Mom Jailed for Sending Her Kids to a Better School

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by StudentTeach, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. StudentTeach

    StudentTeach Comrade

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    Jan 27, 2011

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  3. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    In the town where we live, we have to re- register out kids every so many years, to make sure that all the students in the school actually live within the town borders. The thing is, that local tax money pays for the school system to work. So, if a child isn't living within the borders of the town, they are not paying to attend the school. That means that someone who IS living withing the borders of the community is paying for them. How fair is that? For us, we work really hard to pay a huge tax bill to ensure that our kids go to a very good school. I find it to be personally frustrating when parents sneak their kids into schools without paying for it.

    It does seem unfair, but if she wanted her kids to go to the better school, she should have moved. Also the article neglects to mention that she could have paid the tuition but chose not to.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I read that story last night. I think that if the school district were so important, mom should have moved the family. That seems easier and more ethical than lying about a home address.

    I've also never heard of a district investigating residential records. There are lots of students in my school who use an extended family member's address on their official school records so that they show up as zoned for our school. In most cases I think it's less about deception than it is about permanency--we have an incredibly transient population and our students move from house to house or apartment to apartment multiple times per year. Using grandma's address at least ensures that all important school documents make it to one location.
     
  5. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    It's seems easier to move if you have enough money. That likely was not possible. I think a jail sentence is crazy. I would just send them back to the proper school.
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    There are lots of things that I don't have the money for, but that doesn't mean that I'm entitled to just taking them. I'd love to drive an Audi, but I can't afford it, so I stick with my Honda, which is totally within my budget.

    It is what it is.
     
  7. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Ohio has more school choice than many other states. Committing fraud when there are so many charter / magnet / online options available outside of the traditional arena is not the wisest choice. A ton of my students are with me because their families are dissatisfied with their local schools. There are options besides sneaking your child across district lines.

    I know this isn't a popular opinion.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    To be fair, she wasn't jailed for "sending her kids to a better school."

    She was jailed for lying about where they live, for "falsifying records."

    I feel for her, I really do. But what she did was illegal.
     
  9. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I appreciate that she wants a better education for her children. I wish all parents cared. I appreciate that money is probably tight - she's about to get an education degree. BUT...when she was found out, she had her father (who is a legal resident of the district) falsify papers for her. They gave her several chances to make it right. bottom line, she was stealing from the taxpayers of that district.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I think it's sad. I'm going to play the devi's advocate. I had a friend who's mom got married & moved during Sr year. Well, gma lived in the district, so switched driver's license & everything to be resident at gmas even though he lived with parents. This was before the whole school of choice thing, so I would have probably have done the same thing. They were on this person all the time about address, calling gmas... I felt bad.

    I used my gparents address for a community college... I did live with them during the week. It was about $20 -$30 cheaper per credit for in district. I don't feel bad about it at all...

    I also think if the dad lives in the district, I'm not seeing what all the hub bub is about. He pays taxes for the school... I don't see why his kids whether they are there part of the time can take advantage of it. Unless I missed that the dad moved...I just skimmed it quickly.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Diz~I would agree with what your friend did. I mean Sr year is a big deal and to move in the middle of that would probably be more trouble than it's worth.

    I don't agree with what the mom did, but I can sympathize if I was in the same position. But she was given chances to make it right and didn't.
     
  12. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I strongly disagree with her harsh sentencing and treatment.
     
  13. MsMar

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    Students living out of district and attending mine is an issue. We have employees whose specific job it is to locate non-residents attending our school (and they find many each year and have them removed). It's a big issue for us. So yeah, I understand that she wanted a better school for her kids, but if you don't live in the district you're not paying taxes for that school and you're not entitled to go to it. Our school has enough students with the ones that live in the district, we don't need any extras from the neighboring towns just because our school is better.

    And I didn't click on this particular link, so I'm not sure if it was mentioned here or not, but she was given the option of paying the $800 a month tuition for each month in their district and she opted not to. Had she paid the tuition, she would not have been sentenced to jail time.
     
  14. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Ok.. so dad pays taxes in the district & the kids don't go?!?! I mean we all pay taxes to our school. I could see them being upset if the whole family didn't live or if they lived there & moved away & they were using an address....

    I agree she should've done the right thing & that the felony charge is a little steep... now she's going to have that & not be able to get a job to help her family!!!
     
