PA School Issues Truancy Fines to Ill Student with Terminally Ill Mother

(WPMT) - A terminally ill Pennsylvania mom wants her son’s school district to pay her back. Dria Rhoades says the West Shore School District has denied her severely ill son’s doctor’s notes and now she could face jail time.

Rhoades says, “I paid about $1000, I still have at least $500 or $600 sitting in fines, I can’t afford to pay, I’m going to jail for.”

The West Shore School District denied Rhoades for her son’s absence from Red Land High School. She says her son, Trevor Webster, is very sick.

“He’s been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, Tourette’s, epilepsy and cluster migraines,” says Rhoades.

Rhoades doesn’t know how she’ll pay for the truancy fines because of her conditions.

She says has, “Systemic lupus, kidney failure and other health issues and I’m on chemo and diagnosed as terminally ill and we live on a tight budget, single mom trying to support 3 children.”

A spokesperson for the district says under school policy, students must not miss 3 or more consecutive days of absence or 10 days throughout the school year. In such cases, a student must have a doctor’s note turned in within 3 days of their absence.

Rhoades says, “They have copies of everything. He’s on an IEP plan with the school and they were made well aware of his medical conditions and they still play games.”

For over a year, the school district’s been sending letters to the family for failing to follow policy. The local district issued fines. And Rhoades has been issued 4 warrants. Failure to pay by the end of the week could place Rhoades under arrest.

She says, “I would like to see them return all the money that I had to pay out to them, and I have until Friday to pay the fines, I can’t do that…it’s not right.”

The district’s spokesperson says he can not comment specifically on Trevor’s case.

But now, thanks to public support, the family has enough funds to pay off the truancy fines from the West Shore School District.

A kind person started a fundraiser page.  They’ve raise more than $1000, so far.

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