Students' absences lead to mother's arrest - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Students' absences lead to Clovis mother's arrest

CLOVIS, NM (KCBD) - Authorities arrested a Clovis woman on Thursday, partially because her children missed too many days of school.  Nicole Pitcock, 34, is charged with two counts of forgery and two counts of compulsory school attendance violations.  Authorities say she was repeatedly notified that both her children had excessive absences, and when she was asked to meet with school leaders, she gave them forged doctor excuses.

Ninth Judicial District Attorney Matthew Chandler issued this release on Thursday:

Nicole Pitcock, age 34, was arrested today on two (2) counts of Forgery (4th degree felonies) and two (2) counts of Compulsory School Attendance Violations (petty misdemeanors).

In November of 2010, Pitcock was notified by officials at a Clovis elementary school that both of her children had excessive absences.  The elementary school officials sent two additional notices and met with Pitcock in December of 2010 with hopes of resolving the excessive absences of Pitcock's two children. 

In February of 2011, it was learned that Pitcock's children continued to miss school.  When Pitcock was asked to meet with school officials a fourth time, she presented forged doctor excuses for her children's absences.  This week the case was referred to the Ninth Judicial District Attorney's Office for review.    

Investigators from the District Attorney's Office immediately looked into allegations and found that Pitcock's children both had over fifty (50) absences from their elementary school, a majority of which were unexcused absences.  Additionally, Agents also verified that Pitcock was presenting forged doctor excusal forms in an attempt to mislead school officials and prevent reporting the truancy to law enforcement.

Responsibilities and custody of Pitcock's children were given to dependable family members following her arrest.   

District Attorney Matthew Chandler stated, "Prosecution and punishment of a parent for their children's chronic truancy is only exercised when all other attempts of getting a parent to take their children to school fail.  Not only does every child deserve an opportunity to learn to read and write, but it's also a proven fact that children who miss school regularly in their elementary years have a significantly increased chance of delinquent behavior as they grow older." 

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