Al Sharpton Speaks Up for Mothers Fighting for Children’s Education

Al Sharpton Speaks Up for Mothers Fighting for Children’s Education

The civil rights activist supports those arrested for sending their children to an out-of-district school.

Published June 7, 2011

The Rev. Al Sharpton will speak at a local NAACP rally tonight in support of Tonya McDowell , a mother charged with illegally enrolling her son in a Norwalk, Connecticut, public school.


Sharpton says that he wants to "nip the trend in the bud" involving the arrests of Black mothers wrongly enrolling their children in school.


McDowell was arrested in Norwalk, Conn., after school officials found out that she was sending her child to a public school in an area in which she did not permanently live. She said that she was homeless at the time, but stayed at the Norwalk Emergency Shelter occasionally and that’s why she enrolled her six-year-old in the school. She is now facing more than $15,000 on charges of first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny for allegedly stealing.


She is currently out on bail but will return to court Wednesday. If found guilty, she would be forced to pay the charges and spend up to 20 years in jail. 


The purpose of the Equal Education for All Rally is to fight for equitable education for all.


“We rally to fix the broken educational system—because no child should live in fear that their parent will be arrested for trying to get them a decent education,” says the Connecticut chapter of the NAACP.


The assembly will take place at Brookside Elementary School in Norwalk, Connecticut. This is the second public case this year where a mother was arrested for sending her child to an out-of-district school. The first arrest was to Kelley Williams–Bolar who was charged with first degree larceny for sending her two daughters to an out-of-district school in Ohio.


(Photo: Dario Cantatore/PictureGroup)

Written by Danielle Wright


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