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Omitting a Felony

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If someone gets caught sending their kids to school in another town, they face a felony charge, the way Marie Menard did in 2010.

"When we were fighting this," she said, "the lawyer comes out and says to me, 'Look, if we don't win this, you can get 20 years.' I'm gonna tell you, I was scared."

Menard stood with activists from the Connecticut Parents Union to urge legislators to change the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.

She was caught sending her two grandsons to school in Stratford even after their mother had moved to Milford. Both women were arrested. Instead of going to trial they agreed to pay restitution.

"$20,000 I had to come up with," said Menard. "We scrounged to get that. I had two years to pay it."

Sen. Eric Coleman, (D) Bloomfield, co-chair of the legislature's judiciary committee, supported the move.

"Prosecutors, perhaps, are being overzealous," Coleman said. "I think boards of education and school districts are being overzealous on this issue.  It's something that really doesn't need to happen."

Coleman called for charging violators for tuition, not charging them with felonies.

 


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