A 12-year-old student in Texas was reprimanded and threatened with legal action after missing a day of school to attend his cousin’s funeral.
Christine Barr, who spoke with KHOU in the video below, said she received a letter from the Katy Independent School District (ISD) police in Katy, Texas, the day her family buried 5-year-old Fiona “Kitty” Carroll. Carroll tragically died after drowning in a marina last month.
The letter stated that Barr’s son had missed a number of school days and as a result, they would take legal action if any more days were missed. This legal action could include fines and prosecution, KHOU reports. According to Barr, Mayde Creek Junior High mistakenly counted her son as absent on several days despite the fact that he was in school. The Katy ISD also informed Barr and her son the day after the funeral that his absence would go on his record.
“We were told that the funeral would not be excused,” Barr says in the video. “It would be unexcused unless it was a 'nuclear' family member or a grandparent."
Ultimately, Barr said, the school corrected the mistaken absences, though they still refused to let him miss class for the funeral service.
“I think it's a parent's decision whether or not attendance at a funeral would be important,” Barr, a teacher herself, adds. “I think the compassionate response for a child's emotional and social learning would be to allow attendance at a funeral.”
Katy ISD reportedly has not responded to KHOU's request for a comment.
Photo Credit: khou.com, katyisd.org