2 parents arrested for school attendance violations

Fri, 07/21/2006 - 3:31pm
By: John Munford

Two Peachtree City residents have been cited for failing to keep their children in school as prescribed by law, police said.

Dana Coffey, 36, of Hamilton Road and Jennifer Lorello, 41, of Woodsdale Drive were charged with failure to provide mandatory education for children, police said. The case will be handled in Fayette County State Court.

The citations came after recent follow-up investigations from the previous school year, police said. Officials said the department is “committed” to enforcing school attendance laws.

Additional charges are expected for other parents and guardians of students who failed to meet attendance requirements, police said.

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Submitted by uh oh on Tue, 07/25/2006 - 11:29am.

There is a huge difference in being cited and being arrested-
The Citizen owes these parents an apology for implying that the above parents were arrested.
I imagine this had added to an already stressful situation for these family members and John Munford should have been more careful about the wording of his story-

uh oh!

Submitted by jennifer lorello on Thu, 08/03/2006 - 10:03am.

I wonder if john has kids?
And what they are up to?
Time will tell. I think as parents we do the best we can.
I truly wish you health and happiness for your family

Submitted by TaraLorello on Wed, 08/02/2006 - 4:26pm.

This is Tara Ansley . . . I'm Jennifer Lorello's daughter. Before you go and start gossiping which is what your doing I would suggest you get your facts straight. What gives you the right to talk about my family ? It wasn't just my mom who got a citation. There are several other families involved too. They just choose to use my mom's name unknown to us why. My mother was not arrested. My brother missed school (mind you . . . 11 days out of 180). My great grandfather died and we choose to drive to Indiana and pay our respects. Also my brother suffers from stomach problems from a medicine he used to take when he was younger. We are your typical family. We are busy, we are involved in activities, we get sick. My mom did write him notes and because of problems my brother has they didn't get turned in properly. All of which is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS ! Im sorry you chose to spend your time gossiping about something you know nothing about. Our family life is none of your business. My mom is awesome and I can talk to her about anything. Shes always been there for us and shes very supportive. All of my friends love her and always say they wish she was their mom! Maybe you should spend your time trying to establish a relationship with your children before its too late. She isn't a bad parent and we are great kids. My brother is very smart, a great skater, and has tons of friends. I graduated from High school a year early with a 4.0 ! So don't even try to say were going to end up flipping burgers.

Also. . . All you Peachtree City parents are in some serious deniel about your own kids. Why don't you spend a weekend night up at Starbucks and see what your kids are really up to and who they hang out with. . . You'd be suprised. You give them a car and a cell phone but who really says they are where you think ?


Submitted by jennifer lorello on Wed, 08/02/2006 - 11:50pm.

I'm proud of the young woman you've become
I must have done something right:)
Love ya mom

Submitted by scrapgirl on Tue, 07/25/2006 - 11:25am.

I am a volunteer with the Truancy Intervention Project in Atlanta as I work downtown but live in Fayette. I serve as a third party whose only interest is the child -- helping the child access his or her situation and reasons they are skipping, tardy or just not showing up. The TIP program in Atlanta Schools and Fulton County Schools has been very successful. Although the court system does become involved once the maximum number of tardies or absences is met, early intervention is the key. Perhaps Fayette County should consider mentors and volunteers to assist with the truancy problem that seems to be arising in Fayette and other counties. Although we are more "affluent" than others, we certainly have the same issues as folks in the City of Atlanta & Fulton County.

Submitted by denigma on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 12:53pm.

No, I am not on welfare; I gross 80K a year.

I am single mother, and no I do not work OUT of the home; I have a job that allows me to work here at home and supervise my kids. Yes, they are actually supervised! I am divorced (my ex is the father of all my kids). I get very little (if any) financial support from him and even less parenting support. I get NO government assistance of any kind.

No, I'm not uneducated (college educated), on drugs or currently in the DFCS system in any way shape or form.

Simply put and in no way offered as an excuse, I have an out of control teen. I personally have filed complaints against him MYSELF in the juvenile court (something very difficult for a mother to do), as well as have called the police and reported him as a runaway when he sneaks out at night.

