Orland Truancy Arrests

Mar 15, 2010 7:51 PM

"It's really hard to be accused of doing something you didn't do," Shannon Anderson of Orland said.

Anderson and her husband are facing charges of forging doctor's notes to excuse their kids from school. Their son was absent twenty-four days from Fairview Elementary school. They say it was due to health related issues, like asthma and the H1N1 virus. She says the arrests are unfair. "We were never told, never warned, no one came out, they never gave us a chance to fix the matter."

Although Orland Unified School District officials would not comment on the specific case, the truancy officer Terry Deen says he makes multiple attempts to contact the parents when their children are absent a lot. "The students I'm dealing with as a truant officer are the students missing large amounts of school, unexcused, no call ins, they need attention to get them into school," Deen explained.

The office says they are not trying to put anyone behind bars. "After we gone through quite a process, we report circumstances to law enforcement and they decide whether a law has been broken," Assistant Superintendent Armand Brett stated.

Still Anderson feels they are not understanding to the fact that her child deals with health issues. "We try our hardest to get our kids to school everyday but when you have an ill child with asthma and he is protected under California law, it's a disability like diabetes, he's protected, but they don't seem to care about that."

The District Attorney refused to comment on the case. Another couple in Orland Anthony and Cherrie Hazlett are also facing the same charges. Hazlett confirmed receiving multiple warnings prior to his arrest.

The school receives about 35-dollars a day for each child that attends class. Officials tell us they are only going after those students who have missed more than thirty days.


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