Home » Branches » DFER California Home » Branches » DFER California » DFER California Blog Home » Press

December 4, 2012

Coalition Gathers to Demand Reforms in Support of Parents Arrested for Protecting Child's Education


December 4th, 2012

For more information contact:
Devin Boyle | 202.445.0416 | devin@dfer.org

National Coalition to Gather at Philadelphia Legislator’s Office to Demand Legal Reforms in Support of Parents Unjustly Arrested for Protecting Their Child’s Education

WHEN: Thursday, December 6, 2012, 11:00a.m - 12:00p.m.

WHERE: 3503 North B Street Unit 7, Philadelphia, PA 19134 - Office of Rep. Angel Cruz

WHAT: Democrats for Education Reform California (DFER CA) has joined a national coalition of education groups to host a press conference demanding legal reforms to a system that has unjustly arrested the parents of a Montgomery County School District (PA) kindergarten student.

The coalition will urge the Montgomery County School District to drop the ludicrous criminal charges they filed against Hamlet and Olesia Garcia for keeping their daughter in Pine Road Elementary School for two months after moving to minimize the disruption to her education. The coalition will request that the county allow the Garcias to pay the school district the cost of tuition for two months. They will also ask the U. S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate state and local school residency laws to ensure no parent is denied equal protections as outlined under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

After moving out of the district with just two months left in the school year, the Garcias kept their daughter enrolled in Pine Road Elementary to maintain stability until the end of the term.

The district then filed criminal charges without notifying the family that their residency had become an issue. Without knowledge of their “wrongdoing,” the Garcias were shocked when they were later arrested. In an attempt to resolve the issue, the Garcias requested a hearing with the superintendent and school board and offered to cover the cost of the two months of tuition to the school. Incredibly, the district refused on both accounts - clearly making an unfair example of the family.


  • Philadelphia parents, community members, education advocates, reformers and supporters from across the country
  • Angel Cruz, Philadelphia Representative 
  • Mr. and Mrs. Garcia
  • Attorney Thomas D. Kenny, Esq. (the Garcias’ attorney)
  • Gloria Romero, California Senator (ret), DFER CA Director and author of nation’s first Parent Trigger Law
  • Matthew Smith, Philadelphia National Action Network
  • CT Parents Union President and Founder Gwen Samuel
  • Kelley Williams Bolar of Ohio, also arrested for education theft

Spanish Speaking Support Available
InformaciĆ³n en espaƱol: (215) 621-621-9303


(Download the PDF here.)