Mother Given 5 Yrs Prison for Sending Child to School Outside Her District

Tonya McDowell, a 34-year old single mother who was arrested for sending her son to a school outside his home district, has been sent to prison for five years.   The homeless mom sent her son to elementary school in Norwalk, Connecticut, instead of Bridgeport, where he was supposed to go.  The case is further complicated because McDowell also pleaded guilty to selling drugs.

McDowell was sentenced under the Alford Doctrine, which says that she does not admit guilt, but instead concedes that the state has enough evidence for a conviction.

McDowell used a baby sitter’s address to get her son enrolled in the school, which she felt was the best place for him to be.   The case drew national media attention and was similar to the case of Kelly Williams-Bolar, another mother in Ohio who was charged with the same “crime.”

The state has accused McDowell of stealing $15,686 worth of education from the city of Norwalk.   She was also convicted of four counts of selling narcotics, which added to her sentence.   She pleaded guilty to dealing drugs on February 7.

Darnell Crosland, McDowell’s attorney, says that she accepted the plea even though she is not guilty.

“You shouldn’t be arrested for stealing a free education. It’s just wrong,” he said.

The total sentence was for 12 years in prison, suspended after she serves five years and another five years probation.

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  15. The only reason that she is in trouble is because the districts are zoned for tax purposes. If her child is going to school in a district that they are not receiving tax money for her child, then yes he is getting a free education on that district. While the district that he should be attending is making money because that is a child they are not spending money on. The whole system is wrong because you can live one street over from a good school but you can attend it due to your zip code or should I say property tax bracket. This is the reason why intercity schools are using text books that are more than 5 years old. The funding is not on an even playing field. I am from Missouri and I attended a school outside of the intercity where I grow up, however they had a program call “DESEG”. which is short for desegregation. The district that the intercity children attended would receive money for us going to their schools. The thing is they were given more money than what an intercity school would have been given if we went to one of the intercity schools. I received a better education because of it, but why give them more than what would have been given to a school in the intercity?

    • Deron, what of the many people in that city who do not have children but pay taxes to educate other people’s children? What of the babysitter who many not have children. Would she not be entitled to allow a child of her choosing to use her address if she has paid taxes to hold such a place? Should not the school district return tax dollars to residents who do not have children if they are wanting to split hairs over who attends their schools?

      At the end of the road, our challenge is to educate as many children as possible. We are moving in the wrong direction if we are putting their parents in jail because the parent wants to get a good education for the child. After you jail the parent and the child grows up frustrated in a foster home and meets you on the street and shoots you or your child, all of the self-righteous bantering will not bring you back. Put the thinking cap back on sir.

  16. She stole she belongs in jail. I pay high taxes so **** like her won’t be in a school building where my kids are.

    • stop being soo judgemental…you’re no better @@#@#
      you may end up in a hard situation sometime & would you want to be treated bad when already going thru a hard time…get a life

    • What is it a school for retards….apple dont fall from the tree

  17. The title of this story is so misleading!! She got 5 years for selling drugs, not for sending her kid to the wrong school.

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  20. If she drugs, let her plead not guilty or guilty. If she pled ng, have a trial, if she's found guilty sentence her to the determine amount of time set by law, but to send someone to jail for wanting the best possible education for their child is wrong wrong and wrong. I know someone who did that 10 years ago so their child could complete kinder garden in the district that they were living but moved out of because they moved across the street.

  21. McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1987, as amended, Title VII, Subtitle B; 42 U.S.C. 11431-1143

    Why didn’t her lawyer use this to keep her out of jail?
    This is exactly what its for.

  22. Yep, serves her nigger ass right, and I'm glad Connecticut is trying to do something to keep the drug slinging nigger trash away from white children.

  23. When it gets this serious, something must be done.

  24. Attorneys who allow their clients to accept a guilty plea to a constitutionally deranged legislation ought to be ashamed of themselves. If public education was free, be it in Bridgeport or Norwalk, a law that exerts such stiff penalties for choosing one free school for another is, to me, facially illegitimate.

  25. remember this and VOTE Connecticut!

  26. FIVE YEARS in prison for black mom who wanted a better education for her child.

  27. Rasheedah Azeez Taylor

    I wonder why so many parents feel like they have to result to this just to get a decent education for their children?

  28. I think you getto trash niggs should shut the fuck up and read the fucking story. She was a drug dealer that got five years. You afro puffs dramatized the story by trying to relate it to the black woman on the bus. The reason nobody wants you people in there area is because you always turn it into some hateful gang and getto bullshit where you believe you are owed something for doing nothing. Just because your to stupid to understand that you have to work for what you get and the reason you live in shitholes is you refuse to work dont blame whitey. By the way dont try to sound philosophical, its embarrassing

    • If this were reverse, you would not be saying such things. You are quite ignorant yourself.


    • I guess the people that founded this country worked for everything? They stole an entire land, murdered, enslaved, displaced the people that were here before them, called anyone that didn’t look like them savages so don’t even start with that garbage you idiot!

  29. They could arrest many a parent here in NY . People are “stealing education” left and right!

  30. This whole entire incident was skewed against this mother from the time was discovered that she had sent her son to the wrong school district. When the story first broke, all that was reported was about the switch. And now the drug charge? What did I miss? It’s very clear that the officials were dead set on making an example out of this woman that they were willing to go to any lengths to find anything on her to bring about a “warped” since of justice. Had she gone into a convenience store and stolen a pack of gum, they probably would have gotten her on that. While I don’t condone the selling of the illegal substance, I do understand why it might have happened. This woman probably thought she had no other options and played devil’s advocate and lost. But who amongst us hasn’t done something wrong that we’ve come to regret.

