• Teen involved in car accident convicted of truancy charges


    CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. - A Connellsville High School student who missed a few weeks of school this year after recovering from a car accident is facing truancy charges, and his mother argues they’re not warranted.

    Jacob Zook’s mother told Channel 11 News she documented her son’s medical situation, but he’s still being punished for it.

    Jacob was hit by a car on his way to school in November, and spent two weeks in the hospital recovering.

    Kathy Zook said she had proof that her 15-year-old son attended PA Cyber, but his school still filed absences.

    On Tuesday, Kathy Zook said she got a letter from PennDOT saying Jacob’s permit privileges had been suspended as part of his punishment for being found guilty of missing too many days of school.

    “Even after we enrolled him and they had proof that he was attending PA Cyber, they still filed absences on him,” Kathy Zook said. “They basically said because the doctor’s excuse wasn’t on their forms.”

    The magistrate who found Jacob guilty referred Channel 11 News to Connellsville School District, who provided us with a copy of state regulation.

    “If found to be truant, a child can lose their driver’s license for 90 days,” the rules say.

    They also say, “Excused absences may be granted in special cases, including illness and family emergencies. But a note from a parent must be sent in the right way.”

    Kathy Zook said she feels the law isn’t clear enough. She said she’s spent months trying to straighten things out.

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