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Waterford parents go to court for kids’ constant tardiness

Mark Denicore leaves early for work each morning from his home in Waterford. His wife, Amy, is in charge of getting their three children ready and out the door for school.

With three children, all under age 10, it can be challenging to get them ready all at once and make it to school on time.

What is every parent’s early-morning routine challenge has now turned into a legal battle and a potential life-changing event for the family.

On Jan. 31, the Denicores were served with a summons to appear in court on a Class 3 misdemeanor for their daughter Sophie’s excessive tardiness. 

The Denicores admit they’re not perfect parents. Their three children have been late to school 85 times since September, but the majority of the time they missed the opening bell by only a few minutes.

Mark and Amy Denicore appeared at the Loudoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Feb. 6 in front of Judge Pamela Brooks for an arraignment.

They’re scheduled for trial on March 14.

Mark Denicore, who works as an attorney, says he could potentially lose his license to practice law if he loses the case, not to mention paying upwards of $3,000 in fines for his children’s tardiness. 

The three children have only missed less than three hours each of school since September, Mark Denicore said.

“I would say that it’s pretty extreme. The Virginia truancy statutes is for kids that are blowing off school without their parent’s knowledge, not for this kind of thing,” Mark Denicore said. “They’re taking a lot of leeway in their interpretation of what the code says to make it criminal conduct, it’s outrageous.”

Although he and his wife had been warned of the constant tardies, they didn’t feel that the school system would take it to this extreme.

“We understand the school is running a train and they want everybody in the train station before the train leaves,” Mark Denicore said. “I understand that this is a legitimate goal to have and we are doing our best to try to comply to that. But, we’re not perfect parents. We don’t have perfect kids and sometimes we’re late. The real issue is is that criminal conduct? I can’t find it in the statues.”

Amy Denicore is a stay-at-home mom and either drives their children to school or allows them to walk the few blocks to Waterford Elementary.

Wayde Byard, Loudoun County Public School’s public information officer, said the first mission of the school system is to help the child and help the parent help the child.
“The judges have asked us to turn over chronic attendance issues such as this. We issue no summons on anybody. The procedure is after five days we’ll call the parent and say we need to talk about this,” Byard said. “There’s obviously a recurrent pattern developing here. After six days of unexcused absences we’ll have a parent conference and we’ll try to get a strategy going on how can we help you get your child to school, have them here on time and ready to learn.”

Mark Denicore said his family received numerous warnings and correspondence from the school system about his children’s tardiness, but the family has never had a conference with officials to discuss the issue. Mark Denicore did request a meeting between the school’s principal, attendance officer and legal counsel, but the school system never responded.

Byard said the school system has five attendance officers in charge of investigating cases with schools to improve student attendance and enforce compulsory attendance laws. The attendance officers also initiate legal actions against parents or guardians who unlawfully cause their child to be absent from school, among other times, Byard said.

Byard said by Virginia State Code, school officials have to report anything that would affect a child’s welfare at school. He also said that the last step would be taking the information to the intake officer within the court system after numerous attempts to work with the family.

“After that it would have to be only very chronic level cases where the school level has failed where we’ll take it to the intake officer at the juvenile and domestic relations court who will then take it to a magistrate if they deem it worthy of that attention and then they issue a summons,” Byard said. “The judge will decide if there will be a hearing. This is not us arresting people on the street.”

According to Mark Denicore’s records, his daughter Daisy has been late 29 times since September. His daughter, Sophie, has been late 27 times and his son, Tucker, has been late 29 times.

Mark and Amy Denicore will go to trial on March 14 and ask for the case to be dismissed. If the case isn’t dismissed, the Denicores will have their chance to defend themselves with character witnesses. According to Mark Denicore, Virginia State Code 22.1-254, which they are being charged under, doesn’t state anything about a child’s tardiness.

“I can’t figure it out …” Mark Denicore said.

According to Byard, there has been one other family summoned to court this year for the same issue the Denicores are involved in.

Mark Denicore also questioned students who are able to leave early from school and if they would get the same treatment as tardy students.

“I would like parents not to be bullied by the school system,” Denicore said. “We send our children to school so they can learn not to bullied.”

Mark Denicore said that not only did both he and his wife appear in court on Feb. 6, they also got all three of their children to school on time – but it wasn’t easy.


After reading the responses to this article, it’s clear that people are operating from an idealistic and overwrought mentality. People are too consumed and preoccupied with the logistics, as to be apathetic to their human condition. People care too much about comparing themselves with others, as to become spiteful with ill-conceived notions. Obviously, being tardy by mere minutes, even excessively, doesn’t denote criminal misconduct. It doesn’t disrupt the educational system into total disarray. It should be fixed, but not by behaving outlandishly. How crazy our world has become that tardiness has become a issue requiring criminal trails and policing of our families.
Take care,

@Sad American - I am so happy that you are smarting than me.

It is not a rule that does not apply; it is the law that they think should not apply.  Waterford Entitlement Syndrome.

Most of you ignorant reactionary fools don’t deserve the freedom really smart thinking people (many lawyers I might add) have worked so hard to create for you. It’s truly pathetic… Your indignation, your sense of superiority, your emphasis on following rules, your lynch ‘em mob mentality… It’s truly a sign that your own education was a pathetic failure. Your parents taught you to follow the rules, but forgot to teach you when to challenge them. As Americans, you are a pitiful lot. Be thankful that some Americans like the founders think enough to challenge rules and overbearing government bureaucrats.

I’m just hoping when my son is old enough for school, I will include punctuality in the bag of virtues I cultivate. It is disrespectful to others to be late to any meeting but in elementary school where kids are learning routine, even more so. Don’t teach your kids that their actions don’t have consequences for themselves and for others.

Why shouldn’t the Denicores play by the rules everyone else does.  I’ll bet if the attorney husband was late to court 85/100 times the judge would tear into his a$$.  Get your kids to school on time, Mrs. Denicore.  You are inconveniencing a multitude of people.

did anyone talk about ADA yet (average daily attendance?) because tardies can really mess up a school’s ADA and that means less funding for the school and, eventually, a negative impact on your kids’ learning environment.