  31. This is just another example of the messed up and confused our courts and justice systems have become in this country. The people of this county have stood by for way to long and have kept their eyes and mouths closed about all the wheeling and dealing that goes on behind closed doors in the bar rooms and court rooms and bedrooms that end up in the suppose to be the final say for the court rooms that make the say for what goes on in those court rooms and seen people to over crowed jails that are staffed by under trained power driven people that take out their own problems on these people that shouldn’t be their anyway. It is clear to me that as long as we stand by and let these so called PUBLIC SERVANTS help their selves to all they can take this kind of thing will just continue to happen and when their is a person that does care that their child gets a GOOD education WE SHOULD NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES THESE CHILDREN should should get their education where ever they want to send them , what about these people who won’t get out of their drug induced comas to even bring their kids to school . All I say is Shame on you to this system for doing this to these mothers that want a better way for their children.

  32. Let me just say this lady is getting the bone about the school district stuff. If her son is living at the baby sitter home. He has every right to go to that school.All school in this go old {USA ] must follow all federal guide lines, her lawer should really look into them . If this lady feels in any ways, HARM TO HIM,LICK OF SCHOOLS PERFORMANCE LEVEL,WHAT THERE TEACHING. THERE IS A TON OF REASONS. The laws are alittle thicky to understand but they are there. i think they come under [ DISTRICT TRANS-FER GUIDE LINES ]

  33. I think they should only convict her for dealing drugs .. Not for placing her child in a better school! Thats fucking bullshit! This shit making me so damn angry! Just because she placed her kid in a better school she’s being Jailed! WOW! America was my dream country but now FUCK AMERICA! The system is sometimes to damn hard! Look what they did to that black guy! They killed him! And he was innocent! And look what they did to that white ho, Casey Anthony! SHE TOLD THE DAMN COURT SHE WAS GUILTY! But now she’s freeeeee! Omfgggg this shit making me angry :(

    I always loved America (girl from London) was even planning to move out to the US after my exams .. But now …….

  34. Blacks automatically throwing the race card and supporting every criminal that gets arrested is really getting old. We dont do ourselves any good with this, and we dont help outthe negative perception that others have on Blacks by doing this. It just makes it look like we all are criminals.

  35. i think this is really stupid why get her for trying to put her kids in a diff. district to better them thats fuking dum. just put her in for sellin drugs not trying to better her kids education WTF is wrong with them??? SMH

    • Where i am from there are proper procedures to go through to get your kids into an out of district school. She was trying to beat the system and basically spitting in the face of all the honest citizens that go through the proper channels and may be on a waiting list to get into that school. I got no sympathy for her.

  36. People pay extra tax levy money to live in certain school districts because the particular school district has good ratings. This is what I did when I moved to the school district we are in BEFORE I was ever pregnant with the first child.
    When someone lies about where they live so they can send their child(ren) to a better school district, they are in effect, “stealing” education that was paid for by tax payers in a different district. That is where the “stealing” comes in, even though the concept sounds ridiculous.
    Stupid as hell to send her to jail over it, though

    • Any government document that I ever filled out says explicitly that you can be penalized if you give them false info. Im sure this poor drug dealing momma saw the same warning when she chose to play the odds. She crapped out.

  37. My fellow Black people are so racist on this page. smh. Responding with racially motivated aggression to what you perceive as racism is so counter productive. I really dont get “my people” sometimes. Just ignorant.

    • Clearly, you’re not african american because if you were, you’d understand the tenants of racism and since you don’t I won’t explain. The jig is up anglo-saxon……..get ta steppin!

  38. The question is what can we do to fight this?

  39. I just want to know how The Hell you Steal an Education. I understand the drug charges, but stealing an education, C’mon Son!
    And Gwen I will be signing the petition and telling my friends to sign also.

    • There is no such thing as ANYthing free in America. It comes from taxes. Education isnt free. Someone is paying for it. To get that benefit, you have to play by the rules…. If you want school choice, vote Republican. Or else send your kid to the school that you are told and hush up. j/k. But ya feel me?


  41. The drug charge was MOST LIKELY a dime bag of marijuana – which BTW is not a drug, it’s a herb. Which relieves pain better than your damn Oxycotin… oh yeah, didn’t they discontinue that shit like two weeks ago.

    And the Sentence was given to punish the child. Stealing education? That’s like putting 5-years on a college student for photocopying a friend’s textbook.
    WE ALL DO IT!!!

    Post-racial my ass

  42. A MUST READ!!!
    PLEASE MAKE THE CALL TO THIS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR!​2012/02/black-history/​13-yr-old-allegedly-persecu​ted-by-teachers-for-radica​l-essay-on-frederick-dougl​ass/

    …..and there lies the cultural ” DISCONNECT ” in the classrooms that negatively impact minority students.

  43. It’s a sad state of affairs when we would rather PAY $45,000 per year for her incarceration than to PAY $15,000 for her child to be better educated.

    It’s my understanding that the child only attended the school out of district for a few months as opposed to the entire year. So you do the math. I promise it won’t equal $15K.

    2. NO PARENT should ever be FORCED to send their child to a FAILING public school without an affordable alternate CHOICE Of schools.

    3. THE McKinney-Vento Act: states that in a case of questionable residency, KEEP THE CHILD IN SCHOOL!

    10-186 Conn. Gen. Stat. Section 10-186 prescribes a two level due process procedure addressing residency, among other things. If after a hearing held before the local board of education, a parent or guardian is aggrieved by that decision, said parent or guardian may appeal the decision to the State Department of Education which will conduct a hearing de novo. The State Department of Education shall hold a hearing and render a decision. The decision of the State Department of Education may be appealed to the Superior Court.
    If a board of education prevails at the hearing before the State Department of Education, the local or regional board may seek to recover the amount of assessment for tuition through available civil remedies.
    See Section 10-186(b) (4). Therefore, the board of education should not file criminal charges against the parent of the child due to the fact that the due process procedure provides a civil remedy enabling it to recover the assessment for tuition.

