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Does Homeless Mom Deserve Jail for Sending Kid to School?

News 2011/04/29 14:00:00
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We ding parents when they don't send their kids to school. And now, apparently, we come down like a ton of bricks on them even when they do try to get their kids to board the yellow bus.

Cue the case of Tanya McDowell, a 33-year-old homeless Connecticut mom who is facing up to 20 years in prison if she's convicted of larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny after she illegally enrolled her son in a Norwalk, Conn., elementary school.

According to The New York Daily News, McDowell is accused of committing larceny for stealing $15,686, or the estimated value of her 6-year-old son's education at Norwalk's Brookside Elementary School between January and her April 14 arrest.

At the time of her arrest, she told police that she was living in a van and sleeping either at a local shelter or a friend's place in Bridgeport. Authorities said she used a friend's public housing address to get the boy into the Norwalk school system when, legally, he should have been enrolled in a Bridgeport school.

The case has divided the nation, with supporters saying the charges should be dropped because McDowell was just trying to do the best for her son, while Norwalk's mayor has referred to McDowell as an "ex-con" with a checkered past. He pointed to the fact that she was arrested in November for marijuana possession and served 18 months in prison for robbery and weapons charges.

Does McDowell deserve prison for enrolling her kid in school?
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Top Opinion

  • Account Closed 2011/04/29 16:21:20
    No
    Account Closed
    +18
    OK, she has a checkered past, she is also homeless, she uses her friends address, as far as I am concern, she has no permanent address, there is no fraud here. What the hell is her address supposed the be.

    Homeless Mom and Child
    111 Cardboard Box Below Interstate 95
    Norwalk Ct. 06850

    child 111 cardboard box interstate 95 norwalk ct 06850 sleeping in a cardboard box

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Opinions

  • sally 2011/05/22 05:27:45
    No
    sally
    Wow america... First you complain about how kids don't get a good education and now you want to punish someone who does want one? This is pretty stupid.
  • RamblingVoices. 2011/05/01 14:21:16
    No
    RamblingVoices.
    +3
    You're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. Where's the justice, she's doing right by her kid.
  • ★~DoctorWhoGuru~★ 2011/05/01 08:38:28
  • MCR 2011/04/30 19:04:50
    No
    MCR
    +2
    she most likely wants her kid to have a life instead of being homeless. shes trying for her kid unlike other parents.
  • Michael McFascist 2011/04/30 17:40:57
    No
    Michael McFascist
    +2
    yeah, let's throw her in jail and make her child a ward of the state...that makes alot of sense.
  • john n Michael... 2011/05/01 16:52:04
    john n
    +1
    It also helps the State stick their fingers deeper into the pockets of the taxpayers!
  • dallin 2011/04/30 10:57:27
    No
    dallin
    +4
    At least she is taking an active role in her kid's life unlike most parents
  • mrdog 2011/04/30 09:20:59
    No
    mrdog
    +1
    But this is a very strange case indeed....I'll let the locals decide it....
    bark
  • Arty 2011/04/30 09:11:25
  • Dotty Kaza 2011/04/30 08:56:41
    No
    Dotty Kaza
    +3
    Ridiculous!
  • NidStyles 2011/04/30 08:12:11
    No
    NidStyles
    +1
    She should have became a terrorist and gotten a free ride and a pardon.
  • story101 2011/04/30 07:50:37
    No
    story101
    +2
    The biggest single issue here? That a public school system thinks that three months in their elementary school system is worth $15,686!!

