Chesterfield mom summoned over kids’ 80 absences

Posted at 12:01 AM, Jun 15, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-15 00:01:24-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – As many children and parents across Central Virginia are celebrating the first few hours of summer, one mother is in trouble with the law.

Police said the Chesterfield mother failed to send her children to school on multiple occasions this year.

As a result, Jessica Stevens was summoned to court after police said one of her children missed more than 30 days of school this year. Another of her children was absent more 50 times.

CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said the county typically takes this step to find out what they can do for families in situations like these.

However, CBS 6 learned that Stevens has been before a judge in the past for failing to send her children to school.

Stone said he thinks it is possible she could be fined this time around.

“She has a right to tell the judge what her situation is -- and why it's so different,” Stone said. “And then a judge will try and fashion some sort of remedy that will be in the best interest of the child and help the situation.”

CBS 6 spoke with Stevens who said her children attend Falling Creek Middle and Bensley Elementary schools. She said this year has been extremely difficult for her children after dealing with the deaths of three family members and a father behind bars.

Stone said that ultimately a judge will decide if sending a single parent to jail would “further punish the children and might not solve the problem.”

Stevens is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Stay with and CBS 6 News for continuing coverage of this story.