I certainly hope the Denicore’s now regret their decision to incite a media circus around what should have been a private matter between them and LCPS. If not, then I stand by my affirmation that national attention was their true motive here.

“hard core feminist attorney”

greeeeaaaaattttt….dont forget to add bitter, unattractive and angry next time you decribe yourself… ywia

@Hardknocks: Many of us “clog of the roads to schools” and drop our children off and pick them up because the bus has children on it who use filthy language and act inappropriately. I don’t need my 6 and 8 year old getting sex-ed on their school bus. I am capable of driving my children to school and picking them up and do so every single day. I’m their mother—that’s my job and it’s my right. I have declined bus service and the bus does not come to my house at all.

As for the Denicores, they couldn’t be nicer people and there is absolutely zero abuse of the children or alcohol or drugs going on in the home, just poor time management skills. It really is as simple as that. Why so many of you have to trivialize such a delicate matter is beyond me. They are wrong in this situation, but it does not warrant criminal charges—just firm punishment to help them get their acts together.

Waterford neighbor: This tardy situation does not pertain to me in any way but since you brought up busses here goes: a bus comes through my neighborhood to take children to high school…a school which is so close that MOST of the kids walk (or drive themselves) yet the bus still comes..We have asked to have the bus service to be stopped but we are told no…so I don’t find it disrespectful or a waste of time for the bus driver or other students when we TOLD them that the run is not wanted. Sure there are a few kids that do ride but only because it is there

Waterford Neighbor - a voice of reason, thanks!  I’ve always wondered why parents clog up the roads to schools; my family never provided special delivery and we were always on time.

If you look at LCPS bus transportation schedules a bus is provided to pick these kids up at 7:26 every morning, at their front door (BTW) and it arrives at the school 4 minutes later. The first child on the run is picked up before 7am. Seems unfair that the first child must get on the bus so much earlier only so the ones at the end of the run don’t show up. Seems unfair and wasteful that the county uses resources to provide transportation for these children and it is not utilized. Isn’t this what the county has done to help these folks get to school on time? How come no one has explored the issue of why the mom “must drive the kids or walk them the three blocks” to school instead of taking the bus taxpayers pay for?

@concerned neighbor

What is wrong with people like you?!?!  You want their childern taken away because the children are tardy to school? 

You’re not a concerned neighbor..you’re some crazy lunatic that think peole should have their hand cut off for shoplifting.

Hopefully, their kids aren’t held back in school or you will be calling for the execution in the school parking lot!!!!

What else may be happening the home?  What kind of parents are the Denicores?  How are they treating the children behind closed doors?

The county has a program that helps parents…here’s the webiste…got to ‘life skills’.  http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=2317

Or call Supernanny.  Perhaps a structured foster home might be a good idea.

This goes to a bigger problem—chronic tardiness even by adults for all sorts of things from meeting dinner with friends to meetings to going to church or movies.  I am sick and tired of hearing a presenter say, “We’ll give it a few more minutes for those who are late in arriving.”  It seems you punish the people who are punctual and inconvenience them instead of the other way around.  When you are chronically late—and not on a rare occasion due to no fault of your own—it shows an inconsideration and a disrespect of others.
Get it together people!

Since when does a lawyer lose a license to practice law based on a Class 3 Misdemeanor?  Sounds like a “poor me” excuse.

Is he or was he really planning to run for the Catoctin Board of Supervisor seat?  “Sorry, I missed the vote, I was looking for my favorite pants-  not my fault”.

Please.  There is a stay at home mom - that is her JOB!  This is from a hard core feminist attorney.  Damn it girl - if you are going to stay at home and be a mom then do it RIGHT!  That is the job you applied for and got accepted to.  DO IT!

I work midnights, and my husband is in charge of getting FOUR kids to school in the am. an teenager, a ten year old a five year old and a 7 year old. He is in charge of getting the kids up,breakfast done, and make sure they have their backpacks and lunches (all done the night before by us) and to the bus stop on time. (715 for the teenager and 8 am for the elementary school kids. ) My teenager has missed the bus several times and has had to be taken to school, but my little ones have YET to miss the bus. its a matter or setting a schedule, posting it in your kitchen if necessary, laying clothes, lunches and backpacks out the night before and prioritizing. Noone is questioning their parenting skills, however acting like the school district is at fault is absurd to me. If my husband and I whoBOTH work full time, on opposing shifts can manage to make sure that we get FOUR kids off to school on time in the am, than a stay at home mom surely can. No sympathy here, esp when on TV it doesn’t even show that Mr. Denicore was upset about the actions of him and his wife but more on the actions of the school. It is not the schools responsibility to make sure they are there on time, its the parents.

I think the reason people are outraged is because *they* have to play by the rules while it seems that the Denicores do not.  The overall consensus is “that’s not fair!” - people who play by the rules can feel indignant, as though someone is getting over on them, when someone else is not made to play by the rules, and that can spurn some harsh words that should maybe be taken as hyperbole. 

I don’t know the Denicores and I’ve only read this one article so nobody needs to flame me with “but you don’t know them!” or any of that foolishness; for all I know this is a fictional story about fictional people.  It does bother me that a stay-at-home mom with seemingly nothing else to do but self-imposed charitable obligations (Noblesse Oblige) can’t lend a bit of attention toward teaching her kids other social graces, such as being on time.  Honestly, if I had that luxury, the things I could get done…!

So I’m thinking about these first-world problems we suffer from in Northern VA and it comes to mind that if time spent with/on kids isn’t a factor and money isn’t a factor and laziness isn’t a factor, perhaps it could be Depression.

It never ceases to amaze me how much we love to tear people down. No, the Denicore’s aren’t perfect and need to work on a few things, but so does everyone. We are all just doing our best, the best we can for our families. But no one is perfect. Not even the “never late” parents who have been posting such hatred here on this board.  We should all just give each other a break.

