Entries in Parents (19)


Parent Tardiness Lands Kindergarten Student in Detention

Courtesy Loeffler Family(SAN ANTONIO) -- Brooke Loeffler, a 6-year-old kindergarten student, was put in detention after her parents dropped her off late to Olympia Elementary School in San Antonio for a third time.

Brooke’s parents, Brad and Erika Loeffler, who both work full-time and have a newborn baby with medical issues at home, say they both thought that it was unfair to punish a small child for something she has no control over.

In fact, Erika Loeffler says she offered to volunteer at the school doing anything from working with kids to cleaning tables, instead of having Brooke serve detention. “I’ll do the time,” Erika said.

“We tried to explain the situation to the vice principal and principal,” Erika Loeffler said. “They were very cold and not understanding of the circumstances.”

Steve Lindscomb, director of public information at Judson Independent School District, says that the tardy policy has been in effect for approximately three years, and each parent signs off on it when their child enrolls.

“Each year, parents are asked to look over the policy and sign it,” Lindscomb said. “We have the document that they (Brian and Erika) signed off on, and they also signed for the detention to go on.”

The school works with parents to make detention more doable. In the Loeffler case, Brooke Loeffler was allowed to split the hour detention into two days during the lunch period because she couldn’t stay after school when detention would normally take place. Also, she did not sit by herself either day. Her father sat with her the first day and her grandmother sat with her the second day.

“I’ll say that it sounds too young for detention, and that’s why we worked with the students and their parents, Lindscomb said. “But we do need to have some level of consistency because some parents would be upset that some people got a little attitude and some did not, but we do make allowances for age appropriate treatment.”

According to Ericka, a second grade elementary teacher, the school district was untruthful in their Facebook post about working with them.

“They were not working with us,” Erika said. “They first told us it would not count if one of us sat with her.”

The Loefflers told ABC News that the school has no absence policy, only a tardy policy, and that they might consider having to make Brooke skip a full day of school rather than be late and risk another detention. This, she says, is not a choice parents should have to make.

Kelly Reid, treasurer of the Parent Teacher Organization at Olympia Elementary School, warned that the Loefflers could face legal problems if they were to keep their daughter out of school.

Reid cited the school district handbook, which states, “a court of law may also impose penalties against both the student and his or her parents if a school-aged student is deliberately not attending school.” That clause can be invoked if a child misses 10 days in a six month period or three days in a four week period.

Erika Loeffler says that as an educator, she understands the tardiness rule, but she suggested implementing a positive reinforcement approach instead. In other words, instead of punishing late students, they could reward the ones who are consistently on time.

“She’s a very good student,” Brad Loeffler said about his daughter.  “She never causes any trouble at school. According to her teacher, they use a color system to rate their performance of the day, and she [Brooke] always gets the top color or the one right below it. She’s very polite and shy to people she doesn’t know. I don’t think she has ever caused any trouble at all.”

However, Lindscomb explains that the policy is effective in reducing tardiness at Olympia.

“Definitely since the rule was put in place about three years ago they’ve cut tardies down from 90-95 percent, but that doesn’t mean we don’t work with each student in terms of age-appropriateness and family situation.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Miami Judge Allows Three Names on Birth Certificate

(MIAMI) -- Few people can say that they legally have three parents, but 23-month-old Emma Filippazzo will be able to after a Miami-Dade county judge signed off an an agreement that a lesbian couple and a gay man are all parents of the child, stating it on her birth certificate.

Hair stylist Massimilano Gerina of Miami Beach met lesbian couple Maria Italiano and Cher Filippazzo in 2006 when they became clients of his, eventually building a strong friendship. Italiano and Filippazzo were trying to conceive and approached Gerina first in 2008 and then a second time in late 2009, to be the father of their baby.

“They wanted me to be the father of the baby, because they liked me and my look and how I am Italian like Maria is,” Gerina said. The trio originally had a verbal agreement where they discussed that “I was going to be the father of the baby and I would be able to see her whenever I wanted. I never thought about papers and I assumed that it was going to happen period, without thinking of the legal point of view.”

According to Gerina’s lawyer, Karyn J. Begin, “The insemination took place in a private setting, where he [Gerina] was the donor and the other parties were in communication with each other through the entire time."  

“We thought we were going to try for months, but it happened in an amount of days," Gerina said. "It was so fast we did not even think about papers.”

Although Gerina thought he was going to be a new father that almost changed when Italiano and Filippazzo asked him to sign paperwork stating that Gerina would only be considered a sperm donor and have no parental rights to the child.

