Home > 2014 > Personal Finance > Mom Traded Her Diamond Ring for Son’s Classes

Mom Traded Her Diamond Ring for Son’s Classes

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A mother’s attempt to pay for her son’s summer school classes erupted into controversy in a Cleveland suburb after a local news outlet reported on the situation. Tamika Hamilton said she didn’t have the $400 needed for her son’s summer school, so the superintendent told her she could leave a valuable item in the district safe until she came up with the money. She handed over a diamond ring so her son could take classes.

The school board wasn’t happy to hear about the arrangement, WKYC reported Sept. 17, and after Hamilton signed a contract with Maple Heights City Schools Superintendent Charles Keenan, a board member came to her house to return the ring.

Coming up with creative ways to pay for school isn’t a bad thing — it’s often a necessity with higher education — but this instance of trading a diamond ring for a seventh-grader’s summer school has understandably raised eyebrows.

“It was not collateral,” Keenan told the TV station. “We do not run a pawnshop. 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.”

Apparently, this isn’t the first time Keenan struck such an agreement with a district parent, but in an interview with WKYC, he said he has done it to help families who aren’t able to pay upfront for classes they want their kids to take. Despite Keenan’s seemingly good intent, the case has been referred to the Ohio Department of Education’s Personal Conduct Office, WKYC reports.

As for Hamilton’s son, he reportedly could not take the necessary summer school classes, and he has been held back because of attendance issues from the previous academic year. Presumably, the summer school would have allowed him to make up for the missed time in the classroom.

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