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Va. couple charged for children's repeated tardiness

Monday - 2/6/2012, 2:57pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A Loudoun County couple is facing misdemeanor charges for failing to get their children to school on time -- repeatedly.

Amy and Mark Denicore of Waterford face a trial next month because their three children have been late to Waterford Elementary School 150 times over the last two years.

"We aren't perfect and I think the fact that the public school system is trying to criminalize this kind of problem is the real issue," Mark Denicore says.

He says most of those late arrivals have been only a few minutes.

But Loudoun County Public Schools spokesman Wayde Byard says they are obligated to deal with such tardiness.

"It is our duty, as charged by the state, to make sure that student is OK," Byard says.

Mark Denicore, a lawyer, says the fact the school district is moving forward with criminal charges is a bit much.

"The fact that it's going forward is kind of surprising to us," he says.

Byard says they report such chronic tardiness because there might be problems at home.

"If somebody is coming in after the bell when everybody is seated and on task, the teacher then has to repeat the lesson and it is disruptive," he says.

The Denicores are facing fines as high as $3,000 if convicted of the misdemeanor.

WTOP's Hank Silverberg contributed to this story. Follow Hank and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)