Wow, what is with the vitriol toward this family? Some of you must have some real anger management issues. As a mom of three 7 & under with life-long lateness issues of my own, I was determined that my daughters would not have tardies on their school records due to me. I’m proud to say my 1st grader has never had a tardy. ( the younger two aren’t in school yet) Here is some advice for Mrs. Denicore that will actually help. Adjust your target arrival time. Why is your goal to “just” beat the tardy bell when you have a 70% success rate? First bell is at 7:40. Your goal should be to pull up at 7:38, everyone collects their things, say their good-byes and still walk in the door at 7:40. Then, the days that you’re running a few minutes late are no big deal.

This family sounds so entitled.  Here’s a hint, set your alarm a half hour earlier.  It’s really not that hard.

The only people responsible for the tax money being wasted are the parents in this case. They are wasting tax money by wasting other children’s and the teacher’s time by being tardy. The other children’s parents pay taxes for their education which is being interrupted when the Denicore’s children come in late, even by one minute. Now, they are wasting more tax money because they didn’t correct the tardiness problem and the courts are now involved. They should be held responsible for all court costs since, so far, they have not offered any reasonable excuse. All of this is on them, they are the ones wasting tax payer’s money, not the county.

One-third of the school year, these children are showing up late and disrupting not only their own education but the education of all the children in their classrooms.

All because these special snowflake entitled parents can’t drag themselves out of bed a whole 15 minutes earlier on weekdays. 

Here’s a tip:  As parents, it is both of your responsibility to teach your children responsibility, maturity and that actions have consequences.  If you can’t be bothered to take the time to get up early enough to have the kids off to school, then you have to face the consequences of your actions.  The only people responsible for anything that happens to this family are the parents.

Yea, I was almost sort of on their side till this part: 
“Amy Denicore is a stay-at-home mom and either drives their children to school or allows them to walk the few blocks to Waterford Elementary.”
Uh, yea.  Get out of the house and get your kids to school, lazy.

Disclaimer: tardiness is probably my biggest pet-peeve, so I’m perhaps exceptionally hard on people who don’t pay attention to the time. I also only have one child that is not yet school age, but my husband and I both work full time and have to be to our jobs on time or risk being fired. That said, I find it incredibly disrespectful and arrogant that these parents don’t think their chronic tardiness is a big deal. Furthermore, that mom is a SAHM with ALL 3 kids in school. She can get up early, get her morning commute together, and go back to sleep by 8:15 if she needs to. Every time those kids inturrupt their teachers’ mornings, it takes considerable time to get the rest of the kids back on task. Start times are not suggestions, people! They exist because OTHER PEOPLE are involved! Quit thinking the entire universe revolves around you!

I had a student a few years ago with a comparable record. Her tardiness disrupted the class on a daily basis, and no amount of pleading or threatening accomplished anything. While I wouldn’t take her parents to court over it, even a “few minutes” are a big deal when you are trying to focus the class and start the day off well. This level of excessive tardiness shows an arrogant disrespect for the school, its teachers, and its students.

Ms Dee - Which liberty is being assaulted?

The Denicores should personally sue every rapid government employee involved in this outrageous assault on liberty!

I suggest the Denicores homeschool their children.  Although I feel the amount of tardies is excessive, the fact that the State gets involved is absured and is borderline police state mentality.  How about they arrest Dept of Education employees for dumbing down our children!  It’s their children and the government should stay out of it!!!

this is getting old, too many assumptions are being made..they are lazy, they turn on the TV, they play video games, they don’t care..whatever their reason is I DON’T care. Where I do believe they need to get their children to school on time I don’t think we need to waste OUR tax money taking them to court. Sorry, this is just not that important in the greater scheme of things.
The perfect parents out there are NOT, I have seen you, you rush your kids down the street to catch the bus with breakfast in their hands, you hurry them across the street a minute before the bell rings while you are still in your bathrobe, I have seen you in your bathrobe coffee in hand in the carpool lane…sometimes you are the last one there and I have seen you speed thru the lot to beat the bell. To those who say wake up 15 minutes earlier…well, easy to say..I wake my child up an hour before we need to leave. Child does not get out of bed, I go in again, child still won’t get out of bed, this continues…finally child is up, gets a shower, takes time getting dressed, gets breakfast, gets all belongings ready..FINALLY we are ready to leave…and the teeth have been forgotten…I could wake the child up earlier.. but it would not help, tried it. Now we are all stressed but we get there on time. Not a good way to start the day.The problem is the kids are tired…elementary students begin school at 7.50.  If they ride the bus, they need to be out by 7.30 some cases earlier. Most after school activities begin after 5 ( and yes, they NEED these things, not everyday of course but they do need them) So by the time they get home it is late…they need dinner, they need to get baths/showers if they don’t do that in the morning, and there is the ever present homework which if you are lucky has been done directly after school but sometimes not finished, then they go to bed. This is the typical life of all of our kids. And to the perfect parents: yes, you do these things too..I have heard you complain about how “tired” you are but you continue to brag about how your darlings are on the best soccer team, have 10 dance classes, have to go here on Monday, there on Tuesday, have to find carpools for the swim team on Wednesday, 3 classes of dance on Thursday, etc…..
There was a study done in England…they had teens start school later in the day…after 10 am I think it was, maybe later…they were more alert, more focused and did better on assessments. Why, their body clocks are wired that way. They did not necessarily receive more sleep, they stayed up late as teens normally do but rather than the kids conform to the system, the system conformed to the kids natural clock. Loudoun does do the right thing by having HS start at 9 am but I wonder if 7.50 is too early for our youngest learners?

We just hit the hundred day mark of being in school recently I think… Tardy that many times in only 100 days?  Are you kidding me?  You can’t get your 3 kids to school on time?  We have strategies in our house to make sure that the kids are on time…there have been other great suggestions in the comments…Let’s start by NOT turning on the TV in the morning or allowing kids to play video games…Perhaps put them in bed earlier so they are able to get up earlier.  Do these parents really need the school to teach them those skills?  As a teacher, I can tell you that excessive tardiness is not only disruptive to those students’ education, but it’s also disruptive to all the students in that class.  I wonder if Mr. Denicore made it on time to tak the Bar?  I bet so…if it’s important enough, you change your priorities to meet the goal.


