A 12 year-old was threatened with arrest after he missed three virtual learning classes over Zoom.

Merek Mastrov could receive harsh punishment over his attendance record at Stanley Middle School in Lafeyette, California.

His father Mark told ABC 7 that he had received a letter saying his son was absent for more than 30 minutes on three different occasions without a valid excuse.

‘He can become a truant of the state and he could be arrested,’ Mastrov said. ‘I said, “Are you going to come and try to arrest my son at my home or fine me for not getting him to his Zoom class perfectly on time every day?”‘

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The letter allegedly stated that the boy is now classified as a truant, which could lead to his arrest, as well as his parents being prosecuted if they do not start sending their son to school on time.

The school principal, Betsy Balmat, said the district was required to send the notice due to a new state law put in place to enforce attendance during virtual learning.

‘The letter is part of our responsibility to the state for our student attendance review boards,’ she said. ‘As always, the schools have a responsibility to ensure students are engaged and learning.’

Mark said that he should’ve received a phone call first and believes that this matter should not be the state’s priority.

‘If the state of California is focusing on arresting 12-year-old children for missing 90 minutes of school in ten months, it’s ridiculous,’ he said.

California public schools rely on daily attendance numbers for their funding, so the state has gained a reputation for having strict truancy laws.

A child who missed more than 10% of a school year without a valid excuse could lead to the parents being fined up to $2,000 and jail time.

Mark Mastrov is also the founder of the popular gym chain, 24-Hour-Fitness.

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