Deployed woman's daughter denied public school enrollment

by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:

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HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - A technicality is keeping a 5-year-old girl out of public school while her mother is serving in the Navy, according to the child's grandmother.

Yolette Johnson told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri she has been unable to register her granddaughter, Deja Brown, at Stockbridge Elementary School in Henry County, even though she produced the necessary paperwork.

Johnson has power of attorney from her daughter, LaReina Boswell, who is away on duty.

She told Viteri when she went to enroll Deja at school, she was told she could not because the apartment she lives in was leased by Boswell.

"Because I'm not the lessee, they told me I could not register. But all of us is on that lease," Johnson explained.

She said she is the longtime Henry County resident, not her daughter.

She showed Viteri where her name is also on the lease, listed as a tenant.

A Henry County Schools spokesperson provided a copy of the registration requirements, which Johnson said she met.

"So now we ended up putting her in private kindergarten paying for it," Johnson said.

She said it's a financial stress costing the family hundreds of dollars each month.

Johnson said she is frustrated for her daughter, an Iraq War veteran, who can't be here in person.

"Discouraged. Especially for our troops that serve this country," Johnson said.

A schools spokesman said the district wouldn't deny enrollment to a child whose guardian had the legal paperwork required. He said the district would review the case to clarify what happened or see if something was missed.



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