Monday, September 25, 2023 Sep 25, 2023
81° F Dallas, TX


By D Magazine |

Thumbs Up to Judge John Ovard for carrying out a strict state law that holds parents legally responsible for their children’s unexcused absences from school. In fact, it’s a Class C misdemeanor for which a parent can be fined, arrested and jailed-as was the case in late April when an Irving woman, whose 15-year-old son was marked absent 41 days during the last school year, was arrested. Three notices sent from the Irving Independent School District and Judge Ovard’s court failed to catch the woman’s attention. She steadfastly claims she never received them. She was subsequently arrested in her home by Dallas County sheriffs constables, spent a night in the Lew Sterrett Justice Center and was fined $77.50. Ovard says that it’s highly unusual for a case to be taken this far but that it’s not unusual for him to see five to 10 truancy cases a month from schools in Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Richardson, Irving and Dallas in which he has to notify parents of their possible arrest.