  15. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    In the 80s, when my parents wanted me to go to another school and couldn't afford tuition, they transferred legal custody of me to my grandparents and I lived with them. I was followed once or twice to make sure I was walking to their home and not being driven to my parents' house. Granted, I probably was under some additional scrutiny because my parents were union officers, but it was all done legally until they could afford to move into the district. It sounds like this mom could have made the same arrangement with the grandparents and chose to defraud the district instead.
     
  16. kcjo13

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    With all due respect, it seems to me that this woman was likely not in a situation where she could have just moved. She was living in the projects, and the kids were attending a suburban school. It could be just my opinion, but I can't see where a person would choose the projects with its "high crime rate" over a suburban neighborhood.

    About tuition...this wasn't a private school, no? What do you mean when you say pay tuition? I haven't heard of a public school charging some sort of tuition, but then, I'm not very worldly. Pay the fine?

    I agree that she did steal, and when caught, should have 'fessed up. But, I do think that jail, and its accompanying felony conviction, is too harsh a sentence. Seems to me she was being used as an example...and to me, any school that has the funds and time to hire a private investigator has either a) been burned many, many times, in which case she IS the example, or b) if this is a first time case, might need to examine their educational priorities.

    IOMO.
     
  17. kcjo13

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    Thanks, MsMar, for answering my tuition question. I started to post, got distracted, and when I finally submitted, you had answered in the mean time. I've never heard of that before.
     
  18. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Tuition can be paid to public schools if you are not a resident of that county (atleast here in GA) It's called open enrollment. I could pay to send my children to the neighboring district if I wanted to.
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Cat... I was thinking it really is about the legality of the custody thing.
     
  20. kcjo13

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    Ah, I see Goehring. We don't do that here, we just opt out, or in, as in my case-we live in the next town's district, but I want my kids to go to the school where I work. The school of the district I live in is 15 miles away, and my school is 5 miles away. Go figure. I'm told we are in the distant district because the neighbors down the road wanted to go there, so they got the district lines changed to jog out and include them-and therefore us.

    But here, it just really isn't a big deal-I just fill out a paper, and the 2 boards approve it. It happens all the time. In fact, before my oldest daughter started to school, I didn't know that we were in the district (we had just moved, and we hadn't gotten a tax statement yet). She went to school in the "wrong" district (mine) for a semester before someone figured it out.

    I do completely understand that in urban areas, this could be a big problem. But a felony? I've seen people get off of drug charges for less. :dizzy:
     
  21. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    And rape and murder...
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    HER dad lived in the district, not the father of the children.

    From the article:
    "For two years, she sent them to school in the Copley-Fairlawn district, where her father lived, "
     
  23. MsMar

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    I'm only familiar with it because 1-dh works at a great city school and there are always a few kids there that pay tuition to attend with their parents who work there, and 2- I recently read an article that a school in NJ in a good district is hoping to attract something like 10-15 tuition paying students from less attractive nearby districts. By getting those students the school can bring in some additional money to help deal with budget cuts.
     
  24. Mark94544

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    I assume that the situation is quite different, depending on your state and your school's funding structure. But the problem is universal.

    (1) My wife and I live in a school district which is bankrupt and has made some horrific, unconscionable decisions. They deliberately worked to "push out" students to take advantage of a short-term funding "trick" that benefits districts with declining enrollment; as you'd expect, students from the most affluent and supportive families fled. By the time our child finished sixth grade, we decided she would not attend secondary school in this district.

    My wife works for a wonderful company as an apartment manager, and must live on-site, and she didn't want to move and change jobs at the same time (a wise move, given the economy since then).

    We are "fortunate" because my stepdaughter splits her time between our home and her father's home in a nearby city, in a better school district, so she was legally entitled to transfer there. Transportation costs and time have become a huge burden for us, but she is thriving (now in 10th grade).

    (2) In California (and I assume many other places), most school funding comes from the state, and each district should be entitled to equal funds, but it should surprise nobody that the complex formula usually ends up paying more money per student to the more affluent districts.

    Companies and parents in affluent communities also donate much more (and tax themselves more) so schools have more resources -- generally this extra money is allocated to smaller class sizes, rewards for teachers, and of course enrichment activities. Of course, poor districts generally receive federal money, which generally is applied for "bare necessities" and for remediation, theoretically in accordance with federal law.

