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01/28/2011 at 12:00 PM ET

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Indira on

Jailing that woman was completely absurd. Her children’s zone school got a 4/26. The school she falsified her address for got a 26/26! The issue isn’t this woman but, the educational system. She shouldn’t be forced to send her children to a subpar school.The school actually hired private investigators to follow this woman and her children! If that’s how they spend tax dollars then, they need to spread the wealth.If poor people are condemned to inadequate education then they aren’t even given an opportunity to get out of poverty. I didn’t go to my zone schools after elementary school.the kids I know that did, most of them did not turn out well.

ForeverMoore on

OH MY….Theodore and Mae are absolutely precious!

Tessa on

This poor women in Ohio gets put in jail for trying to do the best for her kids. Maybe they should start jailing all the parents of the illegals who send their kids to school.

amandamay on

i think people are missing the point. yes, it SUCKS that she lives in an area with a bad school. yes it SUCKS that kids in a different area have a better school that her kids can’t attend. BUT – what she did was wrong. what if everyone who lived in an area with a bad school did the same thing.

i agree that the educational system is the problem – no schools should get a 4/26. what is being left out of the articles is that MANY people were defrauding the system, so an investigation was launched – it wasn’t just this woman being targeted as the articles make it seem. all of the other families caught paid the fines and/or left the school. she was the only one who refused.

in a perfect world, all of the schools would be equal. but they aren’t. if everyone who wanted to go to a specific school lied and cheated their way in, there would be no room for the kids actually from that area. i think jail is an extreme punishment, but to all those saying you would have done the same, or “she just wanted better for her family” – lying and cheating is not the answer.

Anonymous on

Amandamay, she did nothing wrong. Her children spend half (if not more) of their time at their father’s house and that is also their HOME. They should be more than allowed to list their father’s home as theirs if they spend at least 50% of their time with him. The problem is divorced (or unmarried) parents can only list one of their homes as their children’s residence even if they spend equal time at each.

The bottom line is that mother did what she had to do to get her children an education. Shouldn’t we all be so lucky to have a parent that cares that much.

amandamay on

anonymous – it’s not the kids’ father’s house – it’s the mother’s father’s house – so it’s the kids’ GRANDFATHER.

it’s not about “caring so much” – what if all of the parents who “care so much” did that? and what if you lived in that area and your child couldn’t attend the school as it was too full of people lying to get in?

Erika on

The woman should not have been jailed! I mean what she did was kind of wrong, however, I do get where she is coming from. Her father was a taxpayer of that district and it wasn’t like she was cheating the system completely. It really didn’t make a difference whether the kids lived with him or not, he is still paying the same taxes. Though it was kind of wrong to not just send the kids to the district where they lived. When I grew up, a girl in my district moved to a less affluent neighborhood and her parents opened a PO Box in our town and had school mail sent there so that their daughter could continue to go to our district. She had NO relatives there and they were strictly relying on other peoples tax money for their kids. *That* is wrong. They got fined, and rightfully so. However this woman did have a relative living in the district paying taxes so it’s a little different. Either way, jail was a really harsh punishment.

fuzibuni on

I’m with amandamay. Having a relative living in another district does not mean you can enroll your child in their school system.

It will not fix the system to have parents in poor areas abandon their school districts and falsify information to get them enrolled in more affluent schools. Parents need to become involved and active in their local schools to make them better.

I have a good friend who is an elementary teacher in Compton, CA. She cares a lot about her students, and we talk about the problems with her school all the time. Due to the low income of most residents, Compton schools get massive amounts of funding from state and federal levels. The issue is not a lack of money (although you could argue about the way the money is spent)

The main problem, according to my friend, is that many of the students receive no support from their parents… they show up late, without breakfast, without their homework done, and their parents don’t attend teacher-parent meetings. When she calls their houses they don’t return her calls or get defensive with her.

If parents who DO care take their kids out of poor schools and illegally enroll them in better schools, then the problem is only going to get worse. It is up to parents to involve themselves. And if a parent decides they really want to switch schools then they need to move to a better district and enroll LEGALLY.

Alice on

Agree with Amandamay and fuzibuni… yeah, she wants the best for her kids… she’s also teaching them that it’s fine to lie and cheat to get it.

Jill on

Alice, amandamay and fuzibini, I agree with you guys. Breaking the law bc you don’t agree with it is not okay and a bad example for your children.

mary on

It’s the local government that fails the children and their very own schools. Where I live we have massive bussing. Children from the north side are bussed on the south side. Southsiders are bused to the north. Some are spending an hour on the bus. Kids on one block go to a different school then you and it’s no wonder why they hate each other and why some gangs are so prevalent. I pay A LOT in property taxes and yet have opted to send my children to a Christian school. Partly because of the bussing issues, parents don’t care and their kids (NOT ALL OF THEM) don’t care about the school they are attending so they will not put forth any effort into their school. I can understand where she is coming from. In Milwaukee money is spent on certain schools not all schools are created equal.

