1. The Garcia’s enrolled their five year old daughter in Pine Elementary School in Montgomery County in Pennsylvania (2 blocks from Philadelphia).
2. The child was legally eligible to attend Pine elementary school in Montgomery County due to the fact of the child and wife lived in Montgomery County school district at the time of enrollment.”
3.The Garcia’s child and her mother moved out of Montgomery County school district to the Philadelphia school district two months before the school year ended. It is at this time when the question of the Garcia’s school residency became an issue which led to the parents being arrested.
4. The Garcia’s requested a hearing with the Superintendent before the School board and were denied that hearing. Furthermore the Garcia’s never received anything in writing regarding this school residency issue or any bill stating they owed any education cost for their child.
5. The Garcia’s agreed to pay the education cost for their child to continue at Pine Elementary school to ensure education stability for their child but the school district refused to accept school tuition and pursued heavy handed criminal charges instead to make the Garcia’s an example and send a message [parents should not put their children in schools where they don’t belong].
6. Mr. Garcia states “these charges are based on a misunderstanding by authorities” [because this is an interpretation issue of education school residency laws versus a criminal matter]
In closing, Pre-k through 12th grade School Residency issues are an education and/or maybe a civil challenge not criminal matter and parents should not be made “criminals” when issues of school residency arises! This is a heavy handed form of "justice" that does not take into account the educational needs of children.
Parents should be afforded due process in all school residency issues to further ensure school districts are not arresting a homeless family protected by the McKinney Vento Act - an act that protects the educational rights of homeless children or a parent that has relocated due to domestic violence issues...
The bottom line is all parents must make the best decisions to protect the educational and overall well being of their children.
Based on research, it appears school residency arrest "target" low-income families, Blacks and Hispanics more than any other ethnicity or class of people.
Arresting parents for school residency/zip code education violations is a heavy handed prosecution that promote segregation and discrimination practices based on where a child lives. School residency laws directly violate the civil right law of Brown v. Board of Education and violates federal equal protection laws.
Therefore, we must END separate and unequal school systems.
"Brown v Board of Education is one of the most historical court cases especially in terms of education. This case took on segregation within school systems, or the separation of white and black students within public schools. Up until this case, many states had laws establishing separate schools for white students and another for black students. This landmark case makes separate and unequal school systems unconstitutional.