    5. In 1994, Congress amended the Education of the Homeless Children and Youth program and the
    Surplus Property Program. The amendments to the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
    program provided local educational authorities with greater flexibility in the use of funds;
    specified the rights of homeless preschoolers to a free and appropriate public preschool education;
    gave parents of homeless children and youth a voice regarding their children’s school placement;
    and required educational authorities to coordinate with housing authorities. The 1994 amendments
    also removed military bases closed under base-closure laws from the McKinney Act process and
    created a new process under which service providers could apply to Local Redevelopment
    Agencies to use property at closed bases to assist homeless persons.

    6. March 22, 2010……Supreme Court: Students Guaranteed Adequate Education

    7. How many more parents will face criminal prosecution for simply trying to provide for their children the quality education that they deserve that the state, city, district does NOT provide?

  44. Sometimes racist are too smart for their own good. In their zeal to keep schools segregated through the prosecution of this sister for the “crime” of wanting the best education for her child I believe they have opened up a can of worms. Since apparently exact amounts can be attributed to public education and since our children have arguably not received a proper education in the public schools as evidenced by the 50% drop out rate and indeed this sisters and many others attempting to send our child to “a better school”….I see a massive class action suit against these school districts for taking our money and not educating our children! With the money earned from such a suit we could start our own schools and educate our seeds properly…eliminating the need to feel as if we must send our children elsewhere to get good education.

  45. This is wrong on every level, shame on the country that locks a mother away simply or trying to allow her son into an education that may give him a chance…Shame on the school and parents of that school who allows a child to loose his mother because due to status and money they do not want him to be one of them…it is truly sickening!!!

  46. In the state of Arkansas there is a law that says a parent can tranfer their child to another school district “School Choice” if the proper paper work has been turned in to the receiving district by July 1. Sounds good until u try to change school districts. Does not matter that the school district you are trying to leave has been failing for several years in a row. The only thing that matters to the bigger school district is the money they are losing and what they consider white flight. If your child is white he can not transfer but if your child if African-American, Latino, Indian, Hispanic etc., then they have the right to go where ever they choose. Talk about discrimination.

  47. I see a lot of angry black folk here. Angry at the Obamas, angry at the tokens and angry at the whites. You all are mad because no one will do anything. Then do something! Stop being angry at the “White man” for keeping you down, when the only person keeping you down is you. You blame others for all your problems, but you never take responsibility for your own actions.
    Do not blame someone for getting out and not coming back. You ask for everything but sacrifice nothing. I have no illustions of a fair and equal world for blacks and whites, but we who leave to actually see the world may know this better than those who stay and bitch and complain. Grow up and stop blaming everyone else.

    • I agree with you. there are a lot of angry black folk here, however this doesn’t mean we aren’t doing anything. I know personally of people including myself who not only write to our elected officials, but attend city council meetings, protest when possible. Attend neighborhood meetings. These are all the things the average citizen has available to legally fight with. So not everyone is sitting at home doing nothing but complaining. Now on the other hand I do believe that there should be more of us out there fighting for what’s right. Now at the same time there are people fighting for what is obviously wrong because they don’t want their neighborhoods or schools “compromised”. I know this to be true because as a high school student, I was one of the students who was not wanted.

  48. Is the 5 years for selling drugs or trying to get a better education for her child? Either way, we are wasting salvageable lives and our tax dollars by locking her away.
    I sent my kids out of district because I could not get them to the school they were suppose to go to and still keep my job. I did not know I did something wrong. How many of us did this and were not sent to prison?

    Prisons are the new plantations regardless of the skin color of the prisoners. Nevertheless, Jim Crow is alive and well behind bars.

  49. Sounds like there are places where it is still illegal to teach a Black child to read.

  50. How do you steal a FREE education???

  51. This country is as backwards as any third world country. Sure, I get it . Selling drugs is against the law, and if you get caught doing it you go to jail. Simple as that. Drugs are bad they are not good for your health.They also cause a multitude of related problems. Thus we have laws and consequences for breaking them. Nowhere on this planet is education a bad thing, nor is it against the the law to obtain it. There is no such thing as stealing an education. Well maybe I could see not paying your tuition., However we are not talking about that. We are talking about going to jail for stealing a free education. Wait a minute! WHAT! Did that sound right to you? Just how in the hell can you steal a free education? Was information syphoned from the minds of some group of unsuspecting teachers? Or were books or computers stolen? Nooooooo! A homeless BLACK woman, who for fear of her child winding up homeless as an adult,sent her child to the best school she could afford, which just happened to be FREE and not located where she lived which is nowhere because she is homeless was sentenced to 5 years in prison for sending her child to a school outside of his district. What district? Does the word homeless mean anything to you? People this is just an excuse to send another black person to jail!!!! I believe when the powers that be sat back and really took a look at what they had done, it sounded stupid even to them. So they had to come up with some new BS.Quite typical of america and it’s ass backward laws.

  52. Doesn’t homeless mean without a home? Can’t you be homeless anywhere? How does that even work?

  53. The reactions here indicate just how easy it is to manipulate opinions. Obviously, the article’s headline is misleading. It is deliberately designed to distort, even deceive the reader. The headline would have been more accurate if it said “…Mother given 5 years for selling drugs…”
    The fact that she used her baby sitter’s address to send her kid to the wrong school district is secondary to the the principal charge of selling prohibited drugs. I don’t understand how anyone reading the article can come to any other conclusion unless they are simply looking for a claim of racism.

