Indiana mother accused of neglect for not sending teen daughter to school

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Jennifer Rowe

PERU, Ind. (Feb. 2, 2016) – An Indiana mother was arrested on child neglect charges after police said she failed to make sure her teen daughter went to school.

Jennifer Rowe, 36, was served with a warrant for felony neglect of a dependent (education) Monday. According to Indiana State Police Detective Josh Maller, the investigation began after police received information that Rowe’s 15-year-old daughter wasn’t attending school as required by state law.

From Aug. 4, 2015 through Nov. 6, 2015, the girl missed class 44 times at Peru High School. According to police, there appeared to be no valid reason for the absences, and Rowe didn’t take “reasonable steps” to make sure her daughter went to school.

Maller said the school and Department of Child Services set up an agreement under which Rowe would make sure her daughter maintained a certain percentage of attendance. However, Maller said Rowe failed to honor the agreement, elevating the case to a criminal matter.

Under Indiana law, a parent commits neglect of a dependent when they deprive “the dependent of education as required by law.” It is also “unlawful for a parent to fail to ensure that the parent’s child attends school as required.”