Mom jailed for enrolling kids in wrong school district
Kelley Williams-Bolar is escorted through the Summit County, Ohio, jail.
January 26th, 2011
12:24 PM ET

Mom jailed for enrolling kids in wrong school district

An Ohio mother is in jail after being convicted of tampering with records to enroll her children in a better school district.

Kelley Williams-Bolar, 40, of Akron, illegally registered her two daughters at her father's address in suburban Copley Township to get them into the Copley-Fairlawn school district rather than the urban Akron district, a jury decided.

The Akron City school district met only four of 26 standards on the latest Ohio Department of Education Report Card and had a 76% graduation rate. Copley-Fairlawn City Schools met 26 of 26 standards and had a 97.5% graduation rate.

Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced Williams-Bolar last week to five years in prison, but suspended all but 10 days. Williams-Bolar also must serve 80 hours of community service and will be on probation for three years.

The Rev. Lorenzo Glenn of Macedonia Baptist Church had asked the judge for leniency, saying he had known Williams-Bolar for more than 20 years, the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper reported.

"This is a serious matter," Glenn said, according to the paper, "but by all means, it was done to help her children."

Williams-Bolar told CNN affiliate WEWS-TV that she and her children considered her father's house one of their homes.

"My primary residence was both places. I stayed at both places," she said in an interview at the Summit County Jail.

Williams-Bolar's father, Edward Williams, told CNN affiliate WJW-TV that the children did live with him, so he believed the family was within the law.

He said his daughter's Akron neighborhood - where she lives in government-subsidized housing - isn't safe.

"She had 12 police reports that her house had been broken in, so what am I supposed to do? Just leave them there?" Williams said to WJW-TV. "I mean, I can protect them better if they was with me."

Williams-Bolar, a single mother, works as a teacher's aide at a high school in Akron and is just 12 credits away from earning a teaching degree at the University of Akron, according to the Beacon Journal.

Her felony conviction will bar her from being licensed to teach in Ohio.

Copley-Fairlawn Superintendent Brian Poe told WJW-TV the case cost the district $30,000 in two years of lost tuition and $6,000 it spent on the investigation.

He denied that Williams-Bolar was singled out because she is black and the Copley-Fairlawn district is 75% white.

The district almost always resolves residency cases without involving the courts, he told WJW-TV, but couldn't work out a resolution with Williams-Bolar.

"The way I look at it is, the bottom line, you need to follow the law," he said. "If you choose to step outside of the law, what's going to happen at that point is you are going to have to face the consequences for that."

Williams-Bolar told WEWS she intends to appeal her conviction.

Grand theft charges against her father resulted in a hung jury. No new trial date has been set.

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Filed under: Crime • Education • Justice • Ohio
soundoff (698 Responses)
  1. kim

    I bet those ridiculas people probably thought she was sending her child there to be around there white azz instead of just knowing she seen a oppertunity for her child to recieve a quality education in a safer environment. Dam why do white people think there great to be around there racist which that women is finding out she got time like she was a gun toting crimnal! I know that she might of wanted to better her child chances but there are still alot of ignorant racist in america that dont get it that all anyone want is the education without alot of crap. They just want the same quality and a safe environment and oppertunity that they deserve. Just racist as usual

    January 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • buttonbuck

      Then she should get a job and pay for the better education.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. victoria j brown

    WHAT CAN WE DO AS A FAMILY 2 HELP MS KELLY WILLAMS-BOLAR? AND AFTER SHE GET OUT OF JAIL THE HOUSING PPL WANTS 2 SEE HER. SHE IS WORKING AND GOING 2 SCHOOL 2 BE A TEACHER. I CAN SEE HER WHOLE LIFE BEING MESSED UP CUZ OF THE CHIT

    January 26, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cryos

    kim

    I bet those ridiculas people probably thought she was sending her child there to be around there white azz instead of just knowing she seen a oppertunity for her child to recieve a quality education in a safer environment. Dam why do white people think there great to be around there racist which that women is finding out she got time like she was a gun toting crimnal! I know that she might of wanted to better her child chances but there are still alot of ignorant racist in america that dont get it that all anyone want is the education without alot of crap. They just want the same quality and a safe environment and oppertunity that they deserve. Just racist as usual
    January 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm
    =========
    You're the racist with all your white bashing.

    If you want a quality education for your kids get educated yourself first and don't have several kids at a young age. It has nothing to do with race it has to do with responsibility.

    If you choose the opposite don't expect other people to pay for your mistakes.

    January 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. freedomman

    WOW!! What happen to the pursuit of happiness? This is why America is such a mud hole. That judge should be burned at the stake. I have never heard of such nonsense in my life!!! All it comes down to is the school wanted money is it this sad in America that we all are so greedy. I can't wait till judgment day GREED is a SIN.. Like they say Greed will consume us all.. Looks like it is doing a great job of it. I wish people would wake up in this world and really see whats going on. Everybody Love Everybody!!!! Fire all government officials starting with dog catchers and all the way up. People think our government controls us but it's us who put them into office people hello. Keep laying down and letting them make stupid laws and putting people in jail for stupid things like this.. No wonder cops and government people are getting shot daily (also sad) people are tired of being controlled in this country. LEAVE US ALONE!!! I can't wait 4 more years and I can run for president that goodness all of this will go away once I am in office. Seems everything is a double edge sword they take your license then ask why you can't pay your fines and why you lost your job.. Now it's they jail you for seeking a better life and protecting your children. Makes me SICK!!!!