    I have raised three Black children and know all too well how treatment by whites can often be misinterpreted as discrimination. My own kids looked for racism when in fact they were being treated based on their behavior. For many years I investigatged descrimination cases for the NAACP, private companies and labor unions, so I know how to conduct objective investigations. This situation is unfortunate but it is not based on racism.

    • With all due respect, Tonya McDowell came on the “scene” and her saga begins with the education theft arrest. The drug charges were secondary. Had she not been arrested for sending her 5 year old to a kindergarten class in another district we would have never heard about Tonya or her drug charges. I’m just saying, her charges and the sentencing are disproportionate because the district does not arrest ALL people accused of stealing a free education

    • Ken, don’t quite know what sort of discriminatory investigations you have been doing for the NAACP without knowing to spell ‘discrimination, not investigation’ but I do think you need to re-read the article. The drug charge was tagged onto the charge of her sending her son to a school out of her district. This tells me the primary charge was the education refund and the secondary charge the drug charge–not rocket science, is it?

  54. The so called “LAWS” are purposefully bias….Again I say “Cause and effect” that mother is a victim of the very criminal society we all live in. It is ridiculous the time she has to serve. Previous comments are correct,less time for DUI even when death has occurred. The message here is, the system will tolerate just about anything…but a better education for children of color is not one of them.

  55. Dr. Robby Simpson

    Does anybody know what happend to the child? My wife and I would like to froster the child and when the mother is ready help her be a better mother not that she didn’t try but give her the tools to make life work for her. It’s time we stop all the talk and do something I am tried of reading everday about how our people are being treated I love this country and I am glad I live here but this country has never been about our people and never will be, we have to be about each other in the good, bad,and the ugly. We all fall we have to be there to pick each other up. What you hate is a clue to something you are assigned to correct.Three things I have learned in life, you cannot correct what you are unwilling to confront, Anything permitted will increase, and what you tolerate you cannot change.Lets us be about help and change. Much Love Gods Love Doc.

    • her child is with Tonya’s mother, his grandmother, and the CT Parent Union is working to ensure mom has what she needs to ensure Tonya’s son has all the school supplies, words of encouragement that he needs to be successful during his young years. We will support them to the best of our abilities.

      You can hep by signing the petition

      Please sign Tonya McDowelll pardon petition below regarding stealing a free Kindergarten education for her 5 yr old son!

      Working Together as a community, we can bring awareness to this school residency/zip code education issue and stop laws from being implemented that continue to oppress and marginalize “certain people”

    • @Dr. Robby Simpson: Wow, what an amazing, compassionate response. Thank you for talking the talk AND walking the walk. It really does take a village to raise a child and I think there’s more we could ALL do to help our struggling brothers and sisters besides railing about injustice (not that it isn’t sometimes helpful to realize you’re not the only one frustrated with the status quo). I don’t know what circumstances led this woman to be selling drugs (she could be an addict and selling to feed her habit), but that’s NOT the way to go about raising money for ANYTHING. Plus, she put her child in danger of being made a ward of the state and being exposed to the horrors of some foster care homes. However, when it comes to this Mother’s “crime” of sending her child to a better school district, I say that we as parents wouldn’t have to resort to this type of subterfuge if there was more parity in our educational system. If you can’t afford to live in a great neighborhood, you’re often limited to the poorest and worst performing schools. In spite of her drug crime, this Mother had the wherewithal to try to ensure a better life for her child and for that, she should not be penalized. Make the educational system equal and appropriate for EVERYONE and then talk to me about “stealing”. This Mom had just as much right to a proper education for her child than the richest of the rich. As a homeless Mom, it would be nearly impossible to get that any other way. The school districts and rules governing who goes to what school create the problem when they allow OUR children to languish in under-performing and ill-equipped schools and classrooms.

    • Thank you Dr. Simpson, this is exactly more of what we need–more of us to “walk the talk.” We do way too much talking and not nearly enough action to support the talk. Hopefully, we can turn this mother’s life around and give her son a fighting chance.

  56. I wonder if she would have gotten any time for “Home Schooling” the kid.

  57. To be A Judge was an Inherit right. No Education needed. Hell you don’t need an Education to be President, look at George Bush.

  58. No, it’s not about DRUGS, it’s about a mother trying to put HER CHILD in a better school. They made it be about DRUGS in order to lock her up. That’s why you never plead NO – CONTEST, it is viewed as a GUILTY plea. You know their favorite saying.. Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse, unless you’re a Mexican or any other RACE. During segragation Blacks had their own schools but because of intergration Whites were allowed to not only attend any school they wanted, they could stay at home an call it HOME SCHOOL. Does anbody remmember the TRUANT OFFICERS, if a black student didn’t go to school you were picked up and suspended or held for a 3rd party hearing. Even though we have always had Blacks in Politics, we have never been represented as a people. If Blacks were given REPARATIONS for SLAVERY we could build our own schools or even better, let the Mexicans build them sence they were never Slaves but get all opportunities that blacks never had. New Schools built just for Mexicans, AFDC, Welfare, WICK an any other GOV beni available and it don’t matter how many adults live in the house. We need our Own period point blank. And yes we are owed.

  59. She must have been a very petty drug dealeer if she was still homeless. They should go after the drug supplier who supplied her with the drugs to sell. 5 years is a long time for a petty drug sale if she is a first time offender. As for sending her child to a school outside of her district, that is a bogus charge. Her being homeless, she does not have a permanent residential address and so no residential district. The judgment was not lopsided by accident. You can see the caliber of some of the judges by noticing the “judge” who attacked president Obama by email.