Talk about “drama queen”.  The article never mention jail but the poster before me did.  I was replying to that comment.

It’s funny how you read my comment to “GO TO JAIL”  and criticized me but didn’t read his/her comment that mentioned jail in the first place. 

Maybe you should get off your high horse and reply to the person who mentioned jail in the first place.

@Linda and @Bebe, Where did the two of you get “jail” from this story?  I read that they are being charged with a misdemeanor, this will hardly bring jail time for them.  @Linda, I don’t know where you work but I’ve had a few jobs and there have always been repercussions if an employee showed up late too many times.  I don’t think that this situation should be in the courts either, I think the school just needs to expel when kids are late too often.  But lets not be drama queens and start talking jail time where it is not even being considered.

Throwing parents into jail for children’s tardiness is absurd. How about we throw all the people who go to work late to jails too? I am sure the jail will be filled in a day.

When people are persistently late, for everything, it’s really odd that anyone would insist that there couldn’t possibly be alcohol involved.

He won’t give out the EIN on his charity.  There is no form 990 filed.  He links to a charity that hasn’t filed since 2009. 

On camera he hasn’t shown the slightest bit of remorse for the fact that his children are not in their classrooms by the time the tardy bell rings.  He’s not sorry that it affects others, not in the least. His children may be doing fine, academically, but their late arrival may well be making it harder for their classmates to learn.

How many warnings were they planning on ignoring, minimizing and blowing off before they got it?  That this is beyond ridiculous?  That their children ‘being comfortable in their own skin’ can be accomplished while still getting their children to school long before the tardy bell? 

They simply aren’t that sweet, kind and loving because they persist in not being parents and ensuring the kids are at school.  The charity and fundraising work is a distraction from the matter at hand.  They simply don’t respect that any of the ‘little people’ in the school system matter as much as they do.  Maybe they treat their neighbors better because they are in a similar income bracket, but they’ve made their disdain quite clear for the county employees.  Maybe she thinks she can paper over it with cupcakes, but she can’t.  The teachers know that neither she nor her husband respect them, or what they’re hired to do and what they need from the parents to do it.

GO to jail

Yes lets throw the parents in jail because their children are tardy.

What is wrong with people like you?!?!  Idiot!!

I am a single father of 3 kids under 7 with 2 being in school and 1 in daycare. My children have not been late 1 time this school year. There is no excuse to have your child tardy 1 out of every 3 days..You have two parents in the home. If I can do it with one, why cant you do it with two. This just shows how lazy society is and parents who could care less about showing their children any type of responsibility. I am glad that the county is doing this. LOCK THEM UP

@some genuine advice offered: Thank you! We are not trying to incite dislike and vitriol for the Denicore family; they are truly a wonderful family. Amy is one of the nicest people I have ever met and their children are very well mannered and sweet. As @DisgruntledMom points out, they are extremely charitable and tolerant and kind hearted people who are very well liked. That being said, we want them to stop this nonsense and get to the business of parenting their children. That means getting them to school and extra-curricular activities on time. They are very well known as always being late. As @disgruntledmom points out, they are stretched thin—and perhaps their priorities need to be reevaluated. This, however, is a private matter. 

A lot of unnecessary attention has been brought to our small town and school (and our street) and it could have been avoided if the Denicores had not brought so much attention to this very private matter and contacted regional (and national) media. There are no drugs or alcohol involved, just very poor time management and this isn’t only at school; it is a problem with all of the activities the Denicores are involved in.

We all wish them well as they get through this incredibly trying time in their lives and hope things get back to normal soon for them.

It never ceases to amaze us how selfish, pompous, and self serving young people get.  Mr. and Mrs. Denicore, public schools are obligated to provide education for your children.  They have a limited amount of time, a strict schedule, and lots more children in classes than there should be.  You are parents and it is YOUR obligation to make sure your children get to school on time, dressed correctly, have all their supplies, and homework completed.  Each of youe children missing 3 hours of school when they were not sick or otherwise unabl to attend is over half a day each.  The school board is right in its insistence that children are in school, on time, quiet, ready to learn, polite, and patient.  You really have to understand that you do not make the rules, you are to obey the rules.  You are not the center of the family universe, but you are part of the social universe.

Shame on you for even whining about this in public.  Our children are our future. You truly appear to be unconcerned about their learning that it is OK to be late.  It is not OK to be late.

Responsibility is part of life…..

Mark and Amy Denicore are teaching their children that it’s fine not to take responsibility for your actions, it’s okay to make excuses for your behavior, that the rules don’t apply to them and that’s it’s okay to be disrespectful of other people’s time. Come on! It’s your responsibility as a parent to get your children to school on time. Stop making excuses and get your act together! Show the teachers the respect they deserve and get your kids to class. Would the Denicore’s be upset if the teacher were just a few minutes late 85 times since September??? I hope they are found guilty when they go back to court in March!

So basically people can pass judgement in a slanderous and libelous manner against this familly and the LTM does nothing? Yet a married principal is allowed to pork another staff member who is in charge of “guiding” kids and the LTM deletes all comments while the wrongdoers collect their pension and keep their jobs on the taxpayers watch? Bravo LTM, this is why you don’t work for a real newspaper

To the Denicores:
The best advice I can give, is to close your doors, re-prioritize what is really important to your family.  Make a morning schedule, hang it up in several places.  Have kids lay out all clothes, backpacks & jackets the night before or on Sunday night for the week.  Have a bed time routine and get all kids to bed no later than 8 pm so they fall asleep by 8:30.  Simplify life for a while. Get some helpful advice from others on what routines or strategies work best for them.  Maybe get homework & baths done before dinner.  Have a family meeting, and let the kids be part of brainstorming a solution.  Make solving this a family priority…solve it as a team.  Admit your mistakes, & don’t make excuses or place blame on the school. It makes you look foolish.  They gave you repeated notices that you ignored. People are reacting with such anger for a reason…quite simply, you are wrong here. Accept that, make the changes you need to make, and close this chapter behind you.  Even if you have to pay a fine, do it, and be done with this.  It will be worth that & more to have this behind you.

