Missing a parent-teacher conference could mean jail time for Detroit residents

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy defended her plan to jail parents who repeatedly miss conferences with their children’s teachers during an appearance today on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Worthy said many people think she is looking to simply jail people for three days if they miss a parent-teacher conference, but she said her plan is not that strict. She is calling for the jail stay if a parent repeatedly misses conferences and isn’t in touch with teachers and school officials.

Parents of achieving students are exempt and a parent who is in constant contact with the school also is exempt. Worthy said a parent could miss three or four conferences before officials would start looking as to why they were not attending them. Those with medical conditions also would be exempt.

“A lot of people say we shouldn’t legislate morality, but we already do,” Worthy said on the morning show, noting that there are laws in Michigan that could get a parent jailed for not sending a child to school or for leaving a child home alone.

Worthy this week asked the Detroit City Council to approve a law mandating the jail time. She also will push the law to the Wayne County Commission and the Legislature. Worthy pitched her plan Tuesday to the Detroit City Council. Worthy also pitched the idea last week before the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education, which is considering it.

Show co-host George Stephanopoulos asked Worthy if her plan was too intrusive. He played a video segment of parents from across Detroit who sounded off on the plan. Some were in favor, others against it.

Worthy said the plan is needed because her office is seeing younger and younger offenders.

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