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Middle school justifies threatening to arrest student for logging in late to Zoom classes

‘Are you kidding me? Then that’s a bad law’

If you still need a reason to pull your children out of public schools, look at California.

Citing a pre-coronavirus state law that authorizes the arrest and jailing of students for missing a “30-minute period during the school day” three times a year, Lafayette’s Stanley Middle School justified threatening to arrest a seventh grader, East Bay Times reports.

Principal Betsy Balmat claims the school made three “automatic calls” to the student’s family after he allegedly missed 90 minutes of Zoom sessions, but his father Mark Mastrov disputes that.

His son is a straight-A student, and Mastrov suspects he simply logged in after the teacher had already taken roll call:

“Out of the blue, we got this letter. It said my son had missed classes, and at the bottom it referenced a state law which said truants can go to jail for missing 90 minutes of class,” Mastrov said in an interview. “I called the school and said, ‘Hey, I want to clear this up.’

“I was told that it was the law. I said, “Are you kidding me? Then that’s a bad law.’ ”

Mastrov said the families of other children have received similar letters. The threats for allegedly going AWOL on Zoom stem from a post-COVID-19 state law that requires teachers to “make sure students are actually participating and not just attending class” virtually, according to Balmat.

The father said he has contacted state officials to remove the harsh penalties from the truancy law: “Who in their right mind could do that?”

Read the report.

h/t Reason

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