    Local taxes are nearly insignificant in the equation.

    We have built a society in which we deliberately provide a better education to students who live in certain communities which have more resources. There's an amplification factor -- if you have more resources, you can use those resources to live near other people with resources, and thus your children will attend schools with other students who have resources. If you have resources, you're more able to be supportive. If parents have resources, they'll invest those resources in their children, and the children in that community will benefit from the enrichment.

    In a district where families have more resources, there will be fewer problems for the school to deal with, although that's not always measurable because the standards are different: in an urban district, highly disruptive students may be tolerated in a regular classroom because the school lacks resources to provide assistance impose or consequences. In a district with resources, smaller infractions will incur greater consequences.

    When I went from subbing in an affluent school district, to teaching full-time in an urban school, I quickly discovered that there were no meaningful differences in the student populations. Instead, it was everything around the students that was different. And those differences were amplified: have parents who were less ABLE to be supportive, and you end up in a school that's less ABLE to be supportive, and that school will hire staff who are less ABLE to be supportive.

    (3) In the current economy, many families are financially "trapped," unable to move. Even when there are legal "options" (such as exercising the right to transfer out of a failing school), in many district that process is difficult, corrupt, or intentionally made practically impossible for many families.

    What would you really do if you were in this situation, as a parent?

    It's easy to say, "if you love your child, you'll find a way to move." The real message is, "if you can't find a way to move to a better school district, you don't really love your child, and your child must pay for your faults by receiving a lousy education."

    For many of us, it's "easy" or at least "possible" to apply our skills and make use of resources to move, or to find a solution that's legal, or at least "theoretically legally defensible" (use grandma's or auntie's address).

    But take all of that away: think of the parent who loves her (or his) children, but who has limited skills and limited resources, and who perhaps has made some bad choices in the past, but is doing her best to support those children.

    What would you really do? After you've exhausted every alternative, if you couldn't identify any other choice, what would be the morally right thing to do?
     
  25. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I misread that sorry!!!
     
  26. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Has anyone said that? I'll have to go back and read the thread but I didn't see that.

    The argument here isn't whether the parent loves the child. The argument here is whether it is okay for a parent to commit a crime so that her child can go to a "better" school district.

    This isn't like a Jean Valjean situation where the parent opts to steal bread to feed a starving family. In the situation here, it's not that the student had no access to school and was starved for an education. The student had access to a school but the parent didn't think that that school was good enough. I personally don't think that that's justification enough to knowingly commit a crime.
     
  27. Mark94544

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    What's acceptable?

    How different must the educational quality be before it's morally okay, when no other option is available, to break the law?
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Well that's a question that hasn't been addressed. Surely there are many parents who do feel that the "bad" school meets their needs. The school hasn't been shut down by the government, so it stands to reason that it has been meeting some sort of criteria for progress.

    It could be that the parent perceived that the "better" school was better for reasons that aren't entirely valid. It could be that the "better" school is actually better, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the "bad" school is actually bad.
     
  29. Mark94544

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    I actually missed a key point: In California, there is a huge disparity in enforcement of school-attendance-boundary issues, based on student performance.

    A "good" student costs less to teach, and districts know that. Students with "problems" cost the district more money. Intentional or otherwise, limited attendance-boundary enforcement resources are allocated mostly to deal with "problem students."

    (1) In our district, an accusation was made (with lots of support) that the new principal at one school was deliberately turning away students of certain ethnicities, telling them that their addresses meant their children were assigned to another school.

    The "target" school didn't realize what was happening, and even after dozens of parents told the school board that they were directly lied to, the district decided that all these parents had chosen to exercise their right to enroll their students in a different school than they'd been assigned to, and couldn't change back.

    Of course, I don't know if the accusations were true, but it was true that the ethnic and economic makeup of the school changed significantly that year -- and so did test scores at the two schools. Guess which school's principal got lavish praise, and which school's principal got fired?

    (2) An acquaintence of mine moved from one city to another, but her "good student" continued to attend school in the old district. School mail sent to the old address was returned, but the but the district did nothing. Two years later, the teenager's grades dropped and she cut some classes. Suddenly the district decided to enforce its zip code.

