School Takes Mom's Wedding Ring When She Can't Afford Summer School

A mom in Ohio says she was so desperate to get her seventh-grade son into summer school that she offered up her diamond wedding ring when she couldn't afford the $400 tuition.

Tamika Hamilton agreed to leave her ring, which of course has both monetary and sentimental value, with Maple Heights City Schools Superintendent Charles Keenan until she paid off the summer school amount in full. The suggestion to let them hold onto an item of value was Keenan's idea, but he insists he wasn't attempting to "run a pawn shop" and was simply trying to help out a parent in need.

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Hamilton says she agreed to sign a contract stating that she would leave her ring, where it would be safe in the district's care, until she paid back the $400. But their agreement didn't sit well with one school board member, who reportedly personally returned the ring to Hamilton at her house. When Keenan met with the board, it sounds like they more or less lambasted him for accepting the ring, which he insists wasn't going to be used as "collateral."

The sad part is: none of this even made a difference because Hamilton's son has apparently been left back for poor attendance -- something his mother is currently disputing with the Ohio Department of Education.

I believe Keenan was only trying to do what he thought was right for this mom. I'm not sure why this creative approach was taken before implementing something much simpler, like allowing the mom to pay what she could each week until the tuition was fully paid. If anything, he is guilty of complicating matters by accepting the ring, but it certainly seems like his heart was in the right place.

We all know it costs money to send a child to school, but there's something about likening a child's education to a diamond that belittles its importance and leaves a bad taste in our mouths. A better approach here would have been to treat the cost like you would anything else this mom might buy on credit -- give her time to pay it off and charge her interest if you must.

Do you think the superintendent did something wrong by accepting this mom's diamond ring because she couldn't afford summer school tuition?

 

Image via Koshy Koshy/Flickr

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