Couple May Go To Jail For Taking Their Daughter Out Of School To Go On A 5-Day Honeymoon

Date December 4, 2018

When newlyweds Janine and Shane Scott took their daughter out of school for a few days, they had no clue that their actions could possibly lead them to jail. 

Janine, Shane and their eight-year-old daughter, Elissa, recently went on a dream holiday in New York. At the time, they did not think there would be any issues concerning taking the child out of school in the middle of the term due to the circumstances.

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However, by the time they returned, they discovered that they had been ordered to appear at the Teesside Magistrates' Court. They were also directed to pay a £60 fixed penalty. Janine said she had no idea that taking Elissa out of school was considered a strict liability offense and that criminal records could be filed. 

Shane, a Stagecoach bus driver, said that because he worked shift, he could only take a limited time off for the honeymoon. Defending their actions, the couple said Elissa had never had to be absent from school like that before, and that she had a 92.5 attendance in the previous year.

The school reportedly put out a statement saying that the holiday was booked without having a prior discussion with the school and they were only informed when their vacation had started. The school saw this as the parents breaking clear boundaries and said they had to request fixed penalty notices for the rulebreaking.

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Apart from the penalty, the couple face up to three months in jail for their action. However, the prosecutors have instead offered them a caution in order to avoid a criminal record. The Scotts would consider taking this deal as the court case has been adjourned. 

Shane said:

Taking the caution is the best option as we don't want criminal records, which we've never had, but at the same time, we feel we've done nothing wrong. We feel like we don't just want to roll over for them.

Is the father right? Do his and his wife's actions to take their kid out of school warrant criminal records and paying a penalty?

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