NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – School officials at Wrightsville Beach Elementary recently said the school system will hire private investigators from time to time to track parents who aren't playing by the rules.
Several parents were complaining to the New Hanover County School System that other parents were falsifying their addresses to go to the elementary school. The complaints alleged some children at the school didn't live in the district.
Dr. Rick Holliday, the assistant superintendent for support services, said the school system will hire a private investigator to check out the claims when the amount of complaints becomes too much for school officials to handle.
Since 2011 the school system has called on private investigators to look into 13 cases, all of which they determined the parent or parents were using false addresses to send their child to a specific school.
That costs the school system more than $8,000, but Holliday said it's a nominal fee compared to other expenses.
"They have various reasons for wanting to do what they do," said Holliday. "Sometimes it's hard for us to pinpoint why people are going to such lengths because often times it's not a simple matter of giving someone a false address. It's a really elaborate attempt to deceive the school district."
According to Holliday, some people are using multiple addresses, especially if they have a vacation home, or one that isn't even theirs. What's more shocking is they will get licenses with fake addresses on them.
Holliday says it's the larger areas with close school districts that tend to have this problem. While it's hard to pinpoint a parent's motivation, it often has to do with the quality of school or athletics.
When a private investigator discovers people are falsifying their address, the school system removes the child from the school and puts them in the correct district. Those people can legally face misdemeanor charges, but Holliday said they try to work it out themselves.
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