Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

May 11, 2013

Angry parents charged with misdemeanors

(Continued)

Miller and Sargent said school officials dismissed their concerns, including the bullying.

The parents also said school Principal Terri Sheldon is rarely present at the school to discuss their concerns.

Sheldon did not return multiple calls for this story.

TCAPS Associate Superintendent Jayne Mohr said she would not speak about any individual or parental situations, citing the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Mohr added TCAPS takes all complaints and concerns seriously, and investigates them.

FERPA prevents public school officials from disclosing certain student information, including academic and disciplinary records.

It does not forbid officials from discussing parental concerns or complaints, said Jonathan Jorissen, general counsel for the Michigan Press Association.

Miller and Sargent pulled their daughters out of Long Lake and are considering sending them to another TCAPS school. The couple also scrawled messages of protest about Long Lake on the body and windows of their mini van.

Both parents turned themselves in this week after authorities issued warrants for their arrest. Sargent was arraigned in 86th District Court, pleaded not guilty and requested a court-appointed attorney.

Miller’s first court appearance is scheduled for May 16.

Miller and Sargent face up to 90 days in jail, $500 fines, or both if convicted of the misdemeanor charges.

“Who’s going to watch our kids if we get locked up over some dumb charges?” Miller said.

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