PARENTS ARE FINED OVER SON’S ‘GAMING’ ABSENCE
PARENTS have been prosecuted for failing to send their son to school after he had dizzy spells from staying up all night playing video games.
They were among four families ordered to pay a combined total of more than £1,000 in fines and costs across West Wales for not sending their children to school for months at a time.
Reasons for absences included Court on Friday, with all pleading regularly along with £68 court costs guilty to failing to send children to and £30 victim surcharge. school. Another case saw two parents fined
In total £1,058 will be paid out in for the occasions of non-attendance of fines and costs by the parents who their children at school over a period were prosecuted by the authority. of almost an entire school year – from
None of the parents can be named September 4, 2016, to June 23 this year. for legal reasons to protect the identity Bullying was again cited along with of the children. one of the children “not wanting to go
All but one of the parents were sento school”, Miss Byrne said. tenced in their absence. Both parents, one of whom was
There was no defence given for unable to attend court due to ill health, those parents who did not attend were fined £40 and told to pay court court. costs of £68 and victim surcharge of
One mother appeared in court while £30. her partner could not be there after In their defence solicitor Ashanti falling ill earlier that morning. Walton said in court: “The children
Prosecutor Kelly Byrne, from had attended 69% and 68% of school Carmarthenshire council, said: “Prosdays over that period.” ecuting is a last resort for the council She added academically they were and we do try to engage with parents on a par or ahead of where they should be.andfindsolutionstoissuestheymay be facing.” Following the cases the council’s
But the court heard parents had executive board member for educafailed to act and respond sufficiently tion, Councillor Glynog Davies, said: to warnings about their children’s “Carmarthenshire council takes issues attendance. of non-attendance at school seriously.
In one case a mother’s two children “We offer a high level of advice, suphad not regularly been to school port and guidance to families in the between September 2016 and May form of early intervention to help this year. ensure that all children in Carmarthen
Reasons given by the prosecution shire are able to engage fully in the were issues with bullying and late educational opportunities open to nights from playing video games. them.
Miss Byrne said: “The mother “In cases where attendance has admits she was too soft in getting her failed to improve we have had no children to go to school.” option other than to refer to court to
That mother was told to pay a fine of ensure the educational entitlement of £220 for each child not going to school these pupils.” bullying, claims of illness – though with no medical evidence given – and in one case a boy being kept off as he was having dizzy spells from staying up late at night playing video games.
Carmarthenshire council brought prosecutions against four parents at Llanelli Magistrates’