A North Carolina mother was arrested after police say she kept her three teenage children out of school for more than three years.

Jennifer Smith Elam, 36, of Belmont, appeared in court Thursday on three misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, Fox 46 Charlotte reports.

Her three children, 13, 15 and 16, were students in the Gaston County school district.

In November 2012, Elam enrolled the children in a homeschooling program. She was arrested Wednesday.

During the court appearance, Elam claimed the children were being homeschooled, according to the Gaston Gazette.

Police said that was bogus.

“The issue was they're not going to school,” Gaston County Police Capt. Bill Melton told the paper. “There was no documentation that they had been in a home school environment. The name of the home school they provided does not exist.”

She also claimed in court that her husband had homeschooled the children until he died.

“My husband was homeschooling them until he passed away,” the paper quoted Elam as saying. “When he passed away, I wasn’t aware I needed to change things.”

School officials brought the matter to police.

Elam was jailed on a $50,000 bond.

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