Michigan high court rules that parental rights may not be terminated for absences from school

MaryGSykes.com

https://www.wilx.com/2021/04/05/michigans-top-court-sides-with-dad-in-parental-rights-case/

DETROIT (AP) – The Michigan Supreme Court unanimously overturned the decisions of a Kalamazoo-area judge who terminated the parental rights of a poor couple after their two children had missed 25% of school.

While the absences in 2017-18 were higher than the school’s average, there was no evidence of resulting harm or neglect, thecourt saidFriday, a key threshold when a judge decides whether to take jurisdiction over children.

The case was closely watched by advocates for poor families, especially during a pandemic when education has been significantly disrupted.

“In 2017, over 230,000 children were chronically absent,” Tim Pinto, an attorney for the father, said during arguments in March. “I’m positive that those stats are much worse today.”ADVERTISEMENThttps://0a667e7f654a162c79b85f21ab0f25c9.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Kalamazoo County Judge G. Scott Pierangeli placed the two children in foster care in 2018 and ordered the parents to meet several conditions, including drug screens, counseling, psychological evaluation and…

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