Georgia woman shackled over son's school absences: Reports

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Julie Giles in an appearance on "Fox & Friends"

Georgia woman shackled over son's school absences: Reports

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Julie Giles in an appearance on "Fox & Friends"

A Georgia woman likely faces probation after she was arrested and put in ankle shackles earlier this month because of her son's school absences, according to People.

Julie Giles, of Screven County, said she was arrested after her son had six more unexcused absences than the school system allows, in part because he is frequently ill and Giles does not have the money to take him to the doctor.

"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."

Giles was booked on May 14 and released within minutes, according to the Screven County Jail. She was charged with one count of failure to comply with mandatory attendance.

She posted that day 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 for Giles. As of this writing, $710 has been raised out of a $2,500 goal.

Giles will likely receive probation, Kile told People.

She is one of 12 people this school year referred to the court for student truancy, Screven County Schools Superintendent William Bland said in an email.

Giles' husband, Keith, was not arrested, according to the New York Daily News. The school system report that was first filed with the sheriff's office names only the person who enrolled the truant student, Bland said.

After a student's fifth unexcused absence, a conference is scheduled between the child's guardian or parent and the school, Bland said. If the absences continue, a referral is made to the sheriff's office; and, if they still continue, a referral is made to the state court solicitor.

Giles said she was last contacted in January about her son's absences, when he missed five days, 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 told WTOC.

Such truancy policies are common in Georgia, though they have recently been relaxed in favor of broader discretion at the district level.

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, according to People.

Giles did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday morning.

This story has been updated.

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