I've taken away all luxuries and privileges, forbidden him to do certain things, yet he continues to defy me. I'm 5'2 and 116 lbs. He's 5'7 and 150 with an anger management problem. I've also had him in inpatient as well as outpatient therapy to try and get to the bottom of his issues. We are still attending family therapy as well. NOTE: this is very expensive.

If I forbid the child to miss school, and said child chooses not to attend school, I can implement consequences, but that is only after the fact. I am physically unable to restrain him or disclipline him in a manner that is an effective deterrent for him. I've placed him in military academy in an attempt to give him more structure and disclipline. His anger problem led to expulsion from this very expensive school due to fighting. I continually reach out to the proper channels for help, but in the end, there is only so much I can do.

This child starts high school in the fall. It was my intention to accompany him to homeroom every day to ensure he was in school, but I was told that this would be too disruptive and I'm not allowed to do so.

If any of the responders here has a magic formula for dealing with this, I'd love to hear it. "Put him in a two parent family" is frankly not an option when one of we two parents chose drugs and alcohol over his family.

PS: The "arrest" (which I use loosely because nobody arrested me; they came to my home and issued me a ticket - I'm not sure that all pepole issued tickets make it to the newspaper) was for truancy only - not tardiness.


Submitted by jennifer lorello on Thu, 08/03/2006 - 12:11am.

I'm the other mom in the paper
I wrote my own blog.
just wanted you to know my prayers are with you and your son
no judgment here.
There are a lot of angry kids out there I wish I had the answers to fix it. just don't ever give up on him ! It's ok to tell him you don't like how he is acting and that it is not who he has to be but is choosing to be. Make sure you remind him how much he is loved and that you will never give up on him. I think kids get labled or feel they are bad and act it out. They need to know they can choose to be what ever they want to be and that we are there for them when they fall on their face.

Submitted by LindaLiberty on Tue, 07/25/2006 - 11:42am.

Our friends have been going thru similar problems and put their child in a school for children with these types of problems - unfortunately you have to live in Palm Beach County but I will give you the info and maybe they would know of a similar program in you county. They have very good success with the program howeverm she will be going back to normal school again this year so time will tell. Good luck. I feel for you. Here's what he emailed me:

The name of the school was Eagle Academy. It is run by the Palm Beach County Sheriff office and Palm Beach County School board. It is a volunteer program, meaning the student or parent is volunteering the child to attend. If the student physically abuses another student they can be released. However, every effort is made by the Drill Instructors to realign the student’s way of thinking. They have assess to anger management counseling. Overtly violent children are not generally accepted; however there is an interview process and evaluation.

If the student is not in PBC then they will not accept them.

Here is the website


Submitted by allin on Tue, 07/25/2006 - 10:51am.


You can be the best parent or parents around, once the peer pressure and the group your son is hanging out with takes control, it's hard to break those ties.

Your son will consider you as the parent or person that is trying to control him and shutting down his freedom.

My suggestion, if you have a friend or family member that your son can relate to and trust, not as an authority figure, rather as friend that your son will talk to (off the record). Your son will get a different prospective from someone he sees not as a threat but a friend.

As his mother you are up against the wall, he has counted you as a resistance to his peers and freedom, you need help to get him through this stage.

It's a tough stage, wish you the best.

mapleleaf's picture
Submitted by mapleleaf on Tue, 07/25/2006 - 8:06am.

Denigma, there is no magic formula.

What you may take comfort in is that many people before you have been in the same boat.

Teenagers are at a stage in life where they are rebellious, some more than others. The important thing is to keep them from doing something really stupid, like getting a criminal record which follows them the rest of their lives.

You are already doing some things right, like having them in relatively good schools where their peers include a lot of good kids.

What I wonder about is whether you could not offer positive incentives to your child. Like paying him $1 for each day at school, with a $2 bonus if he makes it all week long. You could also offer to start a “car fund” for him, with contributions depending on his behavior. Every kid dreams of the day when he can have a car.

