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With Son Behind Bars, Mother Wages Battles For His Education

Publication Date: 
September 28, 2010
Los Angeles Times
Victoria Kim

Carly Munson, a fellow with the Youth and Education Law Project, is mentioned in this story about Michael Garcia and his fight for a public education while serving time in prison. Michael is now the lead plaintiff in a class action lawsuit to establish access rights for all special education students in a county jail. Victoria Kim of the LA Times reports:

She took on successive bureaucracies, demanding a proper education for Michael while he sat in juvenile hall and then county jail, his learning stagnating as he awaited trial. Now that he's in state prison, another fight may be on the horizon.

Yamileth Fuentes constantly worried about her son Michael's education.

As the mother of a child with learning disabilities, she made sure he didn't get overlooked in school. She fretted when his math worksheets weren't challenging enough, or when his spelling slipped.

The energetic 42-year-old Metro bus driver wasn't afraid to fight on her son's behalf. She enlisted the help of clergymen, bureaucrats and an army of lawyers in the battle to get Michael a proper education. Once, she even stopped her bus to confront the mayor when she spotted him giving a news conference on a downtown street corner.

She believed, as countless other parents do, that her child should be given every opportunity to succeed.


It was Carly Munson, Michael's attorney with the Disability Rights Legal Center, with news of the judge's ruling. Her son was going to get an education.