M.C. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, Ky COA, Educational Neglect

M.C. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky

2010-CA-002088-ME

Published:  Affirming

County: Clark

Cabinet filed dependency, neglect and abuse petition against Mom alleging Mom had educationally neglected Child as Child had been tardy 16 times and absent 30 times in one school year, though Child had all B’s and C’s for that school year.  Mom provided care for her elderly parents and said care interfered with her ability to get Child to school, but Mom testified that she helped Child with homework.  Although TC did not find Child suffered actual harm from Mom’s actions, TC nonetheless found Mom had neglected Child’s education and ordered that Mom would pay $21.80 per day for each future unexcused absence.  Mom appealed the finding of educational neglect, arguing that as there was no actual harm to Child, Commonwealth failed to meet its burden of proof.  Commonwealth argued that there must only be a risk of harm to satisfy the statute.  CA agreed, finding that Mom’s repeated inability to ensure Child attended school each day presented a threat of harm to Child’s welfare by denying Child the right to educational instruction.

FC affirmed.

Digested by Michelle Eisenmenger Mapes, Diana L. Skaggs + Associates