HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Roughly 5,000 parents in Cabell County have received a letter urging them to be proactive to prevent truancy during the 2013-2014 school year.
"I didn't think parents would be so irate with this letter," said Sherri Woods, director of Student Services. "They thought they were going to jail; they thought they were going to be fined."
The informational letter requires no action by parents and was sent home to remind them of the ramifications of poor attendance.
The letter reads:
"Parents whose children miss school without legal excuse are in violation of West Virgiinia's Compulsory School Attendance Law. Under the law, a first offense is punishable by a fine of $50 to $100, plus court costs. A second offense is punishable by a fine of $50 to $100, plus court costs, or a sentence of five (5) to twenty (20) days in jail for each unexcused absence."
The Cabell County Board of Education has notification of the letter on its website.
"Many parents have been calling, wondering if the judge had all the students' names," Woods said. "They thought the judge was already watching these kids. That's not the case. If you turn excuses in, make copies of them -- that way, there's no question if you do have truancy issues."