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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 56
Dad thrown in jail for daughter failing GED

Overkill? Or a much needed follow up on parental responsiblity?


Man Jailed After Daughter Fails To Get GED

Last Update: 5/09 3:54 pm

Reported by: Deb Silverman
Photographed by: 9News
Web produced by: Neil Relyea

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."

Brittany has a daughter who's about 18-months-old.

She says she's determined to pass the GED for her daughter ? and her father.

The judge says if she passes the test, her father could get out of jail before his six-months sentence is up.

Brittany's step-mother worries the time in jail will ruin their family.

She says he could lose the job he's worked for 15-years.

"I never dreamed they would put him in jail for this ? for six months ? it's crazy," said Stephanie Gegner, Brittany's step-mother.

"He has no control over what his adult daughter does," she said. "He just doesn't."

Court administrators say that even though Brittany is an adult now, the case remains active in their court because she was a juvenile when the problems started.

They say this type of punishment is rare and reserved for extreme cases when court orders aren't met.
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