Jasonville parent accused of violating compulsory school attendance law

A Jasonville parent is being summoned into court because her children racked up too many unexcused absences from school. A violation of the compulsory school attendance law is a Class B misdemeanor.

Dawn M. Mitchell, 36, Jasonville, is facing two counts of compulsory school attendance violations, involving her two children.

Sgt. Brian Pilant of the Jasonville Police Department, who also serves as the School Resource Officer for Shakamak Schools, takes care of investigating and filing attendance violations for the school.

Pilant reported that by the end of January, Mitchell’s two children were both close to having 10 days’ worth of unexcused absences.

On March 5, Pilant found one of the two had 11.5 days of unexcused absences, so he called Mitchell and left a message asking her to come in to the office to sign paperwork.

On March 11, he found the other child had 10 days of unexcused absences and he left another message for Mitchell to come in.

Mitchell didn’t come in but a couple of weeks later he did talk to Mitchell and she allegedly said she would come in and sign the paperwork. According to a probable cause affidavit prepared by Pilant, she never did.

Pilant said on April 3, Mitchell called in and left a message for him saying both children had gone with their grandpa on his semi-truck which was broke down in Georgia and to call her if he had any questions. He called and left a message that these absences would not be excused absences.

Pilant said the next day, on April 4, Mitchell’s husband, step-father to the children, left a message saying when the children got back, he was going to withdraw both to homeschool. Pilant said the man also talked about an issue on the bus and an issue with the police department.

Pilant reported when the children came back to school, they did not have any doctor’s slips to excuse their absences.

On April 8, Mitchell did go in to the school and withdrew one of the children to homeschool.

At the time when Pilant prepared his affidavit, one of the children had a total of 18 unexcused absences and the other had a total of 16.5.

A criminal case was filed against Mitchell last week in Greene Superior Court. She is being sent a summons by mail, ordering her to appear in court for an initial hearing on May 23.