The News Muse



I love reading the news…

I mean…


On facebook (and other social media sites) I am what you call a serial poster.

I mean…I truly have a problem…

A problem which in many ways has yeilded a solution to other problems…

I didn’t understand just how this problem actively worked as a solution…until 1 AM this morning as I was reading for class and writing for legal writing.

While taking a quick distraction break (just enough to see if I had a comment or something on facebook) I noticed an article that was posted by one my friends at another law school.

This article detailed how a woman was convicted as a felon, placed on 3 years probation and sent to jail for 10 days for perpetrating “fraud”.


You know what this lady’s crime was…?

Using her father’s address as her own so that her two little girls would have the ability to attend a better school than the one that was closest to the projects the family lived in.

As someone who is primarily interested in Education and Criminal Law, especially the intersections of the two, this story was like a saving grace for me.

Not in anyway that is joyous and celebratory but in way that reshapes, redifines, and renews purpose.

In one quick distractionary break, I was reminded why I am here.

Why I deal with the stress, the lack of sleep, the never ending work….everything that comes with law school.

It was right here.

I have attended an underperforming school, my mother and grandmother have taught at underperforming schools.

I have seen the impact that educational opportunities have on one’s future.

Indeed as a member of the Education Law Society, I have had passionate discussions about all of these topics inspired by movies like “Waiting for Superman.”

In one quick glance at facebook.

I was reminded why I was here.

Reminded that all the things I don’t like about being here are serving a purpose….are preparing me to venture into the world and handle my business.

This is no cliche’.

I am here for the sole purpose of being the voice of the voiceless for those from communities similar to the one I and these two little girls come from.

All of the problems that I talked about wanting to fight, came rushing into my view again…

It’s ironic that I found focus while hoping to find distraction…

While complaining about my work load, My passion was reloaded.

No one where from where I’m from has ever had the opportunity that I have…

I know this….

People at home know this….

I have a whole community of people affected in very similar ways rooting for me at home…

Indeed, the road is rough…but the reward is worth it…

It is inconcievable that a woman who only wanted her children to have opportunities that would be denied to her children simply because of their zip code, is being convicted as a felon and treated like a common criminal.

For seeking a better education for her children she is convicted of fraud…which is ironic because what motive could be more honest.

I went (and others bused in from the area of town my grandparents lived in) went to a pretty good elementary school. I went on a zone variance…because my mother was a teacher there.

Imagine if she was not.

I may or may not be here right now…

To make this story that I read all the more troubling…this woman was also going to school for education….to become a teacher….like my mother…

And now that she is a felon…she will not be able to teach…

The judge felt like her acts were so aggregious…that her not being able to teach was a worthy punishment…

In seeking a better education for her children…she has been branded a felon…and denied the opportunity to teach herself…

Interestingly enough…I have my constitution and criminal law classes this morning.

I’m inspired….how about you?


jjcrave posted on January 25, 2011 at 10:51 am

I’m inspired, too! Great post connecting this miscarriage of justice in the news to your own story and law school. Look out for an email soon about upcoming EdLaw events!

NG posted on January 28, 2011 at 2:02 am

Great post, Brandon. read it as my 1am legal writing distraction…

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