    This woman is working to keep her kid in school and in a good school and this is the result. Booooooooo! on any of you who thinks that is a cause for arrest let alone prison.
  • Night71 2011/04/30 07:33:01
    No
    Night71
    +1
    That type of insensitive justice is way off. If I was living in the US, I would be serving 1000 years for just being a normal, average citizen. Where is there freedom???? Your laws suck!
  • Everarianas 2011/04/30 07:29:44
    No
    Everarianas
    +1
    1) All the money is going towards bettering a kids eduaction. There is nothing wrong with that.
    2) Instead of paying unnecessary money for housing this innocent mother in prison, we should be using it for better reasons like education. No wonder America is in debt; we put money towards the wrong things.
    3) She was only trying to help her son. What is wrong with this?
  • asrealasitgets 2011/04/30 06:58:07
    No
    asrealasitgets
    +1
    It's because she's black and she cares):
  • buttercup1982 2011/04/30 06:45:24
    No
    buttercup1982
    +2
    The first question I would ask the mayor is "Are you running for re-election?" This kind of useless dribble is costing the taxpayers millions of dollars everyday in legal fees. This woman doesn't stand a chance. If she tries to keep her kids in school she's steeling. If she doesn't keep them in school while she's homeless she'll be arrested for neglect. As a mother, I would rather be arrested for doing the right thing. Her past is her past. This kind of persecution is part of the reason the recidivism rate is so high. instead of causing this woman further pain, help her. Maybe then someone willl address a real issue such as why is Congress allowed to get a raise when the state and federal workers are denied thiers in the name of balancing the budget? When approached Congress replied that they would "donate" their salaries to charity." Are you kidding me. If the people you are supposed to be speaking for don't get paid, and don't get a raise, why does Congress? In case anyone is confused, It's congress' fault the budget is in the state it is in right now, now the people out there in the trenches. Teachers, Social Security workers, mailmen and women, our military. revenue officers ect these are the people Congress continues to feed off of. When will they be held accountable. Just keeping it real!
  • ♥dazza♥ 2011/04/30 06:31:51
    No
    ♥dazza♥
    +2
    She was trying to give her child an education, so that he could get a job and not end up homeless. is giving someone a chance of a good life illegal?
  • Anna ♥dazza♥ 2011/04/30 06:45:40
    Anna
    +1
    No, but that's not all it said.
  • john n 2011/04/30 06:06:40
    No
    john n
    +1
    The homeless are permitted to receive their mail c/o The Postmaster General of any city or town that they are camping out in, the sad part is that the real criminals are the ones doing the arresting not the ones being arrested. I never heard of an elementary school that cost Three Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars a month; the first person to be arrested should have been the mayor for cooking the books. Even worse are the two color laws that are set into place in this country, when Blacks, Hispanics that are not paying off the police or lower income whites smoke or sell pot it is a crime but when middle class or wealthy Whites do it; in most cases they are not even arrested or prosecuted. The only law that she broke was the; don’t teach them Ni_gers to read law. Now the other Black and homeless families will be afraid to send their children to school leaving them open targets for the Child Welfare pimps and their destroy a family techniques. Here lays the real danger to lower income families; their children are nothing more than paychecks for an agency controlled by racist Whites and Hispanics. Under the Bloomberg administration minorities have also been targeted by child welfare so that their children and apartments can be taken away from them. That is the reason they ar...
    The homeless are permitted to receive their mail c/o The Postmaster General of any city or town that they are camping out in, the sad part is that the real criminals are the ones doing the arresting not the ones being arrested. I never heard of an elementary school that cost Three Thousand Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars a month; the first person to be arrested should have been the mayor for cooking the books. Even worse are the two color laws that are set into place in this country, when Blacks, Hispanics that are not paying off the police or lower income whites smoke or sell pot it is a crime but when middle class or wealthy Whites do it; in most cases they are not even arrested or prosecuted. The only law that she broke was the; don’t teach them Ni_gers to read law. Now the other Black and homeless families will be afraid to send their children to school leaving them open targets for the Child Welfare pimps and their destroy a family techniques. Here lays the real danger to lower income families; their children are nothing more than paychecks for an agency controlled by racist Whites and Hispanics. Under the Bloomberg administration minorities have also been targeted by child welfare so that their children and apartments can be taken away from them. That is the reason they are making such a big deal out of the use of her friends address now the friend can be put out of City Housing adding to the homeless population.This is not some slick trick it is very well calculated and used many times before; just a bunch of crafty crackers doing their crafty cracker jobs, Par for the course. Now start an investigation into how many illegal aliens and undocumented workers there are in the town with their children enrolled in the school system or having dinner with the mayor or related to members of the local police force! I lived in Germany far to long to have some shady White American criminal pull the wool over my eyes, especially when they are trying to hide behind my flag!
    (more)
  • Nick 2011/04/30 05:17:21
    No
    Nick
    +1
    shes trying to help her son
  • activ1 2011/04/30 04:54:25
    No
    activ1
    +2
    No but, if she really cared about her kid, she should have been honest with herself, and admit that she shouldn't have custody of him at this time. She should have sent him to live with relatives, or put him in foster care. Unfortunately, that's where he's probably going to end up now anyway . At least she would have had a chance to get herself back on her feet.
  • blackrings70 2011/04/30 04:52:20
    No
    blackrings70
    +1
    This is ridiculous, community service would be more than sufficient. Her past charges seem to be unrelated.
  • mustangluver 2011/04/30 04:51:18
    No
    mustangluver
    +1
    Totally ludicrous! No where does it say you must be living in a house to attend school..how the hell could one go to prison for this? This is not a private school..it is a public school..It would be theft if it were a private school. This is craziness at it's finest! She must have had a super bad PD...You don't even get 20 yrs for burglary..or any low grade crime for first offense.
  • charles_1 2011/04/30 04:46:55
    Yes
    charles_1
    +1
    She was playing games and got caught. The rules are the rules. At least she won't be homeless in jail.