  60. The judicial/criminal system is as lopsided Anglo-dominant, “white-racist” controlled as all of the government agencies of this very vile and racist country we were born into! Nothing has ever been fair and nothing has ever been right or proper.

    Some of us are living in a ‘whitewashed’ Cinderella fantasy, controlled by the “white” American power structure! They do not like “people of color”, but worse, hold a special hatred towards “blacks”!

    They are building more prisons especially for us! They are making good use of the constitutional amendment which allows slavery in prisons! They are making our lives here more difficult to survive than ever!
    Some of us have been very lucky from the beginning, in having all of the right conditions working in our favor, but that percentage is dwarfed by the great numbers of us who’ve never had a chance! Most of those who live (very) well and have a fair state-of-mind, seem unable to grasp the fact that tens of millions in our community are unable in any way, to reach the same milestones in life that you have! Some of you who are well-off believe that if you can improve yourselves, everyone can! That is corrupted fairy tale thinking, and it is not based in actual reality, and it doesn’t take in the truth that human life is very difficult for the poor, disadvantaged, and ignorant. Especially those who’s lives have been born into multi-generational violent racism, confusion, poor education, multi-discriminations, intentional drug attacks, prison, gangs, and abject poverty!

    You tend to sit on your high-horse and criticize without ever considering the history and psychosocial condition of the people [you] are attacking and the fact that outside sources (specific whites)are constantly attacking us all on numerous fronts!

    This African-American lady is suffering an all out attack on her life and the life of her child. There are millions of “blacks” who under the same form of attack as the one she is going through! If you find one of us going through this exact attack know that there are surely many more! There are hundreds of millions of “blacks” all over the world who are under worse attacks than hers. She may be forced to lose a chunk of her life in this “white man’s” prison system, but millions of those who look like her, like us, are being murdered by the same type of insane whites who would do this to her! You should only be shocked if you are living in a Anglo-dominant “white-man’s” contrived fantasy lifestyle and you are not paying very much attention to the realities of the convoluted and crushed African American, “black” condition, and mental psychosis that is all around you! I submit to you that although you feel that you are blessed. If one African American child and his mother suffers like this, she is not blessed, and if she is not blessed, then you are not blessed!

    In fact your mind is overwhelmingly twisted by a Eurocentric religious infection in such a way that you cannot see the “forest for the trees”! You’re pouring dirt in your own graves and attacking those who look-like-you because your mindset is twisted and cultured to cause you to think just like your white attackers!
    The Anglo-dominant “racist” society is so vile in this country that the elite would rather deny “whites” proper health and education than to share it with “blacks”! That’s reality! What is your reality?

  61. If it was just for the sending child out of district then it is too long. As far as the drug dealing- right time was given but I wonder how it was tied to one case. It should have been two different cases. I can now see hy they wouldn’t want the kid in their school because most likely-not all cases if his mother was dealing he may be a trouble maker as as well. Shame we were fooled to believe this was a mom looking out for the best of her child when she was doing more harm to him selling drugs

  62. she broke the law she goes to prison . If you want to stay out of prison stop breaking the laws black people. dont make excuses stop breaking the law

    • Sanchez this shouldn’t even be a law; You need to “ZIP YOUR LIPS”

    • SANCHEZ…..when you have something intelligent to say then come back to this site. Until then you are banned from the site, you idiot!

  63. This is totally insane. A DUI get less time. But for a mom want the best for her child and the law said that you shouldn’t do it, community service are slap on the risk. Five years come on, We say that a child needs his mother, they don’t think so. Where is the CLU?

  64. There are two seriously legal questions here, even though she did break the law.

    (1) The sentencing is excessive. In places like Georgia, as will be found elsewhere, a white person can only be sentenced to a maximum of 4 years in prison for killing a black person. It is excessive and should have been no more than a year on probation. Taking this mother away from her children is not punishing the mother, it is punishing the kids.

    (2) The drug dealing is a separate issue, and if she pled out, that needs to be revisited on appeal.

    (3) The law itself needs to be attacked. It is a derivative law of whites which is made to keep black students out of most white school districts. It’s called “redlining” and no student should be kept out of any school district that is publicly funded. It’s called discrimination.

    There should be a call down by the Connecticut political parties to draft a law that strikes down the redlining of public schools in that state and all others. Particularly if a person is homeless, they should be allowed to choose any school district they want.

    The law itself must be attacked. The law is illegal and discriminatory.

    • You are RIGHT! The CT Parent’s Union has drafted a petition on asking a pardon for Tonya McDowell for the kindergarten education theft.

      We also have introduced language to ct lawmakers to try and get school residency laws/zip codes education reformed in CT and abroad

      MLK “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

      Denying children access to a high quality education is the 21st century lynching technique, sad but true!

    • I am impressed by your keen and meticulous response to the case of Ms.McDowell. The law should be objective and unbiased serving the greater good of all its citizens. It’s clear this does not do that. Peace.

      • 1. Decision makers will continue to treat us “less than” until we demand better. Note. Our number one focus is to ensure Tonya’s 5 yr old back male does not get on the trajectory for a prison ID. we must help him get on the College ID pathway. we are the village therefore we need to handle the business of protecting our young people and seniors

        2. CT has an education law 10-186 that states if there is a question of school residency the parent is entitled to a due process hearing at the local school board level, the State school Board level and worst scenerio file a case in court. If parent loses they may have to pay back school cost

        3. Yet, CT chose to use a “flawed” not clearly defined judicial laws that states its a Felony to steal Gov’ services

        4. We must also remember there is a federal law call the McKinney Vento act that ensure education stability for children experiencing homelessness

        5. The bottom line CT SHOULD have put the needs of the child first but because they chose to be a BULLY to show this black mom who is the boss…here we are today

        Make NO mistake about this, this could happen to us or a loved one

        * Please sign this petition to Pardon Tonya McDowell for the “theft” of a Quality Kindergarten education for her 5 yr old Black male.

