Mom Can’t Afford Son’s Summer Session, School Takes Her Diamond Ring As Collateral

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diamond-ringAn Ohio mother wanted to send her son to summer school, but didn’t have the money. She went to the Superintendent with her financial woes, and he did what any person totally divorced from reality administrator would do — he recommend she leave something of value in exchange for her son’s tuition. Because that’s not weird at all.

Tamika Hamilton says that when she told Superintendent Charles Keenan she couldn’t pay the $400 up front, he suggested she could leave something of value in the district safe until she was able to raise the money for the summer school bill. She decided on diamond ring that she wears. Um, are there no financial aid programs in the state that he could point her to? And if the answer to that is “no” – isn’t signing an agreement to pay the bill good enough? When did school administrators become loan sharks? This whole situation is just weird. From WKYC:

“I was surprised, but I wanted my son to go to summer school,” says Hamilton. She showed us the contract, and Keenan confirmed the contract.

“In my tenure, I’ve done this a handful of times, when parents can’t pay up front. I can look myself in the mirror and know that I was trying to help this family. It was a unique situation, ” says Keenan. “It was not collateral. We do not run a pawn shop. I did this with the best of intentions, but no good deed goes unpunished. I’m going to be put through the wringer for trying to help.”

If the fees associated with programs like summer sessions are so prohibitive for some parents that the Superintendent has to start his own district pawn shop, shouldn’t this Superintendent be looking into ways to help parents who can’t afford these programs pay for them, instead of patting himself on the back for taking something of value from them so they don’t skip out on their bill? This does not sit well.

I guess we can just add this Superintendent’s bad idea to the long list of how we shame people who don’t have enough money for basic services in this country. You want your kid to go to summer school? Too bad you can’t afford it! I seriously doubt you’ll even try to pay this back, so why don’t you give me something that’s important to you so I can guarantee that you will. 

“No good deed goes unpunished.” Yeah. That’s definitely the takeaway from this situation, Mr. Superintendent.

(photo: aodaodaodaod/ Shutterstock)