    I once noticed that "all the black students vanished" from a school where I subbed. I asked, and the whispered response from several teachers and staff (the first few times I heard it, I couldn't believe it) was that there had been a fight in which a white student had attacked one of the black students, ending in a scuffle between four or five white students and all four of the school's black students. All blame was placed on the white students, but the parents of two of the black students asked to transfer their kids to other middle schools in the district -- and the other two were sent away when the district "discovered" that they didn't live in the district.

    (3) I've been told that some "troubled" school districts have allocated extra resources to investigate and try to "reclaim" former students whose families have illegally enrolled them in "better" school districts. I can't imagine that those efforts are uniform; surely they focus on "good students" and not on students with special needs.
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I will read the article after I eat supper, but my sister asked me about this yesterday so I know the general idea. It breaks my heart. More opinion coming later...
     
  31. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I think that's exactly why this outright pisses me off. I'm sad, annoyed, and angry.
     
  32. Mark94544

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    Of course, both are possible.

    (1) My wife kept her daughter in the local schools through sixth grade, despite some serious concerns. She was an active parent, volunteering and eventually pressured the principal to revive the parent-teacher group, fought to get the school to provide important communications with parents in Spanish (none of us speak Spanish, but a majority of families were native Spanish speakers).

    When our child was in fifth grade, we were surprised to observe that our child's teacher seemed to only focus on math and reading. Eventually, we discovered that this had become district policy -- teachers and principals were being evaluated exclusively on math and reading test scores.

    During sixth grade, our district intentionally provoked a teacher strike. On the second day of the strike, the district broadcast a phone message to all parents in English and Spanish. The English-language message said that students should go to school, and that there were substitute teachers. The Spanish version said, "The teachers are back" and implied that the strike was over. You can imagine the heartbreaking emotional trauma for both teachers and Spanish-speaking families when they met at the picket line, immediately unified with outrage at the district's "dirty trick."

    Our child's teacher crossed the picket line during the strike, then took a leave of absence for the rest of the year; our child's classroom had a succession of earnest-but-unqualified substitute teachers. My wife and I volunteered in the classroom every day for weeks, until the school found someone suitable for the last few weeks of school.

    We still didn't to transfer our daughter to another school (and frankly, being a new stepparent, I mostly yielded to my wife's decisions). She had friends here. We were also reluctant to transfer to a school district that was "less diverse" (though still quite diverse).

    Statistically, our daughter had an "acceptable" opportunity at the nearest middle school -- students were split into four cohorts, so that our daughter would share classes only with other "good" students. That "cohort," segregated from the other students at that school, had roughly the same test scores as the school where we transferred our daughter.

    So, make your choice.

    (2) We live in a poor neighborhood, with a very large Spanish-speaking population, many of whom don't speak English. Many of those parents are "undocumented" (illegal). We gradually identified two problems, apart from communication. A very large proportion of those parents who actually came to the school were both (a) extremely deferential to whatever the teacher or principal said, and (b) had little formal education themselves.

    I'm referring to the parents whom we actually met and communicated with, not those who never attended any school events nor even answered the telephone numbers on their students' contact cards.

    I worried that many of these parents lacked many of the most basic skills that I believe are important to actually evaluate the quality of their children's education, to identify potential alternatives, or advocate for their children's best interests.

    I strongly believe that many parents of students in our lowest-performing schools aren't aware that there is any choice to be made. Many others who realize that "there might be some options," may lack the skills needed to identify the available options, evaluate the relative merits, or navigate the process to exercise their choice.

    (3) Of course, many parents, even the best-educated parents with vast resources (money, family, personal networks) might make "wrong" decisions about their childrens' education. "Educational quality" must be weighed with many other factors. And of course, many parents will make decisions that seem irrational to others (sometimes for truly irrational reasons).

    We all know that test scores can be extremely deceptive (certainly, we were disgusted by the lavish praise our child's elementary school received for improving math & reading scores -- because we knew the price that was paid (abandonment of all curriculum except "testable and frequently-tested math and reading standards").

    For her first two years of school (K-1), my stepdaughter attended an alternative (public) elementary school (within our district) where there was lots of independent activity, projects, and interaction with other K-6 students. To attend that school, every family had to agree that one parent would spend a full day in the classroom every single week, so there were ample parent volunteers -- and few students whose parents lacked the resources to make that happen. (I wasn't around then, but I can imagine that I would have been horrified at the chaos and lack of structure, and I certainly would have dismissed the school's test scores because of the self-selection process.) Despite her belief that this school provided great educational quality, a variety of factors led my wife to move her daughter to our local elementary school.
     
