Ask Trooper Rob: Parents may be punished for their child’s truancyPublished 11:19pm Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Last week, you answered a question about a child who doesn’t want to go to school. What happens to the parent who doesn’t care if the child is in school or doesn’t make the child go to school? Can the police do anything about that?
— Anonymous child’s mother (internet reader from last week)
This is a very good question, as many parents or legal guardians don’t know there is a consequence for not sending the child to school.
I hope all parents and guardians are emphasizing the need for an education. MCL 380.1587 states, “If a parent or other person in parental relation fails to send a child under his or her control to the public school or other school listed under section 380.1561 (last week’s article explained these), the attendance officer, upon receiving notice from the proper authority of that fact, shall give written notice in person or by registered mail to the parent or other person in parental relation requiring the child to appear at the public school or other school on the next regular school day following the receipt of notice, and to continue in regular and consecutive attendance in school.”
Continuing, 380.1588 states, “The attendance officer, after giving the formal notice prescribed in 380.1587 (above), shall determine whether the parent or other person in parental relation has complied with the notice. The attendance officer shall make a complaint against the parent or other person in parental relation having the legal charge and control of the child who fails to comply with the court having jurisdiction in the county of residence for refusal or neglect to send the child to school. The court shall issue a warrant upon the complaint…”
Finally, 380.1599 states, “A parent or other person in parental relation who fails to comply with this part ((380.1587) is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $50, or imprisonment for not less than two nor more than 90 days, or botho
Usually, the school will notify the local school liaison Officer, deputy or trooper of the violation and the letter being sent. The police officer will investigate and this will result in either the child realizing the consequences or the parent getting arrested.
Just after 1 p.m. Feb. 9 1982, Tpr. Craig Scott, 28, of the Lansing Post, was working solo patrol on U.S. 127 near the Ingham/Jackson County line when he stopped a Camaro for speeding. The driver, Dennis Wynn, had a Michigan identification card, but no license or paperwork for the car. It was later discovered the car was stolen from Ann Arbor by Wynn and his half-brother Juivonne Littlejohn, who was the front-seat passenger. Unknown at that time to Scott, both men had extensive criminal records and were wanted by Detroit and Ann Arbor Police for rape, abduction, armed robbery and auto theft.
There were also three female passengers in the back seat, one of them 18 and two of them 14.
Scott stepped behind the patrol vehicle to file-check Wynn but could not get through on the hand-held radio. Returning to the Camaro, he told Wynn to step from the vehicle and placed him under arrest for driving without a license. As he got from the car, he told Littlejohn numerous times to “give me my gloves.” Scott did not realize this was a prearranged signal in prison slang for Littlejohn to get a gun and kill the police officer. As Scott took Wynn back to the patrol car, Littlejohn told the girls he had to “pop a cop” because he couldn’t let his brother go to jail. One of the 14-year-old girls handed him a .38 caliber she had been concealing in the back seat. With Scott’s attention focused on handcuffing Wynn, Littlejohn snuck up behind Scott. Aware of the new bulletproof vests with front and back panels police officers were now wearing, Littlejohn deliberately aimed at the trooper’s unprotected side and fired three times. Although mortally wounded, Scott sought cover in the snow in the median. Littlejohn fired two more times, striking Scott in the heel and the butt of his snub-nose pocket revolver. Scott was able to empty his revolver into the car, but none of the rounds hit anyone.
A passing motorist stopped and used the patrol car radio to radio for assistance. Scott was pronounced dead at Foote Hospital in Jackson from massive bleeding. The suspects stole another car and were later arrested with the murder weapon. Both men were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no parole. The 14-year-old was sentenced to juvenile detention until she turned 19. Due to this, another demand for the death penalty was initiated but, again, failed to make the ballot.
This tragic incident spurred new radio procedures and upgraded equipment for the department. Encouraged by rock star Ted Nugent, whose girlfriend was one of the motorists who assisted at the scene of the shooting, new vests were purchased with side panels.
A U.S. Army veteran, Scott was buried in Muskegon with full military honors and awarded, posthumously, the Valor Medal. Scott was the 35th trooper to die in the line of duty.
Tags: Ask Trooper Rob