“I was shocked," Gerina said, "I did not see that coming and I felt a little betrayed.”

That’s when Gerina sought legal action from Begin, who had handled a similar case before.  Although Begin warned her client that it was going to be a long and painful process, Gerina filed a paternity lawsuit after the birth of his daughter Emma, who was born on March 10, 2011.

“I gave him options,” said Begin, "and we ended up finishing this case after two years of litigation, because both parties reached an agreement as to how they were going to approach their family for the future.”

According to Florida law, sperm donors do not have any parental rights. However, Begin stressed that this case was not affected by this law and does not affect the current Florida law, because there is an agreement between the two parties.

After the two-year legal battle, when Gerina was not permitted to see his daughter, Judge Antonio Marin signed off on an agreement reached on Jan. 31, granting Gerina weekly visits with Emma for several hours, at the mothers’ residence or an otherwise agreed upon location.  Emma’s birth certificate was issued with all three parents’ names on it.

“I am the father and I have visitation, but legally speaking, they [Italiano and Filippazzo] are the parents, but that does not exclude me from Emma’s activities or major decisions,” Gerina says.

Gerina says that he is still good friends with the couple and “whatever happened we put it in the past,” and that he does not think any less of them because of what transpired.

Gerina says he sees his daughter all of the time now and is constant contact with the couple on how she is doing.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ohio Student Wins Stalking Order Against Parents

Obtained by ABC(NEW YORK) -- A 21-year-old theatre student has obtained a civil stalking restraining order against her parents after convincing a judge that they attempt to control all aspects of her daily life.

Aubrey Ireland is a theatre major at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, often winning major roles in her school's musicals.  Her latest win wasn't at her prestigious music conservatory, but in court after she filed a civil stalking order against her parents.  

Earlier this month, Common Pleas Court Judge Jody Luebbers ruled in her favor, ordering that her parents must stay at least 500 feet from their only child until September 2013.

"They basically thought that they were paying for my college tuition and living expenses that they could tell me what to do who to hang out with ... basically control all of my daily life," Ireland told ABC News.

The dean's list student's complaints against her parents began when she realized they'd installed monitoring software on her computer and her phone.  They paid unannounced visits, traveling 600 miles from their home in Kansas, to meet with Ireland's department head.

They also accused their daughter of promiscuity, doing drugs and having mental issues to the point where they were considering going to court to order that she get treatment.

"My mom has always been very overly involved," Ireland said.  "I would have to get on Skype all the time to show them that I was in my dorm room, or there were nights I had to leave my Skype on all night and my mom would watch me basically sleep."

The student claims her parents, David and Julie Ireland, have been diagnosed with co-dependency disorder.  Her parents, however, say their daughter is just a good actor, and is lying.  They said she is "an only child who has been catered to all her life."

Because Aubrey has cut all ties with them in a very public way, they now want a refund of the $66,000 they've already paid toward her education.

"We're not bothering her," Julie Ireland said.  "We're not a problem."

But Aubrey said that taking the issue to court was a last resort.

"I never wanted this to happen, that's the last thing I wanted," she said.  "But I wasn't in control of my life at all anymore.  I knew that they were holding me back emotionally, mentally, and professionally and that it got to the point where that was basically my last option."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lauren Spierer’s Parents: ‘Stonewalled’ by Last People to See Her

ABC News; Courtesy Rebecca Lefkowitz(NEW YORK) -- Missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer’s parents said Monday that they do not believe their daughter’s disappearance was a “random abduction.” They slammed the male friends of their daughter who, they said, were the last to see her before she vanished.

“We have these boys that were there that night that clammed up, shut down, lawyered up,” Spierer’s father, Robert Spierer, said Monday on Katie.

He said it was, “very frustrating as the parent of a missing child” to have people who were there the night Spierer disappeared, but have made the sharing of information “impossible or extremely difficult.”

Spierer, 21, vanished on June 3, 2011, after a night out with friends in Bloomington, Ind. The  Indiana University student is 4 feet 11 inches tall, and weighs less than 100 pounds. She has blond hair and blue eyes.

“I’m frustrated and I’m angry at this point. We’ve been stonewalled, to some extent, by the last people to see Lauren, and despite their claims of doing whatever they could do, the fact of the matter is they refused to meet with us except for one of the boys,” Robert Spierer said.

Most of the men refused to take police polygraph tests and instead took “independent polygraphs.”

Eighteen months later, the family is still looking for answers.

Lauren’s mother, Charlene Spierer, tearfully recalled that how the last time she saw her daughter was when she went home to surprise her for Mother’s Day.

