What’s Worse: Missing School or Sending Your Parent to Jail?


Whilst it is indefensible to allow your child to become truant from school, it should not be prison worthy. Take away some subsidies or deduct some welfare payment but don’t imprison them.  Why? Because when determining what’s best for the child, having your parent going to jail can not be considered a beneficial result.

Even worse would be to get the child to decide what parent to send to jail. How is it emotionally destructive for a child to miss school but it is acceptable to make that same child choose which parent to send away?

An Irish teenage boy was ordered to make the heart-breaking decision to send either his mother or his father to jail for failing to ensure he attended school.

Judge Alan Mitchell told the youth he must choose who will be jailed for 21 days and who will receive a suspended sentence during a case brought against the boy’s parents at Galway District Court.

The 15-year-old from Galway is a repeat truant and continued bunking off even after he was made aware of the possible legal consequences for his parents.

Judge Mitchell said: ‘He can consider which of his parents he wants to go to prison for 21 days and which gets the suspended sentence.’

He added that if needs be the teenager should attend Galway District Court today to make the decision, reports the Irish Independent.

Any bet that teenager’s life just went from bad to worse.


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2 Responses to “What’s Worse: Missing School or Sending Your Parent to Jail?”

  1. Peter Wheatley Says:

    Did you read the article carefully before passing comment? 1. This lads father had been summonsed to appear before the court but hadn’t bothered to do so. That is sufficient grounds for him to go to jail.
    2. This 15 year old had missed 91 school days! Don’t you believe that parents are responsible to ensure that their children go to school? Or do you adhere to the anything goes style of parenting?
    3. Apparently subtlety is not your strong suit. Late in the article it is reported that the judge may consider suspending the sentence to allow him to review the youngsters attendance to the end of the year. Did it not occur to you that the judge was trying to make the youngster aware of the seriousness and the consequences of his actions in an attempt to get him to attend in future?

    • Michael G. Says:

      Thanks for your comment. I wasn’t downplaying the truancy or the father’s absence from court, but rather the “Sophie’s Choice” type reaction. The punishment must for a truant child must be consistent with the very reason it is a crime in the first place. Just like it is in the best interest of a child to go to school, it is in a child’s best interests that they are never put in the guilt-ridden position of having to choose which parent to send to prison. That scenario could clearly present more immediate problems to the child’s wellbeing than missing the school days (which is also a major problem).

      That is why I tried to suggest alternate punishments for parents that don’t effect the child as badly.

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