  33. indigo-angel

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    Though what this woman did is considered "criminal," I don't really blame her for what she did. And, honestly, if I were in her situation that may be a risk I would take.
     
  34. TeacherApr

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    I was just going to say something similar. LOVE how they phrased the title of it to make her seem like the good guy. WHATEVER! :mad:
     
  35. Cerek

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    What would I really do if I were the parent in this situation? I would transfer legal guardianship to the grandfather who did live in the district and - if necessary - let the girls live with him during the school week.

    The mother was also given the opportunity to keep her daughters in the school by paying the monthly tuition for out-of-district students (if I'm reading posts by MsMar and others correctly).

    She had not exhausted every alternative, although some alternatives (such as the tuition) may not have been feasible.
     
  36. TeacherShelly

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    Even though it is illegal to do what she did, part of me thinks it is unjust to offer such different qualities of education to children based on their parents' SES.

    On the other hand, children of color, statistically, fare poorer in measures of school success no matter where they live. So even if the mother had rented a dump in the "good" district, her kid may have done poorly anyway.

    ETA: that might be the big reason districts throw out non-resident kids. They bring their API scores

    d
    o
    w
    n.
     
  37. bandnerdtx

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    Shelly, that's when they investigate in the districts in my area... if the kid is in danger of not passing the TAKS, one of the first things they do is make sure that he is supposed to attend that school. Isn't that sad? The other reason they investigate is if the kid is continually absent/truant. Beyond that, we're just too big to really look into where most kids live. Our district has over 40,000 students, and we aren't even close to the largest in the area. Most schools around here look the other way in situations like the one described in the article. As long as at least some family member is living in the district, it's pretty much ignored.
     
  38. Mark94544

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    > What would I really do if I were the parent in this situation? I would transfer legal guardianship to the grandfather who did live in the district and - if necessary - let the girls live with him during the school week. <

    We don't know anything about the family, whether the grandfather was willing or suitable or able to take care of the kids, nor do we know who else might be in that household, or anything else about the family's situation. This mom strongly believed that her children would be unsafe attending their designated school; there's no indication that they would be better off living apart from their mom, even part-time.

    FYI, the article said that the family was living in "the projects," which I assume means the family had qualified for subsidized or free housing, and might lose that housing or subsidy if the kids didn't reside there. (Isn't it possible that the government agencies/caseworker/prosecutor consulted each other, and then forced the mom to choose "what to lose" -- if she said the kids lived with her and not the grandfather, then she'd have to admit that she'd lied on the school forms; if she said the kids lived with their grandfather, then she'd have to admit that she'd lied on the housing paperwork. It's also possible that including these children in the grandfather's household would create harsh legal consequences for him. (Now that she's been convicted of a felony, I wonder if they'll lose the housing anyway?)

    We've mostly been talking about "socio-economic status" and "educational quality," but let's not forget that the mom in this case said that her concern was safety, not educational quality. Is anyone disputing the mom's beliefs about safety?

    I even took a moment to search here and on other web sites; I don't see anyone clamoring to hold the city or school district accountable for being "unsafe."

    Every year or so, I read another news report about another murder of a student enrolled at the urban school where I briefly taught; when I visited the school's web site earlier this month (for the first time in 5 years), one of the first things I saw was the principal's letter to the community regarding the murder of a student. On one of of my last days teaching at that school, one of the school's more experienced teachers confided to me, "I would never let my children go to school here." (I swallowed my rage.)
     
  39. Lindager

    Lindager Companion

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    Jan 27, 2011

    She was only sent to jail for 10 days

    In NJ each district raises taxes to pay most of their budget the state only pays a portion. Some towns that have their own K-8 or K-5 school have to pay taxes for that and also pay taxes for the regional High School district. A person could live in the exact same house on the exact same size lot in 2 different towns and pay a much different tax.
    For example a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom home on a 1/2 acre lot in Westfield (Great school district K-12) might pay 10-15K a year in taxes the same house and lot in Union Beach(Not so great schools) might only pay 5-7K a year in taxes. If someone who lived in Union Beach wanted to send their child to school in Westfield and lied to do it they are breaking the law and stealing and they should be punished.