    January 26, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. islandmommy

    I do feel what she did was wrong, but JAIL and a FELONY CONVICTION? Are you kidding me? Just dismiss her daughters from the school and that is that. She won't be able to work, now, which will only make her and her children more dependent on taxpayer-funded handouts.

    January 26, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. blowmypride

    Would you let her uproot her public housing and move into your neighborhood, street, even next door? Did you educate yourself, work hard, move into a desireable part of the city only to be revisited by this human garbage? Lock her up with others of her kind. You really don't want to share a higher quality of life and education with someone that expects free handouts because of their history from 5 generations ago.

    January 26, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pizzle

    What a ridiculous country where you cannot send you kids to school where you like...
    And put parents in jail who want the best for their kids? Totally insane!

    January 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • E Segonza

      Well said

      January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guy Parent

      People living in the U.S. should realize that their posts are read all over the world. I live in Canada and I can't help worrying about the social decay I see in our great neighbour. I'm comforted by the overwhelming support this lady gets here. Indeed, we pay more taxes up here. Gazoline is $1.25 a liter ($4.72 per gallon) but I get free health care, college is around $1500 a year. I was part of upper middle class for most of my life but lost my job at 55 and ended up on welfare for 2 years always looking for work. I walked from place to place to find a job, and looking at people around me, rushing to work, I silently thanked them for helping. Eventualy, I recovered may previous way of life, and was so proud to be able to pay taxes again. Your problem is not a matter of government or income, it has to do with the fact that too many people do not realize their interdependency; it has to do with solidarity. The poor, if allowed to remain poor , will engender more poverty and violence through their children. The richer will feel increasingly threatened. Pain to the poor, fear to the rich. You are no more a happy country and I feel sorry for you. Please, pardon my poor english since french is my native language.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Beth

    What a shame that we are punishing a woman that wanted her children to have a better education. She is out there trying to better herself by going to college, but yet the system has no problem throwing $30,000 down the drain...all over 2 children in the wrong school district. People in Florida do this all the time. Trust me, I know. They know which schools have a higher rating, and find someone they know with an address that will work. I just find this story to be really sad, and I think the judge and prosecutor should be ashamed of themselves. I'm just glad her father's case resulted in a hung jury. Good for them!

    January 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guy Parent

      Where did the money go? To another school, it stayed in the system and served its purpose. It did not go down the drain. The lady diverted the money but did not steal it.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
    • buttonbuck

      Just because people do it all the time does not make it ok. It is stealing? What part of that is ok. Wow

      January 28, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chchch

    How many white parents received felonies for enrolling their children in a different school district to get a better shot at a sports team? It is done and yes it is wrong, but a felony???? Not only can't she teach – most likely anywhere, but she can't be a truck driver, go to Canada, rent an apartment, and the list goes on. I cannot get over just how wrong this was on the judicial system and the school system to press this matter in this manner. Leave felonies, to murderer and rapist. To brand a person overr this is unbelievable.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • buttonbuck

      She scammed the system and got caught. It is theft on a major scale. Not only should she do time in jail but she should have to pay the money back. A crime is a crime. Hello!!! No excuses!

      January 28, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Goldenlight

    This is just F$%$%$ WRONG. I read the article twice and can't believe she was thrown in Jail because she wanted her children to have a better education. Whats wrong with that? I can only sense the JUDGE was from a well to do family..what a crock of S$%$#$%$%T THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO LIE WHERE THEY LIVE AT IN ORDER TO SAVE ON CAR INSURANCE 😉

    January 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tone Cooper

    #1... so you do wrong .....and go to jail.....you try to do whats right for your kids, and the ENTIRE society as a whole....and you go to Jail!.....
    #2...I guess the court system finally locked up ALL the BAD GUYS & GALS and were now free to focus on punishing this woman ....and destroy her future (well at least in Ohio, by what I read!)....not to mention taint the views of these young children to the fairness of our Justice System....(once again....in Ohio!)....gotta love today's America....
    ...now back to your coffee.....

    January 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Momof2

    A woman with enough gumption to fight for her children's future has my support. I'd be proud to have her teach my children.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kanieka Green

    My heart aches for this mom. I am a black middle class mother and wife. I was fortunate to not have to rely on the system. I use to be a single mom of 2 little girls. I wanted the best for them inspite of what I was going through finacially. Kids should not have to suffer because of there economis status. I have huge amount of repsct for a mother that takes so much pride in her childrens education.
    There are drug dealers, molesters, and thiefs out there that we really need to invest in being locked up not loving parents.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. vic

    Hey the rest of the world look how stupid this country is!

    January 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • E Segonza

      lol

      January 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bucky

    Folks, this is not a new concept, a parent looking out for what is best for the child. The unfortunate part and the real crime with this issue is the impact on the children, whom have no control over the actions of adults. While I don't condone her legal behavior, you have to wonder why there couldn't be an solution that would have addressed the concerns of all parties concerned. It appears there was a connection to the school district, but for some reason, all of the adults acted like children. She was wrong but she's not the only one.

    This is a classic case of racism, economics, and social class discrimination. It's nothing more than the have's vs. the have not's. While this is an extreme case, attending a quality school outside of one's district goes on in every single state in this country. Unfortunately, schools are now expected to be a social solution (they can't) along with an education one. The city of Akron can spend $15,000/yr per student but they can't control what happens between 4 PM and 6 AM. I guarantee that the family structure (both economically and socially) is a bit different in Copley Township than the city Akron and that's 4/5 of the problem.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
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