A mother and father have reportedly been forced to pay a fine in court for taking their two children on a vacation in the middle of the school year.
Roy and Jenny Davies reportedly took their son Alistair and daughter Rhiannon out of school for one week and booked a trip to Corfu, Greece in October to help them relax after a family member died and Jenny underwent two emergency surgeries, one of which left her unable to walk, reports the Mirror. They say they would have booked the trip when their children were off from school, but that vacation prices double at that time.
But Alistair's school, Kings of Wessex Academy, in Somerset, England, reportedly warned the family that they could face a fine if they took him away from class. Rhiannon's school did not fine the family.
When they returned home from their trip, the Davies were slapped with a reported £240 fine -- £60 per adult per week of absence, plus an additional £30 and £20 victim surcharge.
"We think there were exceptional circumstances and while the school argued that it affected Alistair's grades, we proved it wasn't the case with several postcards and letters from the school," Jenny Davies said. "The court hasn't taken into consideration that Roy has lost two days of work as a self-employed welder and fabricator and work has been quiet the last few months. It's difficult."
A spokesperson for Somerset County explained the school's actions: "We believe every child deserves the very best education and this is why we work closely with schools on attendance which in a small number of cases results in penalty notices being issued."
In Taunton Magistrates Court, Roy Davies reportedly showed court letters and postcards that he said prove Alistair's teachers believed he was doing well in school.
"We needed quality time as a family as the children had a very dramatic 18 months," Davies said. "The children spent their summer holidays running around and fetching things for their mum. If we had been worried about their education, we would not have taken them out of school."
Magistrate Charis Cavaghan-Pack reportedly said she "sympathized" with the family, but that they would still have to pay the fine because it "would not be in the interest of justice" to let them off.