“She’s just a great girl, she’s very outgoing and friendly and loving…great sense of humor, would do anything for a friend. She just loved life,” Charlene Spierer said. “It’s painful every single day.”

When asked if any new information on Lauren’s case has been learned, Charlene Spierer said, “I don’t think we’ve discovered the right information because we still don’t have Lauren.”

“I truly don’t think it was a random abduction,” she said. “I think that somebody that Lauren knew was responsible for the events of that evening.”

Since Lauren’s disappearance, multiple discoveries of remains have been reported. All turned out to be false alarms.

“I know that the likelihood is remote and I understand that, but there is some part of me, because we have not found her, [that] leaves me with the slimmest of hopes,” Robert Spierer said.  “We simply don’t know what happened to our daughter.”

Police say the search for Spierer is still an active investigation. The Spierer family has retained its own private investigators to follow up on tips and leads.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Parents Allegedly Held Son Captive 4 Years, Sent Him on Bus to LA

Paulding County Sheriff's Office(DALLAS, Ga.) -- Emaciated and alone, Mitch Comer didn't even know his home address or what Georgia town he was from when last week, at the age of 18, he was discovered by a security guard at a Los Angeles bus station.

Joe Gonzalez, a security guard at the Greyhound station in downtown L.A., came upon Comer looking frightened and perplexed last Tuesday. After speaking to him for a bit, Gonzalez learned that the teen had arrived alone after a cross-country journey he was sent on by his stepfather.

Alarmed by what he was told by the frail teen, Gonzalez, a former police sergeant, notified the LAPD, who questioned Mitch.

"The story we got was that the stepfather took the kid to the bus depot, said 'Here's $200, here's a list of the homeless shelters in Los Angeles, you're a man now, and don't come back,'" LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told WABC.

Police soon learned from the frail teenager that his solo cross-country journey was just part of what the Paulding county sheriff's office in Dallas, Ga., where Mitch grew up, is calling "a severe case of child abuse and neglect."

Mitch told officers that his parents, Paul Comer, 48, and Sheila Comer, 39, had taken him out of school in the 8th grade and kept him locked in a bedroom for four years. According to Dick Donovan, the district attorney in Dallas, Paul Comer drove Mitch to a bus stop in Mississippi on his 18th birthday.

On Friday, police cars were parked outside the Georgia home where the young man said he was held captive by his stepfather and mother for most of his teenage years.

"We don't have any reason to believe that he's lying, based on his appearance, the stories he's told and the interview with his mom and dad," Ashley Henson, who's with the Paulding County Sheriff's Department, told ABC News.

Henson said that when he was found, Mitch, who is 5 foot 3 inches tall, weighted 87 pounds.

"He knew he had come from Paulding county, and what his name was. My understanding is that his father confessed, and said, 'Yes, I gave him a list of shelters and $200 and sent him to LA," Paulding County District Attorney Dick Donovan told ABC News.

The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have now joined the investigation into what went on at the Comers' home.

John White, who has lived next door to the Comers since April, told ABC News that he rarely saw the couple, and that he was surprised to hear that there was a teenager living in the house. He said that he rarely saw the couple's girls.

"I'd see the girls in the yard, in the back yard riding their bikes. Never out of the yard, always in the back. They tried to socialize with the kids next door, but she told me the father wouldn't let them play," White said.

The girls, who Donovan said are 11 and 12, are now in the custody of the Paulding County Division of Family & Children Services.

According to Donovan, Mitch is the adopted son of Paul Comer, though Henson said the sheriff's office has yet to see any documentation that Mitch had actually been adopted by his stepfather.

Authorities said that once he was discovered by Gonzalez, Mitch spent a day at Exodus Recovery Center in L.A. and nearly a week in a local group home in L.A. This week, detectives and representatives from the Paulding County D.A.'s office flew to Los Angeles to retrieve Mitch. He arrived back Thursday, according to Henson, and now remains in Paulding County.

Paul and Sheila Comer are in custody after being arrested at their home in Dallas, an upscale Georgia suburb, after they were tracked down by authorities through their in-home business. They are now facing six counts of cruelty to children and one count of false imprisonment, and are being held without bond.

The Paulding County Sheriff's Office said that this is still an active case, and there may be more charges pending in the future.

A preliminary hearing and the hearing for their bond will be held on Oct. 4.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gold Medal Sprinter Tianna Madison Sued by Parents

Allyson Felix (R) and Tianna Madison celebrate after winning gold and setting a new world record in the Women's 4 x 100m Relay Final at the 2012 Olympic Games. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) -- United States gold medalist Tianna Madison and her husband are being sued by Madison's parents for libel, slander and defamation.

