SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn.
Warrants have been issued for more than 100 parents in Shelby County whose children are habitually absent from school.
Robo calls, emails, and more have been sent to about 107 parents with 143 children. There are active arrest warrants for these parents because of their child(s) attendance, or lack thereof, from school.
By law, parents whose kids have five days of unexcused absence from school can be found guilty of a misdemeanor crime. It is punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail, along with fines of up to $2,500.
Shelby County School, the Shelby County District Attorney General’s Office and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are partnering up to help parents remedy the legal situation. They are hosting Operation Safe Serve, which gives parents a chance to resolve court-related issues without fear of arrest.
Instead of being taken into custody, the active arrest warrant will be converted into a criminal summons, unless there is another issue present. Parents will be given a court date on when to return.
“We don’t want to fill the jails. We want to fill the classrooms,” District Attorney General Amy Weirich said. “Operation Safe Serve is an opportunity for parents to help themselves while also helping their children.”