School is not a social function where tardiness is considered being “fashionable late”.  To the individuals that complain about the numbers being combined and requesting the others to take comfort in the fact that one child was late ONLY 27 TIMES THIS YEAR.  My child is in 8th grade and as verified by all of her year-end report cards she (one child) has been tardy to school 9 times for her ENTIRE PUBLIC SCHOOL CAREER!  Being a same-at-home-mother is a full-time occupation but Amy Denicore is only putting in part-time efforts.                            I am considered a stay-at-home mother.  I own and operate a small equine facility in the county, I manage the household (all the cooking, cleaning and shopping), and I have a part-time job outside of the home and away from the farm.  I have managed all of this since my child entered 1st grade.  I managed to abide by the rules of the LCPS system and keep everything running-so does every other parent(s); why are the Denicore’s exempt from the same set of standards as the rest of us?  For those of you from lower Loudoun County County I doubt if you have ever heard of WES (Waterford Entitlement Syndrome).  The residents of Upper Loudoun County are all too familiar with this insidious disease.  Those “pitiful” victims that are inflicted are easy to distinguish from other county residents.  They aren’t required to abide by any of the zoning or building code standards, they are horrendously abuse Virginia Historic Easements, they can frequently be seen hosting fund-raising events that serve liquor without the benefit of a liquor license.  The same “imperfect” and suffering individuals can also be seen blocking the roads of their “quaint and bucolic” village without the required VDOT permits and mandatory police presence.  Those few individuals who are the most profoundly afflicted with WES were granted special permission to illegally park their cars, and suffer torments galore by paying significantly reduced property tax rates.                              Give me a flippin’ break.  At issue here is the change to Business As Usual for the sufferers of WES.  The previous principal never reported the Denicore’s habitual disrespect and tardiness.  Sally Kurtz was always there to run interference on the BOS.  Melinda Artman was always there to look the other way when additions were added to existing homes without the issuance of a permit or a CAP.  Long since defunct alleyways were quietly built on but never a dime in property tax was paid for its use. 
The citizens of Loudoun County are tired of a government that serves the few.  Sally Kurtz is gone and Geary Higgins has put Waterford on notice.  Melinda Artman quietly left and is now under investigation for gross mismanagement and abuse of authority.  The residents are now, for the first time, having to comply the laws, rules and regulations that govern all the residents of Loudoun County and they, as well as the Denicore’s are finding it cumbersome and inconvenient.  Welcome to the real world folks!  Don’t like the law then lobby to change it because you will no longer be allowed to simply ignore it.  So says the imperfect Loudoun County resident that manages an incredibly hectic lifestyle within the confines of the law and REALITY.

Since this article had a huge following I’m going to use it to showcase what a hypocritical, manipulating and censoring organization the Loudoun Times is.
As you know, the LT allows annonymous comments, which, in the first place, is a dubious proposition at best.  One has to wonder about an organization that allows posters to disparage individuals and spew slander and accusations at people without forcing them to use their real name..or at least a registered nickname.
Now, my problem started last fall when we had two incidents with ULYFL involving Mr. Taylor and Mr. Rocca.  The LT allowed readers to post whatever they wanted no matter how vile about these two men, including the shriff at the time, deputies, families, the men’s personal history.  Etc etc etc….  Then, this controversial story breaks about the slacker parents…same thing…vile, insulting, rude, annaonymous, vicious comments with no worry about being forced to reveal an identity or a valid screen name…dont get me wrong…Im not commenting about weather the parties involved were in the wrong or right..just the policy of the LT. 
Now, we had an incident at Woodgrove High School recently where the pricipal was forced to resign due to gross misconduct on several levels…
and guess what LT did for comments on THAT story!!???

Without one comment being posted,
“comments on this story have been discontinued”

I guess Mr. Hatrick has connections within the bowels of the LT to prevent his derilict employees from the same treatment as tax paying citizens of Loudoun County…the same citizens he said he would ask to pay more taxes to fund his bloated and top heavy school budget!!!

Good job LT…no better than the main stream media

I’m not sure this is the appropriate forum in which to instigate an investigation of Mr. Denicore’s charity. However, it is obvious to me that Mr. and Mrs. Denicore’s are spotlight grabbers who aren’t particular about the type of attention they attract (negative or positive). For me, that is the most troubling aspect of this circus melee. I feel for their kids, and completely agree with @Emma Josephson’s comments.

One must ponder the possibility that the Denicore’s defiance was willfully intended to push the hand of LCPS to take action that they could publicize and use to their own advantage. Lot’s of nice publicity for Mr. Denicore’s law practice and charity, and Mrs. Denicore’s efforts at the school, huh?

Kathie and Michael - With the divisive nature of politics and frequent “trolling,” outright attacks aimed at those who disagree, and easy access to cyber information which borders on stalking, many choose pseudonyms for local threads.  It doesn’t mean that all of us who use anonymity are mean-spirited.

Eileen’s comments are visible under the article about the Purcellville mom’s arrest.  Maybe they didn’t post the same note twice under different headings?  LTM rarely takes down material; they love the high readership numbers.

“Mark Denicore, an attorney, says he could lose his license to practice law if he loses the case, and faces up to $3,000 in fines.” 


Can anyone back him up, or is this simply not the case?  Just because the people I asked thought he was absurd, that doesn’t mean they are correct.

People get a life! This is nothing more than the administration trying to tell you how to raise your children and live in your homes! IF YOU DO NOT STAND UP AND FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS, then the schools and government will take them away for rediculous reasons! Get over it! The excuses given by the school make me laugh. The people in Waterford need to take the stick out and learn to relax!

