Dad in court over son’s school attendance
A URANGAN father who couldn't get his son to go to school despite taking him "kicking and screaming" has fronted court.
The man's seven-year-old son missed 60 days of school over two terms last year.
These were made up of 41 unexplained absences and 19 explained absences between January and June 2019.
The prosecution told the court the school had made numerous attempts to contact the father via text messages, phone calls and letters.
The 44-year-old told police it had been difficult to get the child to school.
Duty lawyer Warren Hunter told the court during the period, despite having no car, his client had made attempts to take the child to school by "carrying him over his shoulder kicking and screaming."
Mr Hunter said the boy was in 50/50 shared custody with his mother until she went to prison in July.
He said when the father had custody of the boy, his attendance had improved.
"It was identified the young man was having trouble with his education as he had the need for glasses," Mr Hunter said.
The court was told the boy had only one unexplained absence this year.
"He is now in Year 3 and is at the top of stage one so by the time he ends up in Year 5 he will have fully caught up on Year 4 and be on his was to complete Year 5," Mr Hunter said.
Mr Hunter said this was not a case where the man had been wilfully neglectful of his child's educational interests.
"He has sought help and received help from the department," he said.
"The child is now at school and doing well.
"There has been dramatic improvement.
"My client is doing the best he can and he can't do any more than that in the circumstances."
The man pleaded guilty to a charge of obligation of parent to ensure attendance.
Magistrate Stephen Guttridge said while it might be difficult to raise children, it was a parent's responsibility to send their child to school.
He acknowledged the child has significantly improved since being in the father's sole care.
The Urangan parent was convicted of the offence and placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.