should contact the school social worker, school counselor, and possibly the school nurse. Judge William E. Woodrum, Superior Court Judge, chairs the local protocol attendance committee that involves 14 agencies.