Felicity Huffman sentenced for involvement in college admissions scandal

Felicity Huffman sentenced for involvement in college admissions scandal

Felicity Huffman arrives at federal court with her husband William H. Macy for sentencing in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The college admissions scandal involving big names like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin has generated strong feelings throughout the country. Multiple celebrities have been accused of paying their children’s way into elite colleges. While the actresses committed fraud, Huffman claims this was done in “desperation to be a good mother.

Assistant Professor of Psychology Bryan Poole said the case is a strong abuse of power, privilege and wealth.

“I think the college admission scandal is really repulsive. Doing the work for your kids is not right for them,” said Poole. 

On Friday, Sept. 13, U.S. judge Indira Talwani sentenced actress Felicity Huffman to two weeks in prison. The sentencing sent a clear message to others involved in the scandal that soon enough, those convicted will be sent behind bars.

Sophomore theatre major Ellie Jones said the justice system has made a partial accomplishment with the sentencing, and she believes that people with wealth feel they have the authority to barter their way into anything.

“It orders them to understand the barriers and play by the rules,” Jones said. 

Freshman elementary education major Jenna Franklin said that the sentencing is necessary to notify the public that no one—not even celebrities—can get away with wrongdoing.

“14 days isn’t much, but the societal backlash they are facing is their biggest punishment,” said Franklin.

Poole emphasizes that the kids who made it to elite colleges through cheating are going to struggle in those same colleges because of the high standards. He acknowledges that parents need to encourage their kids to study better instead of creating a side-door for them.

“I think one of the best things to do is to teach your child to overcome adversity instead of snow-piling it for them,” said Poole.

Franklin added on about the effect of making big decisions for children.

“We don’t need helicopter parenting. When you say I can fix the world for you, you invite more complications than benefits and take away the value of giving your children the freedom to make their own decisions,” Franklin said. “When you feel you didn’t even make your own way into [a particular] college, it takes away that pride and responsibility.”

As the sentences continue and justice comes to light, Jones recognizes that the fraud also hurts students who were next in line to get into the elite schools, and cheating greatly affected those students’ chances of success in a top school.

“People who got their scores corrected get to go to that school, but the people who actually worked hard and did a great job [do not],” said Jones.

While the case continues to unfold and sentences are announced, the disparity between criminal and moral justice is still left in question for the public to judge.

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