A JUDGE has ordered a truant teenage boy to decide which of his parents will be jailed for a month and which will receive a suspended sentence. 15-year-old had missed 91 of 114 school days so far this year, Ireland's Galway District Court heard.|
This behaviour had continued despite the fact he'd been made aware that his parents could be jailed for his non-attendance.
Upon hearing this, Judge Alan Mitchell ordered the boy to choose which parent should go to prison, giving him 24 hours to make his decision.
"He can consider which of his parents he wants to go to prison for 21 days and which gets the suspended sentence," Judge Mitchell said.
"If every teenage child could direct whether to go to school or not there would be anarchy in this country."
Galway City Education Welfare Officer Paul McCavera said there had been a "long history of engagement with the family" but this had ended last year.
Both parents had previously been summonsed to court but the father had failed to attend, resulting in a bench warrant being issued for him.
Mr McCavera said the family had refused a range of support services offered and rejected the suggestion that the family had done everything they could to persuade the boy to go to school.
Judge Mitchell agreed to extend his 24-hour deadline until April 10 during a brief hearing this morning.