    • Dead ass!

    • I am in total agreement with you. Redlining takes place in several states and we need to get it stamped out. The child is the one suffering through her sentence and we need people to see this and stop this from happening to this parent and so many other single parents around the country.

  65. shealways puts godfirst

    The drug charge may b just another way to make this bullshit ass charge look good

  66. I think that this is a damn shame!

  67. This country was built on lies and deceit by criminals. The preface is to appear to care about families staying together, but all the while working very hard to break families of color apart. It is wrong what they have done to this young mother..”Cause and Effect” is what is going on here. Until we are together on this as a nation of people, it will only continue, and it will get worse. We should be outraged!

  68. Ruby, Connecticut has a lot of blacks, in fact in Bridgeport where she sold drugs, its the largest city in Connecticut and 38% of the population is indeed black. They don’t like blacks here anymore than they like blacks on Jersey. Our state police weren’t profiling blacks, kicking their assess and shooting the hell out them. Welcome to New Jersey.

  69. The fact she received five years for selling drugs to an undercover cop on several occasions.

  70. This is not about a mother sending her child to a school outside her district.

    This is about drugs, and this mother is lucky she only got 5 years!

    PLEASE STOP with the headings that are meant to incite folks, and of course slant it towards racism!

    Thank you.

    • You should not be BlackBeauty but BlackIDIOT….are you retarded or something? Who suffers when she gets sent to prison? I am not condoning her selling drugs. At the same time however, does the punishment fit the crime? She is a single mother who does need a lesson in making better choices but sending her child to a better school does not fall into that category. Her zoned school is a failing school and until the elected officials get off of their high horses and people like you take your heads out of the sand and DO something to improve the system instead of talking and blaming others then we all will be sending our children to non-failing schools regardless of the zoning. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING TO IMPROVE THINGS DON’T COMMENT!!!!!


  72. It occurs to me that the mother might have been selling drugs in order to raise enough money to get an apartment. There is no information on what type or how much of the drugs she had. But that’s Connecticut; they don’t have many Blacks there and don’t like us.

    • Renelda Moorehead

      Ruby from NJ–You are quite right in all you say, especially about Connecticut.That is all the more reason black American citizens have to cross all their t’s and dot all their i’s while fighting the good fight in this state. Not enough black Americans are standing and fighting within this system to achieve racial equality and justice. It
      seems they would rather be quiet; or sell dope.
      America is a racist country. WE must maintain the gain of the Civil Rights Movement by activism, not
      criticism alone. Too many black Americans are not engaged in their communities, socially or politically. They are the problem, not the solution.

  73. This is just MADNESS! With DROPOUT RATES, Why in the heck is this MOTHER being PUNISH for sending hers to SCHOOL. Come on PEOPLES… WE NEED TO RAISE OUR VOICES!

  74. What about her children left at home. This is so sad, are we not to want a better education for our children?

  75. Why is it that “12 million” illegal aliens can live in America, attending any school they want, but a citizen in America goes to jail? Why is it that 12 million illegal aliens can get “free” hospitalization, but American parents must pay?
    Why are the people indigenous to the U.S. be treated as second class citizens compared to those illegal…It reminds me when German prisoners from the second world war were treated with more respect , by allowing them to sit in the front of the trains in the U.S. over African American soldiers.

    White Racism is a metal illness that the world suffers from and will eventually be destroyed from. But people think they’re so damn smart. They suffer from megalomania,which classifies them as literally insane to me. There’s no other way to logically see it.

    • I concurr okpara nosakhere!!!!!!!!!
      nothing else can be said you have said it all!!!!

      Rap on Rap on !!!!!!Blood

    • Renelda Moorehead

      @okpara nosakhere–And doesn’t it make you wonder why President Obama is SUPPORTIVE OF MEXICAN ILLEGAL ALIENS?

    • STANDING OVATION!! My points exactly!! Now let’s collectively do what’s necessary to get this to Obama and Co.

      Great job also to Gwen S for the petition!! Let’s all sign it…. R u reading carefully WATCHER!

      • Ummm. Obama is a Democrat. His party does not support school choice. Trust that the DOE and DOJ of Obama’s cabinet supports this ruling.

        • School choice is not the solution. It leaves millions of kids behind in failing schools. The issue is more complex than a post discussion.

    • Not understanding this absurd tirade against “illegal aliens”. Sounds like some crackkka mess . ” indigenous”? The only people indigenous to this land are the naive americans….and yes the mexicans you see fit to rail against as if somehow they are the problem here. So called illegals did not charge this sister with a crime white folks in the ct school district did. Illegals did not sentence her to prison white folks did. Lets not allow anyone to confuse us about who we must address on this sisters prosecution for “stealing an education” . By the way be aware that so called “illegals” pay billions of dollars in taxes and are owed millions in refunds which they never collect. They pay into social security which they never collect. You simply do not know the facts or are more interested in redirecting the righteous anger of Black people against other poor oppressed people. Nah not buyin it .

      • Righ On Sundiata:

        We have to be aware, like you, of the divide and conquer tactic, of the “white power elite” /
        The situation of the undocumented people have nothing to do with the abuse committed against this sister.