The Olympic sprinter won gold in London as part of the 4x100 meter relay team that set a new world record.

Madison's parents Robert and Jo Ann Madison are claiming that she has repeatedly made and published false and defamatory statements about them. Tianna Madison has told news outlets that her parents mismanaged her finances and knowingly allowed a boy who had molested her previously to be in her presence at their home.

The lawsuit was filed at a Cuyahoga County's Court of Common Pleas in Ohio on Sept. 6. The Madisons live in Elyria, Ohio, and Tianna Madison lives in Tampa, Fla.

In the lawsuit, Robert and Jo Ann Madison say that their daughter's husband John Bartoletta told them on March 17, 2012 that she would be filing a lawsuit against them for "misappropriation of funds and fraud based on her power of attorney" and that he had hired a bodyguard to protect her.

The lawsuit was never filed, but the parents said they were "shocked by these unfounded and untrue allegations."

"Throughout her childhood, and into adulthood, Robert Madison and Jo Ann Madison have provided Tianna Madison with a loving, supportive and generous environment that has enabled her to achieve success as a sprinter, including her obtaining a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, as well as achieving success in other athletic endeavors," the lawsuit said.

Tianna Madison, 27, has also publicly accused her parents of inviting a boy into their home who she said had previously molested her. Her parents deny the claim.

"Robert Madison and Jo Ann Madison were not aware of any molestation of Defendant Tianna Madison, and at present, they remain unaware of whether Defendant Tianna Madison was ever molested or not," the lawsuit said.

In the days prior to the Olympics, the parents claim that they received a text message from their daughter in which she said that "after the Olympic Games, she would 'break the story' of the Madisons 'selfish, controlling, and utterly abusive ways and treatment' of her, and that 'it is going to be brutal.'"

Tianna Madison's representative, Brian Butler, did not respond to request for comment Monday, but told Ohio's Chronicle-Telegram that Madison and her husband would not be commenting publicly on the lawsuit.

"This should be a time for not just Tianna, but her family to celebrate all she has gone through and her winning a gold medal," Butler told the paper. "That is what she is going to focus on at this time."

Robert and Jo Ann Madison claim that their daughter's defamatory comments have caused them "humiliation, public ridicule, mental pain and anguish," according to the lawsuit. They are seeking damages in excess of $25,000.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lochte's Parents Face Foreclosure on Port Orange, Fla., Home

Hemera/Thinkstock(PORT ORANGE, Fla.) -- The parents of U.S. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Ryan Lochte cheered their son on in London this week, but they were also embroiled in a foreclosure lawsuit back home in the States.

CitiMortgage filed a suit against Lochte's parents, Steven and Ileana, in May, seeking to foreclose on the couple's February 2007 mortgage on their property in Port Orange, Fla. The bank is seeking to recover $250,000, according to court documents.

Volusia County court records show that Ileana Lochte filed a motion to dismiss the suit in July.

Ileana Lochte told USA TODAY that none of her children knew about the foreclosure proceedings, the paper reported today.

Lochte's parents divorced in February 2011, after nearly 36 years of marriage.

On Saturday, Lochte tweeted from London that he was spending the day with his family, but did not acknowledge his parents' foreclosure to his followers.

"Being with my family is the best part of my life," he said. "Today I got to kick back and have fun with the people I love most."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Tyler Clementi’s Family Slams Ravi, Judge in Rutgers Suicide Case

ABC/LOU ROCCO(MIDDLESEX COUNTY, N.J.) -- The parents of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers student who killed himself in 2009, slammed Dharun Ravi’s apology for spying on Clementi’s gay date as “no apology at all, but a public relations piece,” in a statement released Thursday.

Ravi released an official apology and statement on Tuesday to notify Judge Glen Berman that he would begin serving his 30-day sentence in jail Thursday for charges of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy. Ravi was found guilty of spying on his roommate Clementi’s sexual tryst with another man, known as “M.B.,” in the first weeks of their freshmen year. Ravi then sent Twitter messages and told friends about the encounter, and was found guilty of encouraging them to watch as Clementi and M.B. had a second date.

Clementi killed himself days later by jumping off of New York’s George Washington Bridge. His parents, who read tearful statements at Ravi’s sentencing earlier this month, said Thursday that Berman did not sentence Ravi harshly enough for the crimes Ravi committed against Clementi.

