Dad Fights Truancy Charge Over Sick Son's Absences - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Dad Fights Truancy Charge Over Sick Son's Absences

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Chesterfield, VA—A father is fighting back, after being charged with truancy because his son's rare illness prevents him from coming to school.

"When I have outsiders stepping in and punishing me for having a sick child, I won't allow it," Tim Roberts told 8News. Roberts' son, Christopher was born with a rare bone condition called Pfeiffer disease. The 15-year-old's bones grow faster than the rest of his body, and he has had over 30 surgeries.

"When he was smaller he had a lot of major surgeries where they had to put plates and stuff in his face and skull," Tim Roberts explained.

Christopher has not been able to attend Manchester Middle School since last spring, because of all the doctor's visits and hospitalizations.  

"These are hospital reports from where he has had to go to the emergency room," Tim Roberts told 8News, as he showed us a folder containing each of Christopher's doctor and hospital visit record for the past five months.

State law requires homebound instruction for any student confined at home or in a health car facility. But Christopher's doctors have advised against homebound instruction for the teen, because they are fearful he could catch an infection. Tim Roberts says he has explained this to school officials again and again.

"I would not do anything to keep him from school, I want him to have the best," Roberts said. "But unfortunately with him being sick, I can't give him the best."

Roberts was outraged when he received the court summons, accusing him of truancy for Christopher's absences. Although he has several letters from doctors, explaining why Christopher has to miss school, Roberts says Chesterfield Public Schools officials won't listen.

8News reached out to Chesterfield Schools about this issue; they replied with the following statement:

"The school division will continue to work directly with the family.  Federal and state laws prevent us from disclosing certain information about students."

Roberts says he is fed up with the battle over his son's education. "Until the Chesterfield County School board is gets a license on their wall that says they are a surgeon or God I will not tolerate it."

Stay with 8News for updates.

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