    We need to change the rules. We need vouchers so every law abiding person can send their kid to the school they want instead of the one the government ruined in your neighborhood. Parents shouldn't have to move, become criminals, or foot the bill alone for private school when the government run school they are forced to use by geographic discrimination is aweful. Vouchers for eveyone....
  • john n charles_1 2011/04/30 06:21:30
    john n
    Before we can achieve a society filled with law-abiding citizens, we need a government that has a few in it!
  • Arty charles_1 2011/04/30 09:12:15
  • charles_1 Arty 2011/04/30 15:55:09
    charles_1
    Thank you for your brilliant insight. I don't know what sodahead would do without your superb intellectual prowess to set us all straight.
  • Arty Arty 2011/05/03 13:06:12
    Arty
    i have to talk to myself because Chales with NO BALLS BLOCKED ME
  • Nudenz 2011/04/30 04:29:47
    No
    Nudenz
    +3
    She's a Mother trying to get an education for her child. Just because she's poor doesn't mean her son should be denied an education.
  • john n Nudenz 2011/04/30 07:04:55
    john n
    +1
    No: she is a homeless ni_gger with no way of protecting herself from a bunch of White vultures. Learn to see things for what they really are and don’t sugar coat crap to make it taste better. The only way that the citizens of this country will ever be able to unite is to take off the rose colored glasses.
  • ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾ 2011/04/30 04:17:26
    Yes
    ☥☽✪☾DAW ☽✪☾
    +7
    YES and while we are filling up the overcrowded jails with non violent offenders lets throw her kids in jail too
    why just because.........................
  • suzuki ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2011/04/30 04:35:52
    suzuki
    +2
    hey an American who uses irony! good answer...;-)
  • mustang... ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2011/04/30 04:54:17
    mustangluver
    Very true..the jails and prisons are over loaded for sure..
  • Arty ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2011/04/30 09:13:10
    Arty
    +1
    goddamn right what does she think she is WHITE ???
  • john n ☥☽✪☾DAW... 2011/05/01 17:07:46
    john n
    I do not like the fact that the State can steal from us but we cannot steal from the State. There should be Equal Opportunity Embezzlement laws set in place!
  • CC 2011/04/30 04:12:12
    No
    CC
    +4
    This is just another fine example of how one government agency is wasting tax payer dollars harrassing a homeless mom when they should be concentrating on real criminals! The kid has to go to school somewhere and since she is homeless it shouldn't matter exactly where. She does not deserve to go to jail for doing whats right for her kid.
  • john n CC 2011/04/30 06:27:36
    john n
    +2
    If Child Welfare workers started arresting real criminals they would all be in jail!
  • Anna CC 2011/04/30 06:49:03
    Anna
    +1
    Something on marijuana happened I heard, but Connecticut is no place for jail that way
  • Crystal 2011/04/30 04:02:58
    No
    Crystal
    +5
    It's just sad that illegally enrolling her son into school could end up costing her 20 years of her freedom, but there are people who have commited serious crimes who have gotten less prison time.
  • Anna Crystal 2011/04/30 06:57:23
    Anna
    I say it depends on what happened. "The police just saw her on the sidewalked, asked what's up maybe and that's what they focused on??" I guess it would be 'something to do' since they're not givers of money for her to live in another home and they don't deal with food exactly either, but I'd be more concerned of where the boy slept for the night and if he had friends and if his mother enjoyed him. Even Oprah grew up poor, whatever happened.
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