UPDATE: Mom avoids jail time for kid not going to school

Donna Phillips' son, Alfred
Donna Phillips' son, Alfred


Update: In court on Friday morning, Donna Phillips avoided jail time, but Judge Niehaus told her she must come up with a plan to make her child go to school.

In addition, her son, Alfred, was put in juvenile detention for violating probation.


Another Butler County parent is facing jail time because  of a delinquent child.

A Fairfield mother says she's tried everything to get her son to school, even filing runaway charges. But that mom is still looking at six months behind bars.

Raising two teenagers as a single parent is hard, but Donna Phillips never imagined it could cost her jail time.

She's been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor because her 16-year-old son, Alfred, has missed 70 days of school since the beginning of the year. She's says she's done everything she can.

"It went to truancy probation office and to the judge," she said.

Judge David Niehaus who warned her in March to get Alfred to school or she' would go to jail.

Fairfield City Schools uses state guidelines in regards to habitual and chronic truants. In those guidelines, five intervention strategies are in place that can be offered before it's referred to the courts.

Donna says some of those strategies, like parent mediation classes were never an option.

Randy Oppenheimer of the Fairfield School District says the administration will not comment on the Phillips case. But as far as policy goes, it's clear that parents bear responsibility.

"It's a state law that they are all responsible for child's attendance, in school, all can face court action if that not happening," he said.

But Donna believes the child should bear the punishment.

"I really think he deserves the 180 days. I still have a life, I have to work and take care of my daughter, there's more to be lost, than gained, everything is turned upside down because he wouldn't go to school," she said.

Donna and Alfred will both appear before Judge Niehaus Friday morning to see if she will have to serve that 180 day sentence.

This is the same court that gave a father six months in jail because his daugther didn't pass the GED.

FOX19.com: Regina Russo