Taking away privileges, etc., is negative and feeds resentment. Negative incentives quite often make matters worse.

Eventually, unless something drastic has been allowed to happen before then, the kids straighten out. A lot of kids join the armed forces to escape their parents, but in the process they get an education and learn discipline. (I suspect that was Zell Miller’s situation when he joined the Marines.)

It’s a bit of a cheap shot for the school system to prosecute you, and I hope this incident will have a positive outcome for you and your son.

Submitted by wannabeme2 on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 4:21pm.

Thank you for writing. I want to tell you that I don't think it was fair for them to identify the parents. I was in the same situation with my son, but with a two parent family. My child not only was out of control at school, but at home as well. We enrolled him in the county Alternative School program. At the time we lived in Clayton County, but I'm sure Fayette has a similar program. Part of the program required him to ride the school bus. The school bus came to our house to pick him up. And yes, it was the "little" school bus. After school he wasn't allowed to go anywhere unless it was with my husband or me. We took everything out of his room except his furniture (bed, dresser & mirror, night stand, lamp) He had sheets & comforter on his bed and only necessary clothing for 5 days in his drawers.
The school had smaller classes and dealt with behavior problems as part of the regular curriculum. My son didn't like being away from his friends, but was told after the school year he could return to regular classes at his high school. All went well until he got back in the same crowd... He finally GREW UP and is married with one child, but had to get a diploma from a home school program.
For us, the key was structure and keeping him away from the "crowd" that didn't want to stay in school...I hope you have better luck than we did!

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Mon, 07/24/2006 - 1:44pm.

First of all denigma, thanks for coming here and telling your side of the story. It is a compelling story, and points out a shortcoming in the system: what do we do when we cannot control a child?

I'm sure you will get a lot of well-intentioned but ultimately meaningless "parenting tips" from the posters on this board: the world is full of "unmarried marriage counselors" and I suspect you've tried a plethora of approaches to bring your child in line. You seem like a very concerned, if exasperated, parent.

I don't have any words of advice for you so I'll just offer a word of encouragement and hope and pray that your situation improves.

And as an aside, I'd like to throw a brickbat at article author John Munford. A citation is not an arrest!

Submitted by LindaLiberty on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 2:13pm.

Here we are in the land of the free and parents are being arrested if their children won't attend school. It's a question of force vs choice again. What if a child chooses not to attend school and the parent can't force them to? There were 8 kids in my family and my one brother had a genius IQ and was bored to death (literally - he later ended up killing himself) in school - it offered nothing to him (this was before they had advanced courses and honors classes etc). My dad was actually a teacher at the school but no one could get him to go to school. He would go but then sneak out. I guess you could have tied him to the chair and transported him from class to class. What would the other 7 children do if they had arrested my mom and/or dad? That is simply a crazy solution to this particular problem. Government gone wild with power. Schools now more than ever have nothing to offer kids, particularly advanced ones. They are a governmnet monopoly that teaches the same way they did back in the 19th century. My daughter took all advanced placement and honors classes and being a good kid didn't skip school but was still really bored. Her honors history class teacher actually showed them a movie once a week. That would have been OK if it had some relevance or if they even discussed them and did a report on them but the teacher was just plain lazy. Another government caused problem where they break your leg and then hand you a crutch and expect you to be happy. Schools could be a wonderful place where kids would love to go if the government didn't force curriculums down the schools throats. I taught my daughter phonics, against the advice of her first grade teacher (I had already taught her when before 1st grade) and she is 20 and thanks me today for doing that because she can read. I could go on and on about the evils of government monopoly schools but I need to rest after that rant.

Submitted by PTCMomma on Fri, 07/21/2006 - 11:40pm.

Why were only the mother's cited? Not the dad's?

Mom to 3, plus a few strays

Submitted by Sailon on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 8:46am.

There you go again, as Reagan said many times, nosing into some other family's (loosely used) business. We pass stupid laws where we won't help poor people unless they are single, and then criticize them for not getting married and losing their allowance.

