I’ve been following with dismay the case of Tanya McDowell, a homelss single mother from nearby Bridgeport, CT who has been charged with first degree larceny and is facing up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
What has she done that’s so horrific you might ask? Surely it must be something terrible such as abusing her children or neglecting them to the point of malnourisment. No, what this terrible woman did was try to provide a better life for her 5-year old son and give him the best education she could. She had the nerve to sign her son up for a public school in a city where she didn’t live but a friend did. Oh the horror! (Please, please, please note the sarcasm dripping from my voice.)
I’m not sure which part of this bothers me more, the fact that our tax dollars are going to try a case like this when they could be going after child abusers and molesters or the fact we’re trying to punish a mom who was trying to do whatever it took to get her child a good education.
And please spare me the argument that if she chose to “live” in Bridgeport that’s where her child should go to school. First, I’m not sure how many people are aware that it’s actually a crime to enroll your child in a school in a different neighborhood. But, most importantly, I know Bridgeport schools and I can’t blame her. Until something can be done to be sure that every child is provided with a good public education, parents need to do whatever they can to help they’re child succeed in life.
So, I’m throwing the question out to you. If you lived in a city where the schools were sub-par and you couldn’t afford to move for whatever reason, what would you do?