Fairfield, OH–As anti-male as family courts are, this story is still a little hard to believe. The case is described in the story Man Jailed After Daughter Fails To Get GED (WCPO TV, 5/9/08). Ben, a reader, says:
1) Father was ordered to see to it that his daughter got her GED
2) Daughter’s problems in school were at a time that she lived with her mother
3) Both mother and daughter agree that either one of them should go to jail before the father.
4) Father’s current wife believes he might lose his job of 15 years for being in jail
To their credit, both women in the story–the mother and the daughter (pictured)–accept responsibility for the problem, and say if anyone should be punished it’s them, not the dad.
According to the story:
“A Fairfield man is in jail because his daughter hasn’t gotten her General Equivalency Diploma (GED).
“A judge ordered the father to stay on top of his daughter’s education months ago and when that order wasn’t followed, Brian Gegner was sentenced to 180-days in the Butler County jail.
“The daughter, Brittany Gegner, says her father shouldn’t be punished for her problems.
“Especially, she says because she’s now 18, an adult.
“‘It’s ridiculously wrong,’ said Brittany Gegner.
“‘Of all the punishments they could have given him, to make him go to jail?,’ she asked. ‘I mean, probation – until I get my GED – would be reasonable, but to send him to jail? That’s overboard.’
“Butler County Juvenile Court Judge David Niehaus ordered Gegner to jail for contributing to the delinquency of a minor by not following a court order which required Gegner to be sure his daughter got her GED.
“This comes after ongoing problems of Brittany skipping classes at Fairfield High School and then, Butler Tech.
“While Brian Gegner had custody of her, Brittany says it was while she lived with her mother that she was truant.
“‘I’m about to be 19 and my Dad’s being punished for something I did when I was 16,’ she said.
“‘It’s like I should, if anybody should be punished for this,’ said Brittany. ‘I would way rather me go to jail than my Dad.’
“‘They probably should have punished me if they were going to punish anybody,’ said Brittany’s mother Shana Roach. ‘Because she did live with me at the time, but because he had the custody, that’s why he’s being punished.’
“‘But I don’t understand the punishment all together because she’s going to school, she’s been going for four months,’ said Roach. ‘The only thing that’s holding her back is she can’t pass her math test.'”
Read the full article here.
It still seems like there must be more to this than we’re hearing. If Butler County Juvenile Court Judge David Niehaus wishes to respond with his side of the story, he may do so by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will publish what he sends me.