Muncie mother facing charges for child’s excessive absences

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A Muncie mother is facing charges over her child’s school absence record.

Carrie Swafford is charged with neglect of a dependent, which carries a standard 18 month prison term.

Investigators said Swafford’s child has already missed 29 days of school this year.

The charges come after both Muncie Community Schools and the Department of Child services met with Swafford, warning her about the absences.


  • Griffons 3

    Yes, parents should be held responsible for their child missing school and perhaps if they were held more responsible for their children bullying, their might be less of that. Kids of today aren't afraid of their teachers or their parents~~they have no respect for anyone.

    • b.j.

      Perhaps if parents were actually allowed to discipline their children we wouldnt have as many problems with children like we do. But the law wont let us they now call it mental abuse if you tell your child no but we are held accountable for their behavior. I dont believe in abuse at all but a good butt whooping never killed me.

      • a.r.s.

        I applaud you B.J. Well said. The problem with society today is that we as parents are NO longer allowed to discipline our children. I was raised that if you broke the rules, you usually got a few swats. NOT a beating, a spanking. I DONT beleive that a parent should be held responsible for the children actions. That is just another way for society to help us teach our children that they have NO responsibilities, NOW they arent responsible for their OWN ACTIONS???

      • sick of tolerance.

        spank away, and if the little brat calls protective services tell them the whole story. they will laugh in the kids face. or dial the number yourself and hand them the phone. kids hate it when you call their bluff.

  • suzy

    no!!! life happens.. times you can't help but have them out.. schools don't listen when you try to explian things.. grades are what matters..

  • Jim

    Absolutely, they can't get an education if they are not there. It won't take long for attendance to improve if the parent is held accountable.

  • laurin

    how old is the child. if they are young then yes the parent can make them go to school but once you get to middle school and the child can walk to school on their own how can the parent make them go unless that parent sits in class with them. At some point the student should be the one who is locked up and forced to go to school.

    • abbie

      Nice. As woman who has a few tattoos and is a RECOVERING addict, I think you have no clue. I'm not supporting parental negligence, by any means. But I take exception to this simple-closed-minded crack. Wonder if maybe Mom has health issues? Physical or mental? Jailtime is not the answer.

  • Carie

    That's really funny how my children have never been spanked or hit or swatted a day in their life but my children know the meaning of discipline. Discipline and Punishment are TWO totally different things. All 5 of my children are straight A honor roll students and get "disciplined" daily. No law or government has ever stopped me from disciplining my children.

  • Alw

    It all depends on the situation..why is the child absent so much? Is the child sick? Has the child been to the doctor? Many times the schools do not care. Perhaps homeschooling would/could be an option for the child…as long as the parents are disciplined enough to do so. If the child is older perhaps they play hooky from school, while the parents cases like those the parents should not be held responsible…but the child should. It just all depends on the situation.

    • anonymous

      my thoughts exactly. The only thing this will accomplish if convicted – is the likelyhood the parent could lose their job, have their utilities cut off because they can't pay their bills because they lost their job, not to mention having a criminal record attached to their names which will cause the family more problems and future cases in the criminal and child service system.. Incarceration for this solves nothing and gluts the criminal justice system with frivolous cases. Something does need to be done, yes. There needs to be other solutions to this problem other than parental incarceration. They need to find out the root cause of the absences – medical, mental, behavioral, criminal activity – then develop a plan to provide parent(s) with local and school resources to assist them in helping the parent and child(ren). Bullying has been going on in schools for many years. It needs to be addressed in schools and eliminated – maybe the kid is skipping school to avoid being bullied? So then a parent is going to be incarcerated for a school problem that is not of the parent's doing? Parental incarceration, if done at all – should be the very very very last resort in only certain situations and not the first plan of action in every situation..

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the parent should definitely be held accountable. As a former high school teacher, I know that teachers, administrators, an counselors make SEVERAL attempts before a parent can be held accountable like this. If you cannot make a middle schooler or high schooler get to school every day, then you need to work on your parenting skills. Parents expect teachers to be babysitters, parents and educators all wrapped into one. Take accountability for your child!! Drop the kid off yourself… You can even have EACH teacher your child has email you attendance reports each week. If that’s too much work for you, then don’t become a parent. From the looks of this mom, obviously she wasn’t an academic scholar.

