A three page article covers truancy charges against the Darby family from Palm Coast. The case is set for a court hearing today.
Dayton Beach News-Journal By Annie Martin
Darby was slated to meet with school officials [last] Thursday to try to resolve the situation and avoid court, but the Darbys couldn’t be reached after the meeting. The couple said last week they “feel bullied by the school district” and that the proposed penalty is heavy-handed.
“I would like to see the matter worked out in a sensible way for both parties,” Darby said.
The Darbys withdrew their son from the school in 2010, but face the second-degree misdemeanor charge and the possibility of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
After withdrawing their son from Rymfire, the Darbys sent him to first grade at Palm Harbor Academy, a Palm Coast charter school. The Darbys say both schools were fine but they felt their son needed a more tailored environment.
It appears the Darbys were unaware of the Florida state law requiring notification of intent to homeschool their son and annual academic progress evaluation. Their son is still officially enrolled in the Rymfire school. There another glitch in legal matters for the family too:
Darby also received additional charges of breaking school attendance laws for two older children. He and his wife recently became the legal guardians of two Flagler Palm Coast High School students who racked up more than 18 unexcused absences earlier this year. The girls missed school because of Department of Children & Families proceedings, the Darbys say.
Hopefully the communications and paperwork snafus have been worked out to the benefit of all.
Charity Darby said she feels she and her husband are “anointed” to serve as role models for young people — their own children and others. On a recent afternoon, the doorbell rang nearly continuously and teenagers traipsed through the Darbys’ living room. Andre and Charity Darby have six older children, including the two high school girls who came into their care over the summer. They proudly call their home the “hangout spot” where they mentor young men and women.
“For them to charge him with something like this… ” Charity Darby said, her voice trailing off.
“I make a difference,” Andre Darby said. “I don’t become part of the problem.”