MISSED MEETING OVER SON'S ABSENCE
May 25, 2008 -- Bronx HS of Science senior Michel Dussack has a "B" average, an 1890 SAT score and an almost full college scholarship for the fall.
But Dussack's mother was accused of "educational neglect" two weeks ago and was reported to the city's child-services agency - because she missed a scheduled meeting to discuss her son possibly failing gym.
Karen Dussack, 40, is now under investigation by the Administration for Children's Services, the city's welfare agency that protects kids from neglect and abuse.
Two caseworkers from the ACS showed up at Dussack's door in Bayside, Queens, on May 14. The ACS interviewed Karen and her husband, also named Michel, as well as their two children, Michel and his sister, Deborah, 11. They checked the home for smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors and examined the contents of the refrigerator.
The visit lasted two hours. Afterward, someone from the agency interviewed a representative from Deborah's school, MS 158 in Queens, and the family pediatrician over the phone.
"It was humiliating," Karen said.
The Department of Education has a policy of reporting parents whose children are absent 10 consecutive days or 20 days over four months.
The department would not disclose Michel's attendance records. But in a conversation between Bronx Science officials, ACS representatives and the Dussacks recorded by the family and played for The Post, it was revealed he only had eight unexcused absences.
The nonconsecutive days were for family deaths and illnesses, and his mom said she knew about them.
Sources at the department told The Post that since the case of Nixzmary Brown, who was absent 46 times in one school year and killed in January 2006 by her abusive stepfather, school officials have been encouraged to enforce the absence policy strictly.
SCHOOL REPORTS MOM AS 'ABUSER' - New York Post