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NBC: School Says They Weren’t Responsible for Charging Tonya McDowell

by on April 26, 2011

From NBC Connecticut

A homeless, unemployed mom from Bridgeport has gained a lot of attention after she was arrested for sending her 6-year-old son to school, and now the school is saying they did not go after her.

Tanya McDowell, 33, has been accused of stealing $15,686 worth of education for her son from Norwalk when they were staying in Bridgeport.

McDowell told police she was living in a van and occasionally sleeping at a Norwalk shelter or a friend’s Bridgeport apartment when she enrolled her 6-year-old son at Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary.

He attended the school from September 2010 until Jan. 14, 2011, according to Norwalk Public Schools.

Police began investigating in January, after the Norwalk Housing Authority filed a complaint that McDowell had registered her son at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk, even though she had been living in an apartment on Priscilla Street in Bridgeport.

On Jan. 11, McDowell testified in housing court that she lived in Bridgeport and never said she was homeless, according to Norwalk Schools officials. She moved her son to Bridgeport schools sometime before Jan. 19 and Bridgeport reached out to Norwalk for the boy’s previous school information, according to Norwalk school officials.

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