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Is the “Charity” really a Tax Exempt Charity. How were the donations spent? Is there accountability by these people who claim to be unorganized?  Can http://shelter4haiti.blogspot.com/  prove its IRS 501 (c)(3) status it is claiming

I can’t find it either.  Nor is CCH current with its form 990 filing (last filed in 2009).  I called their main number and asked for more information (answering machine).  On their web page, I don’t see any mention of Mark Denicore or his fundraising and assistance on their behalf.

Not only that - I find it terribly strange that a lawyer would state that IF he is found guilty in March, that he could be disbarred.  I asked several attorneys who are licensed in Virgina, Maryland and DC if that was possible.  All of them laughed and said this doesn’t meet the standards of an investigation by the bar.  That it was possible, but so unlikely that it’s really just a lie that Mr. Denicore has told.  Pretty silly of him to do it, too.  I was curious enough to ask - others must be too.

Get up 15 minutes earlier.  Problem solved.  You are welcome.

@Emma Josephson - Applause, applause, applause, best comment yet and the only one that needs saying.

As a Mom of 4, grandmother of 5 and a retired public school teacher I applaud the many good works of the Denicores.  I would suggest however, that it is time to change priorities.  Your children are embarrassed each day they enter the classroom late.  The routine is disrupted and it is not fair to the teacher or the other students.  Give up your extra activities until you have figured out how to get your children to school on time.

Is the “Charity” really a Tax Exempt Charity. How were the donations spent? Is there accountability by these people who claim to be unorganized?  Can http://shelter4haiti.blogspot.com/  prove its IRS 501 (c)(3) status it is claiming.

Does it really need to go through the cost of courts and waste police manpower?  If these parents can’t get their kids to public school on time then give them a 3 strikes per semester limit then expel them.  Let the parents pay for private school or home school.

There seems to be 2 distinct and separate issues in this case.  1. Are the parents being irresponsible/negligent in getting their kids to school on time? and 2. Is the punishment excessive?  I think the answer to both is YES.  I was raised (way back in the day as I’m almost 50) to believe the being timely was a social norm that demonstrated respect for yourself and, more importantly, for others.  Maybe the times have changed, but my views haven’t.  Based on the postings here, others share the same view.  I know we’ve all been inconvenienced waiting for the cable guy, delivery guy, (fill-in-the-blank guy) only to find he shows up 10 minutes after the 4-hour window we were given.  Being late for school a few minutes late a few times is often unavoidable.  But if your normal routine precludes you from getting your children to school on time that often, something is terribly wrong and needs to be addressed (and I’m not suggesting by the LC School District).  Imagine if every family got their kids to school when it was more “convenient” for them what a chaotic situation you would have.  In fact, not to be extreme but, there are some who function better in the afternoon or evening.  We cannot accommodate everyone’s idiosyncratic internal clock.  That’s why we have rules.  Like it or not, there are many rules in this world that are not convenient for some, but that’s the only way to ensure some order in society.  In my line of work, I attend many meetings with numerous people and the times are not always convenient for me, but as long as the majority are ok with the time, I make sure to do whatever I need to make it on time.  I think the parents need to take greater responsibility and show more respect for others.  The precedent they are setting for the kids will not serve them well in the future.  Also, they should have thought long and hard (possibly consulting others) before dragging the media into this and shedding so much light on their behavior, to the possible detriment of the kids.

As for the possible punishment, there should be consequences, but this hardly qualifies as a criminal act (unless there are other circumstances that have not been disclosed).  It’s unfortunate that most of the alternative consequences (hold the kids out of class until a logical breaking point to avoid disrupting the other students, staying after school, etc.) would be borne by the kids.

As for th

And Kathie, some of us don’t want to use our real names because we have jobs and don’t want this coming up on google searches. Cowardly? Hardly. Don’t want my name coming up on google searches for the next 15 years!

Jeri, You obviously have issues. It’s people like you who blow off school rules that cause societal issues. Rules are in place for a reason. It’s important to follow them. How hard is it to drop your kids off before the last bell at 7:50? The rest of us seem to be able to do it without a hitch. Once bitten, twice shy—but 30 times—come on!  Get it together people. You’re right, I can’t really consider myself a friend, just another irritated parent who gets annoyed when they are late and disruptive, which is habitual.

Such cruel comments!  When people are allowed to post without using their real first and last names, it is an open invitation for angry people to snipe and strike out under the cloak of anonymity.  How many of these inflammatory comments would have been posted if their authors had been to sign their real names to their hateful words?

Michael Hunt,

You obviously have issues. I don’t defend what they did but I also don’t believe it should be a crime.

You’re making the Denicores sound like they are the second comining of Bonnie and Clyde Get a grip.  It’s tardy children not armed robbery!!

If you are a former friend because of their children’s tardiness then they are better off without your friendship. 

What kind of friend are you? 

True friends stick by you if your wrong and try to help you through the situation like this…

What kind of people come to the defense of the Denicores? Just because they are nice people does not excuse this kind of disrespectful behavior and that is what their defenders are missing. Being late for school is AGAINST school rules, which have been put into place by LCPS for the wellbeing of every child who attends LCPS. When you break school rules, there are consequences. It’s a very simple concept—I think I learned it in Kindergarten. Break the rules enough and you will have serious consequences. Mark and Amy would also like to place blame on the new school principal at WES. How absurd! Take some responsibility. They brought this upon themselves when they showed up late to school 30 times this year alone—and 68 times last year.  How many absences have their children had this year when they decided to blow off school to end their summer vacation and other unnecessary vacations—DURING school time? Do they think they deserve special treatment from the principal because Amy is the room mom who does so much volunteer work in the school? You’re not entitled, Amy! She’s making the rest of us look bad! And when they contacted the media and invited them into their home to take pictures of their children and broadcast pictures of the kids all over the nightly news, they didn’t think about the consequences that would have on their precious children who really are innocent in all of this! And one more thing: If you’re so gung-ho about teaching your kids personal responsibility like brushing their teeth, etc., then you should teach them to get to school on time as that is the cornerstone of personal responsibility. Being late sends a message: You don’t matter and my time is worth more than yours. These two are lacking something very important: COMMON SENSE! Get it together Mark and Amy! I hope your friends are there for you when the smoke clears because you’re going to need a strong support system and thick skin to get through this. Your former friends are not happy with the way you are squandering public funds and not taking responsibility; we are APPALLED!

