STAFF EDITORIAL: Admissions scandal sentencing reveals privilege

Staff Editorial

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There is problem involving social class status in this country.

The issue at hand is how people are being treated unjustly based on their social standing. 

Felicity Huffman paid a $15,000 bribe so her daughter would get accepted into college. 

She received her 14-day prison sentence Friday after pleading guilty to fraud conspiracy in May.

She will also have to pay a $30,000 fine, perform 250 hours of community service and serve a year of probation, according to a CNN article

Kelley Williams-Bolar listed her father’s home address as her daughters’ in 2011 so they could attend a school in a better district than the one they were zoned in. 

She was convicted of grand theft and tampering with evidence, sentenced to 10 days in jail, given three years of probation and a $70,000 fine, according to an article from ABC news

Tanya McDowell sent her son to a school outside of their district in 2011. 

She was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation following her conviction of first-degree larceny, according to an article from Stamford Advocate

We at The Daily Eastern News believe that these three separate incidents are all similar in the sense that these three women attempted to steal education in some way. 

We also believe Huffman’s sentencing is incredibly lighter than Williams-Bolar’s and McDowell’s, possibly because of Huffman’s economic status.

Huffman is a public figure with a significant following and plenty of money to go around, which is a lifestyle Williams-Bolar and McDowell have never known. 

While that is a difference between them, that is no reason to give Huffman a lighter sentencing.

There is argument that Huffman was a first-time offender, so she was treated as someone who was sorry for her actions and will refrain from breaking the law in the future. 

The problem is that Williams-Bolar was also a first-time offender when she was arrested, and she still had to pay $40,000 more than Huffman and serve a three-year probation rather than a year.

Sure, Huffman pleaded guilty to the crime she was accused of, but so did Williams-Bolar and McDowell, so the difference in the sentencing between all three shows that lower- and middle-class citizens are still treated unfairly compared to upper-class individuals. 

Huffman used her wealth to get her child into an Ivy League institution, and that is a privilege that many people in this country do not have. 

Her privilege is also what got her a light prison sentence.

The same cannot be said for Williams-Bolar, a single mother, or McDowell, who was homeless at the time of her arrest.

The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].