State Rep. claims LRSD fines students for tardiness, absences

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Little Rock students already struggling in the classroom may be paying up for tardiness and absences. It's a practice that one state representative is accusing the Little Rock School District of implementing.

It's not unusual for students to face consequences if they show up to school late or don't show up at all. But according to John Walker, a Little Rock state representative and lawyer, the district is punishing students with a little more than just detention. Walker says administrators are hitting summer school students and parents where it hurts. He claims the district fines students $2.50 for every incident and it doubles each day. It doesn't sound like much but Walker says he's seen fines amount to more than $100.

Walker is suing LRSD after they refused to release more information on this. Because of the lawsuit both he and the district declined an on-camera interview. But a local expert with the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families said, if these allegations are true, the district is doing more harm than good.

"Sounds like a simple, inexpensive, ineffective solution to a very complex problem," said Paul Kelly, senior policy analyst for AACF.

Coming up tonight on Nightside, more details on these allegations. What Walker said happens to students that are unable or unwilling to pay these fines that can easily pile up.

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