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School Officials Withdraw Truancy Charge

January 16, 1986

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ School officials have withdrawn a truancy charge against a 16-year-old muscular dystrophy victim who says he has no interest in school because he has only a short time to live, officials said Wednesday.

Michael Flynn still should be enrolled in some kind of school program, however, said Roger Street, director of public services form the Columbus Public Schools.

The school system withdrew the truancy charge about two weeks ago on the condition that Michael’s mother work with them to enroll him in a school program.

″We’ve made limited progress on that,″ Street said.

The boy was to have been sentenced on the charge Wednesday and could have been removed from his home and placed in the custody of Franklin County Children Services.

John Rice, court liaison for the city school district, said he charged Michael with truancy because the boy failed to attend ninth-grade classes this year at Independence High School.

Michael, who appeared in a wheelchair last month when he pleaded guilty to the truancy charge, said he had no interest in school and believed he had little time to live.

″I don’t feel I’ll live as long as everybody thinks,″ he said.

Michael’s mother, June Flynn, said doctors told her son four years ago that he had two years to live. She said Michael’s father died of muscular dystrophy, a hereditary disease that causes muscle deterioration.

School officials do not believe it is necessary for Michael to attend regular classes but think he should be enrolled in some type of school program, Street said.

″We have kids like Michael who are getting an education,″ Street said. ″There’s no reason to believe that we couldn’t serve Michael ... given the opportunity.″

Street said school officials have so far been unable to contact Michael’s mother, whose permission must be obtained before Michael can be enrolled in one of the district’s special programs.

Michael lives with another relative, said school spokeswoman Laura Eckler.

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