We have residency in our city if you work for the city you must live in the city. This includes DPW, police, fire, city hall, and teachers. The majority of teachers, DO NOT send their own children to Milwaukee public schools. Not because of the teachers but because of the system and local government. They fail their residence and employees. These teachers are doing their best with the little they get. This story is sad all around. And in the end it will end up hurting the children and their mom who was going to school to become a teacher and with a felony charge against her she will end up on assistance and no job it’s a no win situation. Yes a law is the law, however until you live in a place that fails your child then judgment on what she was willing to do for her children’s safety and education we shouldn’t throw stones.

By the way this is how unfair our system is… my son at around 4-5ish started to stutter. He was too old for our insurance to cover an evaluation which out of pocket would have cost us way more money then what we had at that time. Yes that’s an eval. Our insurance company said that the city of Milwaukee public school system must handle this eval. I called the city of Milwaukee public school they would not take him because he is enrolled at a private school. I complained that my taxes have paid for a space for him in the school empty or not. They would not evaluate him. So I wonder what did they do with my money that was allocated for MPS? Teachers had not had a contract for three years; school attendance was and still is on decline. Yes folks we have a serious problem. And it’s not just here!

Gaia and Laban's mom on

I think its a cop-out to blame negligent parenting instead of the school system. The alternative being offered by my fellow posters is for her to send her child to an inadequate school and as a citizen of this country and as a taxpayer she and her children are entitled to better. What a quixotic suggestion that she move to the district, i’m sure many compton mothers would move to the brentwood district if that were an option. Perhaps this woman, a person two credits shy of becoming a teacher could not afford to pay the thirty thousand dollar fine.

Her childs future was at risk. If I had to falsify some documents to stop my child from going to a school where there weren’t enough textbooks, where there was gang violence and,the teachers were too busy breaking up fights to teach– I would do it in a heartbeat.

amandamay on

Gaia and Laban’s mom – i totally get what you are saying. the problem is that it’s not just one parent doing this. this is taking places away from kids who actually live in that area. how is that fair? i know – NONE of this is fair. it sucks all around. my point is not that i don’t empathize or that i wouldn’t WANT to do the same in her situation. but lying and cheating to take spaces away from kids who are now wait-listed to go to their own local school is not ok. regardless of how sucky the situation is. this isn’t a “well if you don’t agree with what she did you must be a heartless, rich white person who has no clue about the realities of such situations” – that would be a ridiculous over-simplification. my heart goes out to her. but that doesn’t make what she did right. and for the record i’m a single, working mom who receives no child-support or government assistance. i work my butt off for my son and want the best for him like this mother did. but i will not lie and cheat to get it for him. that would only teach him how to WORK the system. not how to change it.

Jill on

Well, if you don’t agree with no smoking in bars…..just smoke in them! If you don’t agree underage drinking is wrong provide it to your teens!! Throw a kegger for them! That is the point…..the law is the law!!

Indira on

Jill if people didn’t break laws then we’d still be apart of great Britain. Blacks and whites would be unable to marry, schools would still be segregated, blacks wouldn’t be allowed to sit at diner counters and homosexuality would be punishable by death. There are laws abroad that say women can’t be out in public and girls can’t go to school! We shouldn’t become zombie followers of laws.

amandamay on

indira – yes, we all know that standing up for what you believe in and “fighting the system” are important qualities of the american spirit – but that doesn’t give carte blanche to do whatever you want! i’m sorry, maybe i’m a “square” but i believe in fighting the system in a way that doesn’t involve cheating and lying.

Indira on

Well, the things I mentioned laws were broken and lives were sacrificed for the cause. I think that goes beyond cheating and lying on a form.

No it doesn’t give people the right to do whatever they want but, this law is getting in the way of peoples rights. Even the judge said that the law needs to be rectified to reflect whats going on currently. Look she got caught and she broke the law. I’m not denying that but, the way I see it she was caught between a rock and a hard place.

Erika on

Oh I agree with Amandamay and Jill. Just because she doesn’t agree with the law, doesn’t mean she can break it. If she feels so strongly about the cause, she should stay with her father, or have the kids stay there. It sounds like what she did was immoral.

I didn’t read this particular article, I heard bits and pieces on the news, so I could be wrong about the whole story, but what I got from it was they were living with the grandfather and moved mid year. It could be completely off. If they had been living with him and moved mid year, that would be kind of acceptable to me to send to the kids to the district for the rest of the year. She should still have to pay a minor fine for the rest of the year. But from what your saying, it sounds like they were living in a different district ALL YEAR which is completely wrong. She should be at least fined, and a heavy sum at that.

(FWIW- I can’t read the article now because I am on my phone which doesn’t open links from other websites and don’t have a computer to access as I am away from home. I can’t read the article at the moment so I am drawing conclusions from what others are saying)