    If this mother was so desperate to send her children to a "Better" school she should have talked to some of the private/religious schools nearby. Most of them have some type of tuition assistance or time/volunteer way of helping worthy families.

    I think calling what she did a felony may be a little overboard, but I think she needs to pay restitution. If she wanted her children to go to school in that district maybe she should have lived with her father too or at least let the children.

    Until all public schools are funded in the same way the rules need to be enforced and I know of many schools that have had to hire investigators to help them. A teacher should know better, what was she teaching her children by lying and having them and her father lie?

    Edit: Yes it might have been financially difficult for this mother, but does that mean that other single mothers can steal to send their children to a private school? My husband and I have done without many things so we could live in a "good" school district and pay the taxes we all have to decide on our priorities and sometimes the choices stink, but that doesn't mean we can steal to make it easier.
     
  40. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Jan 27, 2011

    Exactly. If children in inner-city (poor, predominately students of color) schools were treated with the same dignity and respect as children in the richer areas, she would not have been so desperate.

    Separate but unequal. There are horrors that go down out in the open in inner city schools that would never be acceptable in a richer school.

    I feel bad for the parents who are trapped in certain neighborhoods and have to send their kids to these schools. What they should do is hire private investigators to see the sickness (not talking about low test scores) allowed in some of these schools, and work on changing that so all kids regardless of their district, neighborhood or economic status can truly have access to an equal education.
     
  41. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Jan 27, 2011

    Actually, we do know (or at least can infer) a few things about the family. For starters, I think we can infer that mom is a single parent. There is no mention of the girls father (at least in this article). Secondly, we know the grandfather lives in a "safer area" than the mother, by her own admission. This implies the grandfather might also be a little better off financially than the mom since he can afford to live in the suburbs. Of course, there is a good chance he is retired and drawing a pension which would limit his resources.

    You're correct that we don't know if the grandfather would be willing and able to have the girls live there during the week. We don't know if he would (or would not) be a suitable guardian and we don't know if anyone else lives in the house.

    However - you didn't ask anything about that. You just asked "What would you REALLY do as the parent in this situation?". The one thing we DO now is that having the grandfather listed as the guardian would make the girls attendance at the school in his district LEGAL, whereas the actions taken by the mother were irrefutably ILLEGAL. Given the choice between breaking the law (even for a "good reason") or not, the best option is usually to abide by the law.

    As for the mom's concern about safety, the article says she was worried about the high crime rate in her area, not in the school itself. The fact she is worried about her daughters living in an area of high crime rather than a "safer" neighborhood is another reason for letting them move in with grandfather, at least part time.

    Yes, I read the article and saw that mom and the girls were living in the projects. I agree we can assume from this information that she does qualify for social services and a housing subsidy. Having worked at DSS, I can tell you that having the kids live with grandfather part-time most likely would NOT cause her to lose this subsidy or other assistance, although it might lower the monthly amount she receives. Then again, since the girls would presumably still live with her at least part of the time, the change might not be significant if it happened at all.

    I also think it is very unlikely the mother would be kicked out of the projects if the girls only lived there part-time. Since the change of guardianship would be a NEW development, she would NOT be guilty of fraud on the housing papers, so long as she informed the landlord or social services of the change.

    I really cannot imagine what harsh legal consequences the grandfather would face by having the girls actually LIVE there instead of just CLAIMING they lived there. If anything, the consequences would be more harsh for the current situation than the suggested alternative because the grandfather has lied as well about the girls residency.

    I addressed the moms' safety concerns above. As for the school district, it is not their responsibility to make the community safe, it is just their responsibility to make the school as safe as possible. There is nothing in the article to determine whether they have taken all the steps they can or not.

    The city does have a responsibility to make all the neighborhoods as safe as possible, but it is a given fact that certain areas of every city attract criminal elements and activities more than other areas. While patrols are often increased in these areas, the police can't be there 24/7. They also often face lack of cooperation and trust from residents in these areas, which makes their job more difficult.

    Of course, that brings us back to the original point...if this area is unsafe due to high crime and the mother is unable to relocate to a better area, then sending the girls to a safer neighborhood would seem to be the next best option.
     
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