Georgia woman shackled over son's school absences: Reports

Julie Giles, of Screven County, said she was arrested after her son missed 12 days during this school year — twice the amount allowed — in part because he is frequently ill and Giles said she does not have the money to take him to the doctor.

Such truancy policies are not abnormal in Georgia, though they have recently been relaxed in favor of broader discretion at the district level.

"As all of you know, my boys being sick often is nothing new. ... The truth is, l cannot afford a copay every single time they are sick, but I never want to send them to school when they feel bad or could possibly get others sick," she wrote on Facebook on May 12. "I have NEVER been in trouble before in my life and the boys are beside themselves."

Two days later, Giles posted to say she had been shackled by the ankles when she turned herself in. Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile confirmed this to PEOPLE, but said the shackling is standard procedure during any arrest.

A GoFundMe has been set up by Giles' husband, Keith. As of this writing, $685 has been raised out of a $2,500 goal. 

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Giles will likely receive probation, Kile told PEOPLE. Her arrest makes her one of several parents convicted for such truancy and after being unable to come to a resolution with school officials, Screven County Schools Superintendent William Blandtold WTOC.

Giles said she was last contacted in January about her son's absences, according to the New York Daily News.

"It's important for these children to be in school and I think the courts recognize that," Bland said.

A day after announcing her release, Giles wrote again to say her son Samuel was awarded "Student of the Month."

She is next scheduled to appear in court on July 14.


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