Mother who put kids in wrong school released from jail early
Ohio mother Kelley Williams-Bolar is led off to jail after her conviction last week.
January 27th, 2011
11:06 AM ET

Mother who put kids in wrong school released from jail early

An Ohio woman who was jailed for tampering with records to get her children into a better school district has been released from jail a day early, according to a local newspaper.

Kelley Williams-Bolar left the Summit County Jail on Wednesday, having served nine days of her 10-day sentence, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

Williams-Bolar, a single mother living in subsidized housing in Akron, used her father's address to register her two daughters in the high-achieving suburban Copley-Fairlawn school district.

Copley-Fairlawn said the improper registration cost it $30,000 in lost tuition and $6,000 in investigative costs.

The case has drawn national media attention and outrage, much of it due to its racial undertones: Williams-Bolar is black, while the Copley-Fairlawn schools are predominantly white.

A Google search for Williams-Bolar's name turns up 131,000 results.

Williams-Bolar told CNN affiliate WEWS-TV in Cleveland that she plans to appeal her conviction. The local chapter of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network is trying to raise money to fund the appeal, the Beacon Journal reported.

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Filed under: Crime • Education • Justice • Ohio • Race • U.S.
soundoff (855 Responses)
  1. Vanglynn

    Why does this come down to where she lived. Her father is in the district, so why not let them say with him for school. He had no-one going to school on his taxes? It is a race issue and will continue to be one when you see white administrator sending investigator after blacks and using so call tax payers money to go after any citizen. That money could be used for educational purposes not following a black woman without a criminal record. Now she has one because they have the power to do that to her.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      It matters because of the state and federal funding formulas that make available to Akron much more money per student than Copley has.

      Copley has to be primarily self funding, receiving minimal aid from state and federal funds, but there is a cap on what they can raise in local taxes. This means, they had about $30,000 less to spend on their kids because this woman lied to send her kids out of district.

      On the other hand, Akron is primarily funded out of state and federal funds that are determined on a per student formula. So it had OVER $30,000 less to spend in its district because this woman lied to send her children to another district. This is money that the state and federal taxpayers saved... but which was entirely lost to educating children during that year and would otherwise have been available for this (and would have been spent in a disadvantaged district).

      So, the result is that both the children of Copley and Akron lost out over this.

      January 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      By the way, I also have no kids going to public school on my taxes. Does this mean you believe I should be able to designate children to go to school from outside my district even though it would cut into the money my district has available to spend on a per student basis?

      January 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • rushme1

      Well, then why was she claiming the children to receive housing? If it was possible for the children to live with the grandparents, why weren't they? For that matter, why wasn't she instead of accepting public housing. From the actions of the father, maybe combining household and incomes for a period of time would have been the better answer for all involved. But everyone screaming race is ridiculous, I would really like to now how many of these cases there are that we never hear about, I'm sure there are alot of white, hispanic, asian and many other races that have done it and have gotten caught. I feel for the woman, single – 2 kids, where are the children's father? I can understand her reasons but I don't agree with what she did. I pay huge property taxes (NJ) and I live in a middle class neighborhood and my child is only 3 – so the thousands I pay to my local school district, I'm not even utilizing at this point.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • djquigley

      Vanglynn: but her father falsified records to say he operated a nursing home out of his home and so he was not paying taxes as he should of been. out of the 40 parents they caught she was the only one who would not come clean when busted! so the school had to spend the extra money to get the proof they needed . she had a chance to settle with the school but choose to continue her lie. she dug her own grave !

      January 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Miss Tee

    This is crazy! I went to a school in another district! She was just trying to give her children a better life. Education is the key! So now, because of this ridiculous sentence, she can't finish school to become a teacher because this sentence was a felony. Go after REAL criminals!!!!! This needs to be overturned!

    January 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*armywife

      This is the stupet thing I never heard mom in jail. For better education for her kids. Lol, well I prefered do life is I know my kids will have the best education. And that not a crime. Lol, because she's black. At hell with the color. I learnd all colors in school they just dnt teach me with or brown or black hellloooooo. I just one God we dnt have God for each colors. The system some time is so suck that some woman do what they have to do.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lindsey

    We send this mother to JAIL!? I understand that she broke the law.. but for what? She wanted to better the lives and education of her children. The real issue here is that the other schools are deemed as lower achieving. Her children should not lose out because of this. What parent wouldn't want their children in a better school.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cole

    Please take the time to read because there is more than this article conveys.
    The charges were separated from his daughter's controversial school residency case before it went to trial on Jan. 12.

    The hearing is set for 1 p.m. before Common Pleas Judge Patricia Cosgrove.

    Edward L. Williams, 64, was charged in 2009 with two felony counts — tampering with records and grand theft — for allegedly providing false information to the Summit County Department of Jobs and Family Services regarding his marital status and wife's income, court records show.

