Dria Rhoades choked back tears as she went before the West Shore School District’s Board of Education Thursday evening, asking members to show some compassion.
Rhoades son, Trevor Webster, is a freshman at Red Land High School, where he missed more than two weeks of school this year for medical reasons.
“He has been diagnosed with Asperger’s. He has epilepsy. He has turrets syndrome and he also suffers from cluster migraines,” Rhoades said.
Despite providing doctors’ notes, Rhoades, who’s battling her own health issues, says she was hit with hundreds of dollars in truancy fines from the school district.
“Grand total from April of last year when it started, until now, we are probably up to $1400-$1500,” she said.
Supporters of the family also addressed the board Thursday.
“It’s just heart breaking,” Christina Conley said. “Dria is a good mom, she’s struggling but she’s a good mom. She loves her kids very much.”
In response, board members said they could not publicly discuss personal matters of students, but that they would look into the situation.
Since hearing Rhoades’ story, other members of the community have collected more than $1000 to help cover the fines; an act of kindness that moves Rhoades to tears.
“The support that we’re getting is overwhelming. We pretty much have cried a lot in the past 24 hours. I mean we really appreciate everything that everybody has done for us,” she said.