Mother convicted for teen's truancy

Last updated 14:13 30/01/2014

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A Palmerston North woman who has a criminal conviction due to her daughter's slack school attendance has been given name suppression, as a judge thinks naming her will bring negative attention to the girl at school.

Between March 2012 and July last year, the woman's 14-year-old daughter missed 56 days of school and was late on another 107 days.

The mother pleaded guilty in September last year to a truancy charge, but sentencing was delayed for her to try improve her daughter's school attendance.

In the Palmerston North District Court today, duty lawyer Paul Murray said the girl's school attendance had dramatically improved, and she was enrolled in Year 10 this year.

Because of the improvement, Judge Gerard Lynch convicted and discharged the woman.

He also gave her name suppression; despite saying she deserved to have her name published.

However, doing so would be unfair to her daughter, he said.

"This young girl has clearly struggled to be at school, and we do not want any adverse attention to her."

But other details should be reported, as her crime acted as a reminder of all parent's responsibilities to their children, he said.

"Most parents of teenagers appreciate the difficulties of getting children to school, but this went beyond the pale.

"Regardless of their children's reluctance to go to school, the obligation is on the parents to make sure they go to school as required under the law."

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- Manawatu Standard

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