  • Anonymous

    Schools are a HUGE joke. When my children were in school and were very ill even with doctors slips it still counted against attendance. If people would keep sick kids home and be allowed to then other children would not have to miss from sickness as well. My child always got everything in the worst way and the attendance policy was not helpful. There are parents out there that just don't care but you would think with a straight a honor student they could figure out education was a priority. I hate the school systems now. Horrible! As well as an increasing amount of horrible parents. Parents just don't want to parent anymore. I se it every day. The whole situation is very sad. I am thankful to not be a part of the public school system any longer and will hope my children homeschool their kids!

  • Ann

    Years ago when our son was Highschool age, he would get on the bus, then leave school with friends the minute they arrived at the school. This became a problem, and after trying different common sense things that did not work, we started homeschooling him. Most parents don't realize that it is their constitutional right to do so. 14 year old should be able to stay at home alone if parents work. The only requirement in the state of Indiana is that your child attend 180 days per school year. Keep a calendar with check marks as record of your child's attendance. Not difficult. Also 1 hour of homeschool is equivalant to public school hours. You have the right to homeschool your child on any day you choose through the year, and HOW you choose. You don't have to have school books. Life is a life long learning experience. As long as children have access to information, they will learn. If a parent has really tried to solve an absence problem, homeschool may be the way to go. Our 14 year old son at the time worked for our business when we took him out of public school. That was considered part of his schooling. There are many free websites with homeschool activities. Indiana Homescool Association has a website also. They hold a very nice graduation each year also. Always many graduates and the number is climbing.

  • Anonymous

    Look at the mother. Not a great example I am sure for her child. I hate to "judge a book by its cover" but obviously she hasn't made great decisions in the past going on appearances.

  • Cathi J

    It depends on the age of the child. I had custody of a 15 year old that would NOT go to school. His Mother couldn't get him to go and that was a small part of why I had him.

    I drove him to school and he would beat me home. I have no idea how that happened. Finally I asked the school to call me when he was absent and I would go hunting for him.

    Several times I found him in the barn and once he was in the garage.

    When I went to the garage I saw his notebook so I knew he was there. He held himself up under the car so I couldn't find him. I sat and started reading his notebook out loud and he surfaced pretty quickly.
    When he rode the bus I would watch him get on it but he still would be absent from school. Needless to say he is now in his 30's and he has been in prison a few times. Sometimes it isnt the parents fault but if it is then the parents should be held accountable.

  • Anonymous

    Something happens DCS is always involved wth did the school contact them and not the truant officer that’s who too contact everyone always call’s DCS those people who called need there rearend ringed out. If the child had a bunch of appointments that interfer with class time that is still bs! To call DCS. If her child was getting bullied and she wasn’t sending her child or teachers are the provlem i see why the child missed those days. These school’s need too knock off there non sense if her child is a special needs student then that schools ass is grass.

  • Jeanny

    How old is the child?? If the child is younger than Middle school age then, yes I agree… My daughter began to struggle with me about going to school when she was in 8th grade… After that, I had no control over her. She would go to school but then skip all classes… That WAS her choices regardless her consequences. IF this mother's child is much older than Middle School age then I don't understand why she has to go to jail.. Nowadays children have more control over us because they KNOW we can't do anything otherwise we are charged with abuse. I was born in the 70's, kids were spanked by the teachers but I can tell you we had MORE respect for the elders than nowadays kids!

  • Spazz3870

    i wasnt a perfect parent but i made sure my kids went to school everyday unless they was sick …… part of the job and people need to think about the future before spreading there legs and having a child , its a big responsability and alot dont think about that , u have no life when ur kids are young make sure ur ready to settle down and be a parent b 4 bringing them n 2 this corrupt world we live n … not that hard to use a condom or pull out lol just being real !!

  • Cindy

    Yes, this does depend on the age of the child, however, it also depends on the parents ability to teach their child responsibility and respect. I grew up in the 60's and 70's and I was spanked, NOT beaten. I believe parents should have the right to discipline their children. There are other ways to discipline your children rather than spanking. Take away their priviliges. i.e. video games, cell phones, television, activities with friends. As we got older in our house, our parents didn't spank. We had fun activities taken away, grounding, family trip to Cedar Point, as well as telephone privileges. We need parents to enforce rules at home and at school.

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