Submitted by PTCMomma on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 3:07pm.

Ugh? Not sure where you're coming from with that comment but I'm sure you'll tell me!

Mom to 3, plus a few strays

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 3:15pm.

I actually believe I know where he is coming from.

An example.

A friend has a military connected injury. Got the rating. Cannot work.

SS Disability means tests, now, for benefits. Offered $200.00 a month because his wife worked part time at a low paying job.

They are struggling.

VA offered lower, as well. But a counsilor said if he got divorced and lived with his then wife, he would get $850.00 a month.

He checked with SS, and they said he would get a lesser amount, plus back benefits, from the time of application.

That is an example of what he is talking about.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

Submitted by PTCMomma on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 12:33pm.

What I didn't get was the "here you again Reagan comment" as it didn't relate at all to what I was asking. Which is why the dads weren't arrested. Nor does your note seem to relate at all to what I asked. If it does, explain it , please. I normally get most things in life but this stream of notes has me perplexed. And although it wasn't the issue of the topic, I'm not ignorant of the world of people on welfare, ss, etc, or some of the dumb ways the programs work.

Mom to 3, plus a few strays

Submitted by Sailon on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 2:40pm.

Whenever Ronald Reagan was running for President, anytime his opponent would say something Reagan didn't like, or didn't want to absorb, he would respond with, "there you go again." I don't like "cat" fights, since I'm not a cat, but you are going to have to learn that people who argue with you aren't going to stay on YOUR topic if they don't want to do so. Other things apply to a situation such as these welfare mothers and arresting live-ins. You are simply fortunate not to have to live like that.

PTC Guy's picture
Submitted by PTC Guy on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 12:52pm.

OK. I didn't get the Reagan comment either. I addressed what of it I understood.

Ugh? Not sure where you're coming from with that comment but I'm sure you'll tell me!

Mom to 3, plus a few strays

As to why the Dad's were not arrested, I would assume there were no Dad's around to arrest. As in they were elsewhere and had no control over the situation, the Mom's were widowed or the Mom's were not married and had custody, making them responsible.

From the articles statement, there were no legally responsible Dad's to arrest.

Keeping it real and to the core of the issue, not the peripherals.

Submitted by Sailon on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 4:50pm.

PTC Momma obviously doesn't know that a woman on welfare with children, because she has to keep the kids, can not work also. If she does, she loses the welfare. Can't afford the day care. Grandmas are punished a lot by welfare Mothers but some either don't have a relative or the relative can not do it.
Now, if this lady gets married she immediately also loses the welfare assistance which she can not do because the man doesn't make enough to pay all the bills withou her also getting welfare assistance at the same time, which isn't allowed. Sounds like the old "catch 22" doesn't it? I can explain that too, if necessary, but not now. It is hard to believe those facts aren't known by some people since they have been around for scores of years. The topper, usually by those lucky enough to be smart and have good jobs is to state: well she shouldn't get pregnant if she wants to work." Look, she is 14, ignorant, in most cases, lives in squalor due to no fault of her own, and needs friends badly. Much of the time she is raped the first time, at least. I could go on, but either you understand or you don't.

Submitted by PTCMomma on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 8:36pm.

What I don't get is the personal attack on me. No, I'm not a mom on welfare but at least one of the mom's arrested isn't either. And the dad live's with and is married to the mom. And yes, he's the bio dad, hence my original question.
I'm not ignorant, and do know mom's here in PTC on welfare, trying to give their kid's the best. So again, why the personal attack?

Mom to 3, plus a few strays

Nancy Faulkner's picture
Submitted by Nancy Faulkner on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 10:54pm.

I'd like to know the answer to that question as well. If the parents are married, why only arrest the mom?

I'd also like to know if they were arrested because the kids missed too many days of school, or if they were tardy. The schools sent home notes last year that claimed they had the power to arrest parents if kids were tardy.

Submitted by Sailon on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 7:56am.

So I will answer here. "Personal attack?" Read it again. No personal attack there. If you can't stand the heat, better get out of the kitchen!