  76. Please sign the petition below asking the CT Governor to pardon Tonya McDowell for “Stealing” a Free Public Kindergarten Education for her 5 year old son!

    • Thank u for being proactive. I will be signing the petition. We also need to flood that districts politians with calls

    • I agree this is the kind of proactive expression we all need to participate in. KUDOS GwenS.

      Power 2 the people.

    • Pardon her? She is a drug dealer. Yeah right. No thanks. I dont like what drug dealing mothers who steal tax payers’ money have done to our communities…

  77. The anger I’m feeling now leaves me speechless. This is a classic example of how dislusional black folks are who think that they’re free. Slavery is not over, it’s only been modernized. Wake up people!

    Where’s the civil rights leaders on this slap in the face to the people who built this sick country?

    • Al . getting paid .. Jesse done got laid & ll the rest afraid to go broke , so they choke , leaving the rest of US folk’ in the poke’ ( ode to Jackson & his NON action)

  78. This heading is so inflammatory and lopsided. The issue is DRUGS. No doubt, her sentence would have been different had she not been selling drugs, so this is a red-herring heading. If the charges were brought together, then a judge could easily conclude that the mother should be punished. Now, the child is motherless because she was stupid enough to sell drugs. The article seeks to generate sympathy, which is inappropriate considering her drug conviction. That was stupid and immature on her part and the judge felt justified. How could she care about the education of her child, when she’s selling drugs? She is likely a danger to her own child because she mixed with unsavory characters, most likely.

    Sorry. I feel for the child. The mother was an idiot.

    • I have to agree with VL T. The title is inflammatory. The real issue is that she was selling drugs!!!

      • Actually – one should have little to do with the other. The mother selling drugs should not keep her son from getting a good education. Unless you want him to grow up to be a drug dealer too.

      • “VL TReply

        March 6, 2012 at 12:36 am
        This heading is so inflammatory and lopsided. The issue is DRUGS. No doubt, her sentence would have been different had she not been selling drugs, so this is a red-herring heading”

        Lefuarn HarveyReply
        March 6, 2012 at 12:54 am
        I have to agree with VL T. The title is inflammatory. The real issue is that she was selling drugs!!!


        “The state has accused McDowell of stealing $15,686 worth of education from the city of Norwalk. She was also convicted of four counts of selling narcotics, which added to her sentence. She pleaded guilty to dealing drugs on February 7”

        ms mcdowell was convicted of stealing $15,686 worth of education
        the issue is about “education theft”. that is what the most time is for. the drug charges only added some time.
        some white folks can’t or won’t, or don’t want to see the truth even if it is slapping them in the face.

    • Read carefully. She got 12 years total…5 of them was specifically for “stealing” the free education. The topic is NOT drugs. Kind of tired of some of u guys alleged denial where u pretend u don’t see the discrimination and are constantly blaming the victim. Yes she shouldn’t have been selling drugs…thats common sense and hardly worth mentioning. That has nothing to do with her wanting, and deserving a good education for her kids. Do your research people so u can see that the opportunities afforded to whites are not afforded to blacks all the time. Yes the constitution may say all men are created equal, but the powers that be will always find a loophole to let us know that we are NOT all equal. Nt at all.

    • If the people of this corrupt world would read the LORD’S WORD, maybe they would STOP being so judgemental about another persons situation! One never knows what caused this mother to sell drugs. It is amazing how everyone wants to voice their opinions; however, if you, and you know who YOU ARE have not prayed for the person, then you need to check your message before posting it. Matter of fact, it takes less time to pray for people rather than to talk about them or judge them!

      Mathew 7:1says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Now, let the Church say “AMEN”…

    • Yeah. Dr. Watkins frequently used inflammatory language in his headlines to mislead people and increase the divide between Blacks and Whites. I truly believe that he is a part of the race problem in America.

  79. Wow…SMH . Ok I get the drug charge..but how does school district play a part in an actual crime? I mean morally because pedophiles don’t get that much time . Hard to respect certain laws and their enforcers when we have kids being molested raped and killed and those offenders sometimes are just getting a slap on the wrist. The world is Definitley the devils playground

  80. Wtf! This is some serious b/s right here. White & Black people do this shit all.the time in Atlanta if you have the means to get your kid on time. The issue is why is the school so screwed up that she needed to send her kid out of the district? These devils always find a loophole to lock our folks up when its their damn system that’s fucked up! I hope some of these black folks with the heads in the sand read this story and realize the race war isn’t over b/c you live in the burbs, got an education & drive a BMW. Wake up people!

    • Renelda Moorehead

      To Madpoet–You make more sense than I have read in a long time. I just hope folks DO WAKE UP. You
      are right on when you criticize folks who have college degrees and drive luxury cars. They are trying to pretend we live in a “post-racial” America. / But, the school system in Bridgeport must be horrible. Standing and fighting to make it better would be a better solution than running away to another school district. More black Americans need to learn how to become PROACTIVE in
      their communities. Maybe the college-dgreed who came from these communities could help by volunteering to teach social/political proactivism.

    • I agree! What kind of drugs was she convicted for selling MJ to try n feed her kids and get them to school? Where is the grinnin and singin Obama’s on this one? Especially the ever popular First Lady who won’t touch any issue affecting blacks or black women unless it directly affected her when they labeled her angry black woman…

      Boyce, how about a call to action on this?! And shuttin down the tokens who will appear to get brownie points agreeing with this injustice. You have the media voice and contacts to put this in front of Obama. Doesn’t matter its election time, it’s way overdue to make real change and stop the hyprocrisy and this injustice against this Black woman and her family. By the way did she go before the Judge who said Obama’s mama slept with animals???

