Tanya McDowell, a homeless mother in Connecticut, is currently facing up to twenty years in prison and a $15,000 fine for "stealing" something that is given away for free. She is charging with using a friend's address on paperwork so that her five year-old son could go to a better school.
"There has to be a penalty for stealing our services," school board president Jack Chiaramonte countered in The Daily Norwalk. (The school district did not press charges against McDowell, however. She is charged by the city.)
McDowell, who used to work in food services, told the Stamford Advocate she occasionally stayed in a Norwalk homeless shelter--but she didn't register there, which would have made her son eligible to attend the school. "I had no idea whatsoever that if you enroll your child in another school district, it becomes a crime," the 33-year-old told the paper.
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