Tracey Fidler is facing a possibility of jail time after she let her 11-year-old son Adam miss school after the death of Kris Jarvis, her fiance and her son's father.
Jarvis died in February 2014 after being hit by a drunk driver while he was cycling. His colleague, John Morland, whom he was with at the time of the incident, also died as a result.
According to the Independent, Adam's attendance at the Battle Primary School in Reading dropped 45 percent following the death of his father. Tracey said that she allowed Adam to miss school in order for him to properly grieve since the death of his father was a shock.
Tracey Fidler also explained that Adam's school knew that Adam's father had died, but they said that it does not justify allowing Adam to skip school. Tracey spoke to Mail Online.
"We were all in shock following what happened to my partner. We literally shut ourselves away and shut the blinds because we just couldn't cope."According Tracey, the school Adam attended was "completely emotionless" about the entire situation that the family, especially Adam, was going through. Adam has since been transferred to a different school.
"Adam did miss school but that was around the period of the one year anniversary of the death of Kris so that was a really tough time."
Changing schools was the solution the family saw, but their ordeal is far from over. Tracey Fidler is now facing jail time for letting Adam miss school. To make matters worse, the prosecutor of the case, Reading Borough Council, was the employer of Kris Jarvis.
On Friday, September 25, Tracey appeared in court and plead not guilty. She was released from jail on bail and will be back in court on October 9 to find out if she will have to spend time in jail.
A Change.org petition was set up to support Tracey. The petition calls for dropping the court proceedings "against a grieving, widowed mother of 5." As of this post, the petition has already gathered 7,365 supporters of the 7,500 goal.
Tracey said in an interview that the death of her partner and the possibility of losing her to jail is especially hard for Adam. She said that Adam and Kris had a good father-and-son relationship
"As soon as he would walk through the door in the evening, Adam would jump on Kris and they would immediately start play fighting. The kids just loved their dad. Kris was the main person in the family, he did everything. He was the pillar of this family. Every night he would go in and kiss Adam goodnight and now he won't sleep without his dad."Tracey said that Adam goes to school worrying if he is going to lose her, too. According to the Change. org petition, there were even instances when the 11-year-old boy was signed off by a doctor as not physically and medically well to attend school.
In 2013, the government installed stricter policies regarding school absences of children. However, the stricter policies are being questioned by some parents who have experienced penalties when their children missed school in order to attend important events and appointments. For instance, Gaynor and Leigh Hodge were slapped with a £1,000 penalty after their 10-year-old daughter missed school to go to her grandfather's funeral.
Among Tracey's five children, it was only Adam's former school that did not show sympathy towards the grieving family. According to Tracey, her other children also missed a few classes, but their schools understood and accepted the reason for the children's absences.
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[Image via British Listed Buildings]