      • Daisy123 – You pretend to be one of us but you are not and are really a nasty hairy azz with you filthy diatribe. We are NOT fooled by your nasty comments and know that you AREN’T one of us! Go and join R.L. on his site with your NASTY self because I and most likely WE don’t want to hear your filth!

        • Watcher! U can’t possibly be questioning who I am! Just for the record, I’m one those BLACKS! ( R U ?)fighting for justice, not afraid to take a stand (against Obama, you or anyone else) , working in our communities and standing up against injustices and silly ass tokens like you who don’t and won’t get it!

          Lol! You can’t possibly be one of us, cuz if you are then you would get it, but no surprise you don’t. But oh well, it’s the likes of u who keep the RLimbaughs and the likes making money bcuz you scared to speak the Truth!

          What u so mad at? THE TRUTH!!

        • Next time before you make a comment, READ CAREFULLY, unless your understanding is limited!

        • Which part was ‘ nasty’ .???

      • This type of injustice goes on all the time. And yes blacks, whites, latino etc have all put their kids in different school districts so as the other writer said …they should have just called it what it was and stated 5 years for drugs period. I think thou we all need to get off our collective april sugar sugars and be proactive and quit blaming President Obama and his spouse because he can’t do everything although point taken. They want Michelle to be militant so i see her dilemma as well.The blame game has gotten old.It’s time to move on. Whatever our different backgrounds;book educated or street or both; it cuts both ways. It’s her today but tommorrow it could be one of us. No anger here; just another point of view. Enjoying the dialogue. And if it takes marching like our parents did…lets roll.

    • Mr.MP,
      I empathize with your anger, but to quote Franz Fanon, anger is the weapon of impotents. A better use of that energy might be seeking to prevent such an injustice from happening to all the other struggling black mothers in the U.S. Its true, the revolution will not be televised, but it is equally true that knowledge is power. We,the black men of America, have to start being men who respect and nurture our women and children. Where was the father of this child?, and how could he stand by while the mother of his child was in between a rock and a hard place! If I may quote another great scholar, “a race without authority and power is a race without respect”,M.Garvey. WE have an African American in the Whitehouse and look at the incivility he has to endure from both his constituents as well as his congressman.
      In short, let us focus on the cause in order to undo the effect. Turning on one another is exactly what the adversary desires. Power is the only argument that satifies man. M.Garvey.

      • How did this turn to an attack on black men? We don’t know what happened in her relationship that resulted in her being a single parent.

        This brings me to anther problem I have with some black people: They drink the cool-aid and now are useless in the struggle to address systemic isssues that are unique to the black community. This notion that individual responsibilty, although important, is the solution to ills in poor black communities is wrong. Overturning egregous and oppressive policies that benefit the prison industrial complex (mass incarceration, recidivism, child support that is nothing more than an arm of the criminal justice system), disinvestment, failing schools, lack of affordable housing and so on. These are things Obama has neglected. Mayby he is hoping for a second term where he does not have to worry about re-election before he addresses these issues. I will not hold my breath, though.

    • hey mad…did ya see the part of the story where she admitted to selling drugs?

      • She accepted a plea deal, which is what most poor black and brown (and even some poor white) people do. Most do so even when they are innocent because they are afraid they will lose in court and receive a longer or harsher sentence. This happens often and members in poor communities have accepted it as business as usual in the criminal justice system.

        I have seen a case where a teenager was facing three years in prison and did not meet his public defender until 10 to15 minutes before the actual trial– and they met in the hallway to discuss a strategy. WHAT? More than 90% of convictions are the result of plea deals.

    • I dont understand what Black and White has to do with this. Devils? Racist much? Yeah people do this all the time, and they should know that it is illegal. People also lie to get foodstamps and Medicaid all the time. It is STILL illegal. All the Black people who think that you should be able to send your child to good schools that are outside of your district ought to stop blindly supporting every Democrat politician that comes along. Democrats push policies that mandate what school you send your kids to. Republicans push school choice…

      • Here in Fresno, CA we get a chance to send our kids to a differnt school when “the schools report card rating is not above standard”. Then is when the parents should take advantage of a new school, they DON’T, but they fuss about it all the time. Regarding the rest of the article, not down with anyone taking down our brothers and sisters with drugs. Prison time – I don’t think she should have do any time for wanting her kid in a better school.

        • Yeah. The way i see it: she wasnt penalized for wanting her child(ren) in a better school. There are ways to legally make that happen. That is what the No Child Left Behind Act made possible. You have a some choice. But you have to do it legally. She was penalized for using deceit and circumventing the law (spitting in the face of those who go through the necessary hassle to do it legally). smh. Cheaters never prosper.

      • Simplistic. Only a small number of kids are accepted to any one school, leaving thousands behind. Also, in rural area or areas with poor public transportation systems, another unneeded burden is placed on the parent to get the child to the school. And once the best and brightest leave the failing schools, the test scores decline further and the school loses more funding and more kids are left behind. Policies that place income as the determination for good schools was inacted by conservatives who want to end public education because many of their kids attend private schools.

        I’m in Japan and they are some of the smartest and most uccessful because the country as a whole values education for all. They would never cut education and teachers are respected as much as doctors and lawyers.

    • I am a Childcare Director in Beverly Hills California and I see this BULLSH*T committed by whites, persians and a host of other nationalities all of the time. Once they are found out they usually threaten to sue for mental distress which the city will obligedly let the child finish the school year Unfortunately Ms Mcdowell’s SKIN COLOR is her TRUE CRIME!!! WHICH some may consider A FELONY. She may have been caught with drugs and should receive the same punishment as her causasion cohort…. a slap on the wrist.
      As one once said “MY Skin is my Sin”