Monday, April 18, 2011

Tonya McDowell: Homeless Mom Sent to Jail for Sending Child to the Wrong School

Please click here to join our coalition to help Ms. McDowell

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black WorldScholarship in Action

When Rev. Al Sharpton and I went to Ohio earlier this year to rally on behalf of Kelley Williams-Bolar, I thought I’d be done with cases like this for at least a little while. However, the Your Black World Coalition has been informed today that another mother in Connecticut has also been put in jail for enrolling her child in the wrong school district.

Tonya McDowell, a homeless woman from Bridgeport, CT, has been charged with grand larceny and conspiracy to commit first degree larceny after enrolling her son in Brookside Elementary, in Norwalk, CT. McDowell used the address of a friend, Ana Rebecca Marques, to get her 6-year old into the school. The district is accusing her of stealing $15,000 in services for her “deviant” behavior.

Ms. Marques was evicted from the Norwalk Housing Authority projects for her role in the incident after a complaint was filed against Ms. McDowell. This led to an investigation, where the mother filed an affidavit stating her son’s residence to be in the Roodner Court Public housing complex in Norwalk.

Ms. McDowell told police that she’d been living in Bridgeport in a homeless shelter when her son was enrolled in school. She also said she has a friend in Norwalk who allowed her to stay there at night and leave during the day.  Effectively, she and her son were rotating between the homeless shelter and staying with friends in order to survive.

Click to read more.

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