NORWALK - Rev. Al Sharpton joined hundreds of students from the NAACP's Connecticut Youth Division at an education rally in Norwalk tonight, supporting a woman charged with illegally enrolling her son at a public school.

Rev. Sharpton expressed his disappointment that Tonya McDowell's son AJ was removed from Brookside Elementary School, saying the 6-year-old is the unfortunate victim.

McDowell is accused of stealing her son's education and costing taxpayers thousands when officials say she used her baby sitter's address to enroll her son at the school.

The NAACP says 26 other students have been similarly removed from Norwalk schools, but none of their parents have faced criminal prosecution.

McDowell, who has a criminal past, could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Her attorney says he's confident the charges will be dismissed.

McDowell is due back in court on July 12.