A Chicago parent may face trial for allowing her son to miss almost 200 days of school in two years, says the Chicago Tribune. Prosecutors and school officials say more parents are likely to end up in court in a new crackdown on chronic truants. Patricia Samar, 54, appeared in court Friday on misdemeanor charges for allowing her 13-year-old son to miss more than half the days he was supposed to be in school since 2002. The maximum penalty is 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Prosecutors say they may charge another woman next week in the case of an 8-year-old boy who missed weeks of school last year and was tardy on more than 100 days. The boy, who lives a block away from his school, apparently wants to attend.
In the early 1990s, hundreds of parents faced prosecution under a truancy law, but cases waned later in the decade. Prosecutor Pat Kelly said of the Samar case: “If we can do our part to get that kid back into school, then it may prevent seeing him later on down the road entering the criminal system as an ultimate result of his truancy.”