Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

That's ridiculous

Homeless Woman Arrested for Sending Son to School
A homeless woman in Connecticut has been arrested for one of the most unthinkable reasons imaginable -- she sent her son to school. Tonya McDowell, 33, was arrested last week and charged with first-degree larceny for stealing $15,686 -- the cost of the public school education for her 6-year-old son.

To make matters worse, the child's babysitter, who provided documentation that said the boy lived at her Norwalk address, was evicted from her public housing unit for her role in his education. McDowell and her son had been bouncing between an acquaintance's home in Bridgeport and a homeless shelter in Norwalk with the boy spending afternoons with the babysitter. The school he attended was in Norwalk School District, which had recently decided to crack down on infiltrators.
Because of course jailing and charging her with a felony is the way to solve the situation. And how is she supposed to give any sort of restitution? The problem seems to stem from her crashing at an address in Bridgeport, but she also goes to the Norwalk emergency shelter and the boy is babysat (or was) in Norwalk. I'm not sure this was so much some form of fraud as trying to do what they could to make the best of an awful situation. And would it be better for the child to be wandering around with her in the daytime and not getting any form of education? This woman needs some sort of help, not the book thrown at her.

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