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San Bernardino County Parents Face Year In Jail For Children’s Missed School Days

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FONTANA (CBS/AP) — Three San Bernardino County parents could be facing jail time for allowing their children to miss too many school days.

Fontana Unified School District police arrested two Fontana residents and a Bloomington woman last week under the district attorney’s anti-truancy program. Jeanie Ramirez, 44, of Bloomington, Louie Perez, Jr., 40, and April Baynes, 33, both of Fontana face charges of failing to address truancy and failing to appear in court.

The district attorney’s office says the parents ignored numerous warnings to correct their children’s truancy.

If convicted of the misdemeanors, the parents could face up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine for each child who skipped school.

Ramirez was released from custody Friday and spoke to CBS 2/KCAL 9′s Greg Mills.

“It’s not my fault, because my daughter, she has perfect attendance, you know, so the fault doesn’t lie with me,” Ramirez said. “It lies with my kids, with my boys, you know.”

Ramirez, who has seven kids, says its not easy to get her boys, ages 14 and 15, to go to school on a regular basis.

More students were arrested Friday and authorities expect to make more arrests in the future.

In a statement Wednesday, District Attorney Michael Ramos says studies have shown that truant students are at greater risk of becoming involving with drugs and crime.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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