@Judge not… - When you select the “remove this comment”, it generates an e-mail to “moderator@timespapers.com”, so must be reviewed by a person.  So Eileen’s comment was physically & intentionally removed by the “moderator”.  Oh - the parents are completely at fault, don’t blame it on the kids.

Wed, Feb 08 at 10:29 AM by Eileen

Probably someone didn’t like your comment so they reported it - it’s probably an automated removal system and your message hasn’t been seen by a human.  Perhaps it will be reviewed later and reinstated.

Far out, you self-righteous people whose children were ALWAYS on time!  Maybe they just have a confirmed procrastinator, which obviously you didn’t.  I had one of those and he often made his siblings late.  However, he improved in high school and grew up to be quite capable of arriving at work and uni classes on time.

If the Denicores do have a procrastinator disrupting the household; which of you, since the children are all under 10, would scream “NEGLECT!” if mum sent the ready children to school alone or left the procrastinator at home and took the others?  So of course they’ll all end up late instead.  Doesn’t matter what she does, you’ll judge regardless.  (In answer to Jim W: “If Mark were a baggage cart driver at Dulles Airport, would you be attacking him and his family so viciously?” Yes, but they’d come up with something else to put the family down.)

“Simple fact is that they cannot handle having three kids at such young ages.  Maybe they should have thought about that before churning them out like a pupply mill.”
No parent knows how well they’ll do especially since you don’t know what characters the children will have and anyway that’s a horrible comment - three children under ten is hardly “churning them out like a puppy mill.”  How derogatory!

Fostering or adopting(!) them out is an extreme reaction to what is honestly not as big a mountain as this is being made into.  I’m certain the people suggesting that and their parents had faults just as bad as you claim the Denicores have - do you consider YOU should have been fostered or adopted??

Even if we make the assumption that the Denicores are at fault here and no one else is, this is still no more than a few people causing a few minutes disruption 2-3 times a week and hardly worthy of going to court - save your righteous indignation for the genuinely criminal.

Are these children legally allowed to walk to school, no sidewalks, no crossing guard?  How about by way of common sense?  I would not let my kids make this 1 mile walk by themselves, far from the “few” blocks the mom suggests.  Social Services, where are you?

Well, I really hope that after the bashing this family has gone through that the county will now take on all the other habitually tardy children, those who take several vacations in the middle of the school year and those who feel that it is not necessary to go at all. What is good for one should be good for all…and if they really do have 5 attendance officers then I expect to see the court FILLED with parents who can’t be bothered. So many more important issues in this world. Sure, the kids need to be on time but it is not necessary to go to court over it and certainly not to (as some have suggested) take the kids away…How about this: all you perfect parents out their give Amy a call each morning and help her out rather than ridicule her. I can’t, I am too busy getting my own kid out the door (just barely) on time

Censorship, anyone?  Wow, comrades!  I just posted a comment. And within seconds, the Loudoun Times Mirror removed it.  The message contained no foul language or messages of hate.  It was just about events I have witnessed within LCPS.  And shazam!  The comments disappeared!  Pravda, anyone?  Let’s see if this comment disappears too.

This is an over reaction. They are a really nice family and love their kids. A few minutes here and there is no big deal. Since when is tardiness called “truancy”?  Mornings are hard for kids and having three young kids to mobilize must be tough.  Even most work places allow for reasonable flex time. School employees should remember they work for the parents and therefore they should work with them.

They don’t want to be bullied by the school district….I always thought bullying was when others were mean to you for NO reason.  There is reason here to enforce a consequence.  You CHOOSE to be late—- you can fix it by continually tweeking your schedule until everyone understands the routine and gets it right.  You don’t get to just throw your hands up and say ‘oh well’.  No one is BULLYING the parents here….now I suspect since the parents chose to involve the press that their children will indeed suffer remarks at school.  Nice job parents…nice job.  Just grow up and stop trying to make everyone else look bad.

I think I have a complicated, over the top solution to this problem, set your alarm clock to go off about 15 min. earlier!  Oh wait, that wont work, OK, just keep doing what does not work, and things will change!  Oh yeah, I have 3 kids (1 with ADHD and Autisim), all in elem. school, and my wife is a stay at home mom.  Guess what, its busy as S**T in the morning!!!  So, we wake in time to get all the stuff done that needs to be done.  How?  We go to bed at 730pm!!!  That is what it takes, so that is what we do!!!  This is not complicated stuff people, its regular, everyday all day kinda stuff.

Some people help out in soup kitchen because it is the right thing to do.  Some people volunteer and raise money for the needy for show.  This matter is another example of entitlement and the notion that rules only apply to others—- not me, not us.  We are special. We live in the exclusive Town of Waterford and we do whatever we want and we help poor people. 

P.S. You might want to paint the dingy, special house for the next T.V. appearance.  It detracts from the community.

I don’t have children.  However, when I attended school in Loudoun County, being tardy because you had not finished your bowl Cap’n Crunch was not a valid excuse to be late.

Mr. Denicore…

If you are late for court, are you not admonished or possibly even fined?

If your client arrives late for an appointment, do you adjust your fee accordingly?

There are 24 hours in a day.  Start school later and let the kids sleep longer.  What if the teacher is late?  Or the school bus?  Or the Principal?  Or the School Board?  Or the Superintendent of Schools?  This whole matter is ridiculous!  Leave the parents and kids alone and deal with their tardiness.  Just put it down for what it is and move on.

Katy, I would say this to Amy’s face and will next time I see her if she tries to justify this inexcusable behavior. She is the laughing stock of Waterford. They’ve put their children’s faces all over the news for what reason? To build a horrible PR campaign that is imploding. Those poor kids. The Denicores need to stop being do-gooders trying to fix the world and fix the chaos within their own home. This inexcusable behavior shows a complete disregard for authority and our teachers who (mostly) deserve the utmost form of respect.

