Parents Should Send Kids to 'Wrong School'
WSJ writer agast at schools that follow children home
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2011 2:20 PM CDT
Michael Flaherty argues in the Wall Street Journal that disenfranchised, minority parents have every right to send their children to schools outside their district.   (AP Photo/Scanpix Sweden, Hasse Holmberg, File)

(Newser) – Sending your child to a better school outside your district is a worthy act of civil disobedience—especially if you're a disenfranchised minority parent, argues Michael Flaherty in the Wall Street Journal. Exasperated parents "whose children are zoned into failing public schools" have even started a mini-crime wave across at least four states: Now parents in Ohio, Connecticut, Kentucky, and Missouri are all awaiting sentencing for sending their children through the "wrong" school doors.

"Only in a world where irony is dead could people not marvel at concerned parents being prosecuted for stealing a free public education for their children," Flaherty writes. He cringes at school officials who have hired investigators to follow kids home and paid tipsters $250 for info on school district cheaters. But beleaguered parents can find inspiration in the 1943 novel "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," about an Irish immigrant daughter who dares to attend an out-of-district school and "eventually becomes an accomplished writer who tells the story of her transformation through education."