MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — A mother is now spending more than a month in jail after authorities say she failed to send her child to school after being warned about their absences repeatedly.
24-year-old Amanda McEntaffer was sentenced to a total of 40 days in jail for a truancy charge on March 16th .
The Muskegon County Prosecutor’s office say McEntaffer’s child had racked up 31 unexcused absences and 27 unexcused tardies. They say the mother was given nine chances to avoid jail and eight chances to avoid any sort of criminal charges. The Prosecutor’s office started the Operation Graduation program in 2013 to work with families whose children are having attendance issues at school.
The prosecutor’s office says McEntaffer’s child was six and a half-years-old when their school, Whitehall Elementary, first filed a complaint about attendance issues. The school also reportedly sent a warning letter to McEntaffer at the time.
After a second letter was sent home, the school set up a meeting with the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s office to discuss the situation. McEntaffer reportedly never showed up.
The prosecutor’s office eventually was able to hold a phone conference with her, but they say the child’s absences continued at school. They then sent her a letter in December of 2016 informing her that she could potentially face criminal charges if the situation did not improve. She signed a “contract” with the prosecutor’s office agreeing to keep her child’s attendance at school up, but the situation allegedly stayed the same.
After McEntaffer missed another meeting with the prosecutor’s office, the truancy charge was filed against her. She pleaded guilty to this charge in September 2017 with the stipulation that it would be dropped if she could avoid her child receiving any further unexcused absences before her sentencing in March of 2018.
The prosecutor’s office says McEntaffer’s child did end up missing more days of school though, and so she was sentenced on the truancy charge March 16th.