    Williams, a co-defendant at his daughter's trial, deceived the county agency in order to obtain financial disability assistance, Medicaid disability benefits and other public assistance, prosecutors contend.

    Williams-Bolar, a single mother going to col
    lege and working as an Akron Public Schools teaching assistant, was sentenced to jail by Cosgrove Tuesday after being convicted of falsifying records so her two children could attend Copley-Fairlawn Schools.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • coffegirl

      So, the fact that the father has a criminal record means that the punishment for this woman's crime is acceptable? The punishment should fit the crime, in this case, it does not – this is an extreme punishment.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. chulachaser2

    "The local chapter of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network is trying to raise money to fund the appeal". that way he can skim money from the alleged "fund" to keep his corrupt enterprise going.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jay

    This has been going on for years and the schools districts know it. So why the big deal know. I grew up in the south bronx in the late 70's. Always had to watch my back and my grades, forget about it. But when I went to school across town in Coop city. Everything changed for the better. I would do the same today with my children if i had too. But I am a home schooler. Got tired of hearing teachers say they will get their pay check regardless if the students learn or not.
    ------
    So why don't you teach? Exactly, easy to talk but hard to do. So while you all complain in one corner, politicians complain but do nothing in the other, parents who think they parent but dont in the other corner, and a legal system that doesn't want cases involving truancy, bullying, or assaults in schools clogging up their system, us teachers are in the middle alone dealing with it. While students assault, curse, and threaten me and my family at work yet I can't even put my hand on their shoulder without getting fired or sued. AMERICA IF YOU CAN DO A BETTER JOB FOR THE PAY COME ON DOWN. That's what I thought.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. leokitty

    since when is it a crime to want your children to go to a good school. We don't have to deal with that crap where I am from; we have an option of school choice.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jh

    I still don't understand why she went to jail?!

    January 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. socal

    Anyone ever lived in southern California? I had to move from my old neighborhood because the majority of the students in my old district were crossing the mexican border...schools are among the worst in the state. I want to know who is going to enforce that.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I went to Sherman Elementary in San Diego for 2 years. AT LEAST a third of the kids there were either illegal immigrants or cross-border 'day-trippers' that came to the US only for school.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. herrsonic

    Can somebody say ... racism?

    January 27, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • danno

      No. It's about fraud.

      January 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CC104

    Jailing parents for trying to give their children a proper education is ridiculous! I live in Indiana and I will say this for the education system here, "It is pathetic"! Two schools located in South Bend, IN may be handed over to the state within the next year. It is really sad that the state has to come in and take over the schools due to low educational scores and lack of preparing these students for the future. These so called school corporations here in Indiana only want to make sure that they get their paycheck and do not care whether children learn or not. This state is horrible when it comes to education. My children both go to public school's here in two different districts and it is really sad that I have one honor roll student and one who is completely failing due to the lack of her teacher's and educational system. I have repeatedly asked for help with my child who is failing and I get absolutely no help or solution on how my child can improve in school. Teacher's here and the system are not doing what they should to educate the children of our future properly. I have already kept my child back one grade due to her not learning a thing in school and I shouldn't have to. I would like to know why tax dollars are being used to prosecute parents for trying to better educate their children and not using that money towards funding those schools that are in need and less fortunate? It seems that since the economic crisis started, our entire government and educational system is failing in this country!

    January 27, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dougtawa

    Responding to – Paul, from England

    "America, WAKE UP. A mom is jailed for loving her children and wanting a better life for them and trying to do what she thought would help. She was not selling drugs. She did not kill anyone. She may have made a mistiake but jaiil and villification, unbelievable. Americans should rally round her and help. True Americans would."

    She was not jailed for "loving her children"... She was jailed for falsifying records. She could have moved in to her father's home (provided he let her), so there would have been no need to falsify any records.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ray

    Receiving a service by filing fraudulent paperwork is stealing. End of story.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Thanks Mom!

    My Mother did the exact same thing for us almost 40 years ago and every year afterwards until we graduated. We were always fearful the neighbors would snitch because their kids weren't getting to enjoying the benefits of a school district that offered so many extra curricular activities. Activities that she knew and DID help shape our character. Now, we are successful, very confident and outgoing individuals. I know this along with good parenting played a huge part in it.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Movin' Mav12

    The educational system has got as or more screwed up than society, but when a parent trys to do something better for her children. She's the 1 thrown in jail....I'm sure there's a few individuals around that area that should be in there way before she is. They didn't make an example out of her, they proved that all of the educational classes that they took to get their degree should be taken to the restrooms of the campus & used as toilet paper. Crying over taxes that her father's been paying for how many years with no more children in the system....idiots. The judge presiding should've thrown this 1 out of the court or throw the school administrators in the tank for wasting taxpayers money.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
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