Same thing I posted on the other article:  You all must feel very powerful and smug, sitting there, stoning this family from behind your computer screen, ANONYMOUSLY.

JM Roberts, seems people are taking the combined total and multiplying it out per child, reading comprehension fail. The more people post the faulty numbers, the higher the numbers go… eventually, it will be an astronomical number that would have to date back to three children’s infancy!

Just to clarify for some of the readers: 85 total tardies this year for the combined 3 children, but only 29 total days (27 for one of them). That would leave 115 total tardies LAST year, spread between the 3 children - 38.333 days total per child in 2010-2011. Good grief.

The bottom line: Amy Denicore is a stay at home mom.

Need I say more?

Wow, these comments… if we could find a way to tax self-righteousness, all our budget problems would be solved.

{quote}Tue, Feb 07 at 04:45 PM by Victoria | late 500 days? good lord that woman needs to be jailed. {/quote}
Where did you read THAT it is 500 days? Or maybe you didn’t graduate from school cause you can’t READ or ADD??

Well THIS BS would be one big reason to NOT live in that state and if they are taking someone to court using a “Virginia State Code 22.1-254”, which they are being charged under, and it doesn’t state anything about a child’s tardiness, Sounds like the school admins didn’t do their homework and can’t find a real law that states what they want people charged with..  How do they expect to have a fair trial. LOOKS like the school district just wants MONEY and will do anything to get it.. By HOOK or by CROOK.. I’d pack up and MOVE away to a different state and let them hillbilly’s wallow in their pigpen all by themselves..

As parents, we lead by example.  Mr. D’s excuses are just that - a way to remove the blame from him and his wife.  There is no excuse for their behavior…none at all.  Fine and dandy to give to charity whoopee what a wonderful example, but you they do not even have enough regard for their children to ensure they are at school on time.  This is not rocket science, get up a bit earlier and prepare the night before.  Moreover, maybe leave the charitable work to someone else.

late 500 days? good lord that woman needs to be jailed.

The author of this article clearly needs to clarify the total tardies since the number is rapidly spinning out of control in the comments of both this article and the Purcellville article.

That said, chronic tardiness is certainly unacceptable - worsened by an arrogant, entitled attitude - but criminalizing the parents with a misdemeanor charge certainly seems overreaching and foolhardy.

@DiscruntledMom - It is wonderful to give your time to charity and to help the needy.  However, helping your family and teaching your children to respect rules and the importance of timeliness is priority one.  Helping everyone and being chartible is second.  Clearly priorities are all out of place.

Why, just 100 years ago, if we had this problem in our town, Amy and Mark Demicore would have been taken from their home on 2nd street and put in the stocks. It would have been ok to throw potatos at them. Public shame would have corrected the behavior.

I feel no pity for the parents.  You are teaching your children it is ok to disregard rules and other people. If you are only a few minutes late each morning.  GET UP 5 MINUTES EARLIER!

The Denicores may be Charitable, but they are Poor Parents. What benefit do the kids get when they are tought it is OK to be late & it is OK to make excuses. I am a Loudoun County Tax Payer and am Proud that Loudoun has taken this stance with the parents. The law is the law!

These parents are morrons.  I can see the kids as young adults; “But Boss, my mommy ALWAYS let me go late to school”, “why fire me, I’ve only been late 6 times this month.”  This guy wants to run for the BOS next time and this way he gets his name in the media.  Fine him, jail him and throw the kids out of school.

Before you ask yes I am a mom saying that.

So getting children up, fed and to the bus and then getting an 8 hr break is a job now?  Where do I sign up??

to disgruntled mom: just because they have extensive volunteer priorities, it doesn’t give them the right to disrespect/disrupt approx. 90 kids (3 classed), 3-4 teachers (assuming 3 kids) and 3-4 administrators (for paperwork) and the frustration for 10 or so years as their 3 children attend from kindergarten through 5th grade.

@Disgruntled Mom-She should be worrying about her own kids first and helping with all of those other things if she has time (which she clearly does not). I think it is totally ridiculous that she can’t get her kids to school on time and is a stay at home mom.  I know this is an echo of so many previous posts on here, but so many of us work an actual job and still manage to get our kids out of the house and to the bus/school on time.  I know many people have said that being a stay at home mom is a job-I don’t buy it. Does that mean I have two jobs because I am a mom and I work?  Where is that issue addressed? I know that it is my responsibility to get my kids to school on time plus do all of the other things that are required of me. You don’t see me whining about all of it-I just do it because I knew that was what would need to be done when I had them. Maybe she should try getting an actual job and then see how easy she has it now.

@DiscruntledMom—  Maybe they need to put their children first and their hobbies second.

@DiscruntledMom - Obviously, Mrs. D’s got her priorities all screwed up.  Her responsibility is to her children first.

The majority of you commenting no nothing about the Denicore family nor how much they do for the community.  My daughter is in the same class as their older daughter and I feel ashamed at how little I do by comparison.  Yes all three of my children are on time but I am not cooking for the homless shelter, I am not organizing a service program for the kids at my church, I am not creating an after school program for the kids at Waterford Elementary, I am not collecting left over food from the school canteen and transporting it to the homless, I am not raising money for and travelling to Haiti to help with the devastation.  These people do so much and continue to look for opportunities to help everyone.  No wonder they are late - they are stretched so thinly trying to help for the good of all.  How many of you can say you do one tenth of what they do?

I do not think this had to go all the courts.  However get up and get your kids to school people.  Plenty of us do it with 3 or more kids everyday.  You wouldn’t need to be whining on EVERY news feed I have been on if you get your bum up just 10 minutes earlier.  The father told NBC that they (the parents)shouldn’t be held responsible for the tardiness. He stated back when he grew up there was detention and things like that for tardiness.  So the children should be held responsible because mom can’t get them to school on time?  These aren’t high schoolers making a choice to be late.  You should be held responsible not your children!

I got four(4) ages 5, 9, 10 & 14. They are required to be on time and follow the rules of their school.  There is no debate.  Ms Stay at Home Mom has no excuse and yes I work as well.

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