Submitted by PTCMomma on Sun, 07/23/2006 - 12:36pm.

Your original note to me said "There you go again, as Reagan said many times, nosing into some other family's (loosely used) business." I'd call that personal, accusing me of nosing in to other people's business.

Mom to 3, plus a few strays

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 6:01pm.

Do you think that part of the solution might be a two parent family and making an extra effort to keep it together. It is already prove that for the most part the wealthier families are the ones that stay together. I had an investment guy tell me one time that the best financial advise he can give to any couple is for them to stay together and keep falling in love over and over again. But I guess that's too conservative and old fashion.

Submitted by Sailon on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 7:30pm.

Of course a well off, two-parent family would be better. Where do they get one? Same conditions are passed on from generation to generation. No improvement will be made until assimilation occurs. When I was a kid the "tallies" and the "hunkies" and the "chinks" and the Irish, and others, had similar problems but they eventually were accepted and have now fully assimilated into our society in general. I'm not sure some races and colors want to do that. I'm not sure they should have to. How much we help them is on our conscious for the good or the bad of society. I know this: that those civilizations that ignored their poor and ignorant were destroyed in just a few hundred years.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 8:17pm.

I'm not sure some races and colors want to do that. I'm not sure they should have to.

Hey High. I agree that some races do not want to assimilate into our society. For example: We know for certain that the Islamic Fundalmentalist desire not to assimilate into our society and accept the culture and traditions that have made this country unique. I disagree however that they shouldn't have to. We have our own culture here and every other nationality has their own cultures in their respective countries. Islam works in a dictorial government but there is now way it will work here without it eventually clashing with your culture and mine.

With that said there are many cultures in this country. I will use the examples of four. White People, Black People, White Trash, Ghetto Trash. For the most part White People and Black People with family oriented goals can successfully assimilate together. White and Ghetto Trash folks choose not to assimilate therefore rendering themselves as outcasts, unproductive people that will have to leach off others in order to survive. Kind of like trial lawyers if that helps you any. There is nothing we can do to cause them to assimilate successfuly into society if we do not require them to be productive. Another words we penalize them and stop enabling them to leach off the assimilated groups.

I know this: that those civilizations that ignored their poor and ignorant were destroyed in just a few hundred years.

I disagree with you on this. It is the cultures who do not work together and pull together as a common society that become destroyed. We have always had problems in our American Government but not to the extent we have today. Our fragmented society is placing us all at odds with different cultures and before long this cultural diversity or "big tent" is going to rip this country apart. Bottom line here is that we have to quit enabling and rewarding people for the destructive behaviours they allow in their lives. I do not have a problem with helping some out of a situation but I do have a problem with enabling bad behaviour and lifestyles.

With that said we need to focus more on preserving marriages and attacking the destructive behaviours that destroy families and marriages.

Wow...did I ramble on with that one or what? But I'll leave that judgement to Richard Hobbs and his wise discernment that what is said on this site is BS...if I may paraphrase him.

ch he says? Hmmmm.

Submitted by Davids mom on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 10:15pm.

The American culture is a culture of 'assimilated groups'. It is the culture of 'racism' and 'elitism' and all of the other 'isms' that has left too many out of the 'American Dream'. Those who take advantage of 'the rest of us' not should not be identified by their color - but by their character. Let's be careful who we identify as 'them'. 'They' are Americans - of poor character. . .but part of the American culture.

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 7:36am.

They obviously had custody of the kid it was their responsibility.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 7:18am.

This is Wynmeade, only 1 dad for every third house.

Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Sat, 07/22/2006 - 7:34am.

Hamilton Road is next to the Glenloch Rec center and Woodsdale Road is an apartment near Kedron elementary. Miles away from your home in Wynnmeade.

Submitted by jennifer lorello on Thu, 08/03/2006 - 10:44am.

Know your facts before you speak......
Woodsdale rd is off of Lexington pass in Beechwood Sub
they are cluster homes that start at 300,000
What dose it matter any way? My children have friends all over the PTC and the world some have money some not. Don't teach your children to judge people by where they live but by their character.

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