“We have respect for Judge Berman and we appreciate the manner in which he presided over the criminal trial of Mr. Ravi. Although we do not question the sincerity of his feelings, and we have never sought harsh punishment, we are troubled by the judge’s failure to impose even a short jail sentence on the several charges of criminal invasion of Tyler’s privacy and bias crimes.”

“As to the so-called ‘apology,’” they continued, “it was, of course, no apology at all, but a public relations piece produced by Mr. Ravi’s advisors only after Judge Berman scolded Mr. Ravi in open court for his failure to have expressed a word of remorse or apology. A sincere apology is personal.”

Ravi reported to Middlesex County jail in New Jersey Thursday. He will be required to do 300 hours of community service and remain on probation for three years after his jail sentence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rotten Eggs: Parents Blamed for Canceled Easter Hunts

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Overzealous parents have been blamed for turning annual Easter egg hunts into events that are downright dangerous  and just not fun.

YouTube is chockful of videos showing parents from Illinois to Pennsylvania instigating stampedes for eggs and candy, children getting trampled and even encouraged to push others and steal.

Macon, Ga., officials held a news conference Friday stating that although Saturday’s event was still on, parents should rein in their behavior.

“We expect parents to behave,” Eric Quick, an organizer, said Friday. “No pushing. No shoving.”

Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen said that in recent years parents had gotten unruly, and children had gotten hurt. A woman also threatened to sue after getting injured during one hunt.

“She was pushed and fell and was hurt pretty bad,” Allen told ABC News Friday.

In Colorado Springs, Colo., organizers canceled the free holiday tradition, usually set for Easter Sunday, because last year’s hunt got out of hand.

“There were disgruntled people because there weren’t enough eggs to go around, or some kids didn’t get one,” Dave Van Ness, executive director for  event organizer Old Colorado City Associates, told KXRM-TV.

Parents were so determined to get their child an egg that they sent their older children racing. That caused the parents of the younger children to then jump the rope, going from spectators to participants. Last year’s hunt ended in seconds.

Jennifer Reed of Old Colorado City encouraged parents to “just chill out a bit.

“Let these kids enjoy it,” she told KXRM-TV. “It’s really about these kids having a great time.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Parents Arrested for Alleged Facebook Posts of Bound Kids 

Coconino Sheriff's Office(COCONINO COUNTY, Ariz.) -- An Arizona couple has been arrested for allegedly posting photos of their two young children bound by duct tape and, in one photo, hanging one of the children upside down from exercise equipment.

Kayla Almunia, 19, and Frankie Almunia, 20, told police that the images were meant as a joke, but authorities aren’t laughing.

“I don’t know how anyone can rationalize or believe that this behavior is in any way funny or a joke,” Coconino County Sheriff’s Commander Rex Gilliland told “Law enforcement believes that this is an act of child abuse.”

In the photos, the 2-year-old and 10-month-old are allegedly bound with duct tape around their wrists and ankles. Their mouths were also closed shut with duct tape. Police said one of the children was hung upside down on an exercise apparatus.

Police say Kayla Almunia allegedly posted the photos on Facebook on Wednesday night. Soon after, an anonymous caller reported the images to the police and provided authorities with the couple’s names and address.

Gilliland said police obtained 10 photos from Kayla Almunia’s cell phone of the bound children. All of the photos appeared to have been taken at the same time.

While police said there were no indications that the children had possibly been abused in other ways, the bondage appeared to be traumatic.

“In one photo, the child did appear to be extremely frightened and fearful and in a later one appeared to be crying,” Gilliland said.

The children were initially taken into custody by Child Protective Services but have since been released to what police deemed to be “suitable family members,” Gilliland said.

Gilliland said that the anonymous tipster is the person to thank in this case and encourages others to be similarly vigilant.

“We encourage people to pay attention and if they see something that’s odd or criminal in nature, particularly on social media, inform law enforcement,” Gilliland said.

Each parent was charged with two felony counts of child abuse. They are being held on bond in the Coconino County Detention Facility.

Earlier this month, police in Chicago were investigating a father in a very similar case. Andre Curry, 21, allegedly posted a photo on Facebook of his little girl’s arms and legs bound together by thick tape and her mouth covered.

The image was posted with the caption, “This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back ; )”

And in October 2010, photos of a teen mother and her boyfriend duct-taping her 2-year-old son to a wall were made public by Nebraska prosecutors, weeks after they were convicted for the incident in which they took pictures of the toddler for fun.

Jayla Hamm, who was 17 at the time of the abuse, received 10 days in jail and two years probation. Her boyfriend, Corde Honea, 19, an ex-convict, was sentenced to three to five years for child abuse and received an additional 12 to 24 months on felony possession of stolen firearms.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio