Good News! Judge Backs Down in Case Where Dad was Jailed Because His Adult Daughter Didn’t Get Her GED

Fairfield, KY–Several days ago I shared this outrageous story with you–Father Jailed Because His Adult Daughter Fails to Get Her GED. In the case, father Brian Gegner was ordered to see to it that his daughter gets her GED, but she has not done so, in part because she struggles with math. The daughter’s problems in school came at a time when she lived with her mother. The daughter herself–now almost 19-years-old–says that she alone is responsible for her own problems and that her father shouldn’t be blamed. Nevertheless, the father is in jail on a six month sentence, and Butler County Judge David Niehaus said he would only release him if the daughter passed her GED.

In my Wednesday morning blog post Protest Ohio Outrage: Father Jailed Because His Daughter Didn’t Get Her GED!, Michael Robinson of the California Alliance for Families and Children and I urged all of you to call Niehaus and also the Governor of Ohio to demand Brian Gegner’s release. We have just received some excellent news–the judge in the case has backed down, and has released the father. He will remain free as long as his daughter merely attends GED classes, as opposed to having to pass the GED.

While this is still an abuse of judicial authority, it is also a big step forward for father Brian Gegner, and a reasonable face-saving measure for Niehaus. Apparently the bad press and the many phone calls demanding Gegner’s release–some of which came from you, our readers–had an effect. I thank all of you who participated in this campaign, and give special thanks to Robinson for his fine work on the case.

From the story Judge Says He Will Release Father If Daughter Attends GED Class (Kentucky Post, 5/16/08):

“The Fairfield father who was put in jail after his daughter failed to obtain her General Equivalency Diploma (GED) will be released from jail on Friday.

“After a heated hearing, Butler County Judge David Niehaus told Brian Gegner he will let him out of jail if his daughter attends a class to prepare for the GED test.

“Gegner’s daughter must also schedule the test before the next court date.”

Syndicated columnist Amy Alkon discussed our campaign today in Fail Math? Daddy Goes To Jail.

To learn more about the case, including some interesting details Robinson uncovered, see my blog post Protest Ohio Outrage: Father Jailed Because His Daughter Didn’t Get Her GED!

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