Lemoore mom arrested for not sending kids to school

FRESNO, Calif.

Jeff is the first person in Kings County to be charged under California's new Chronic Truancy Law, which began in January.

"These children have missed a lot of school over the last couple years," said Kings County Office of Education Truancy Officer Brian Gonzales. "We just want Miss Jeff to understand how important it is to get her kids to school on a daily basis."

Gonzales told Action News he's been investigating Jeff for a while.

Jeff's three children had attended Central Union Elementary. But when the school began to question Jeff about her children's truancy problem she transferred the kids to a different district.

The three soon began attending Lemoore Elementary, where the absences began to pile up again.

"It's important for kids to get the foundations for a great school... for later on in life," said Kings County Office of Education Board Member Bill Gundacker. He said missing 20 days of class for elementary aged students can be detrimental to their future.

"I think it's very important for your kids to be in school if you want your kids to be successful in life," Gundacker said.

Action News went to Jeff's home just outside of Lemoore Thursday, but no one answered the door.

Gonzales said when he questioned Jeff about the truancy she had no real reason to keep her kids home. "She never really offered a valid legal excuse other that sometimes she slept in and the kids slept in," he said.

Gonzales said despite their mother's lack of concern for their education the Jeff children told him they want to be in class.

Jeff has since bonded out of jail. She is scheduled to be in court November 30th. If convicted she could serve up to a year in jail.

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