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. LG

    I say equal education for every man, woman and child. No matter what social-economic situation the family is in. This mother wants a better education for her children that perhaps her community doesn't offer such as; afterschool programs, tutoring, sports, extra credit opportunities, etc. So, they put her in jail for this-pretty harsh punishment, I say. How about community service- did you ever think that maybe she's a parent volunteer, a PTA member a responsible parent that really has hope for the future of her children. Maybe, her children are in gifted programs and have earned many scholarship awards and let's not forget attendance. If the student has all of these qualities-one huge factor is because of a "Commited Parent". Let's not judge before we know the whole story.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. luv_butterflies

    Why is it that an american mother that wants to put her kids into a better school district gets jail time....but millions of illegals all over the country can lie about who they are, where they live and where their kids were born and all without penalty. It's an absolute shame that we as Americans can't take care of our own as well as we take care of those that shouldn't even be here.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Teri

      Well said!

      January 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LolaS

    What a shame. Perfect example of how our tax dollars do not get spread evenly and the poor are forced to suffer. All this mother wanted was for her kids to attend a better school so they could get a better education and hopefully be introduced to a better way of life. To throw her in jail is not only totally ridiculous, but a huge waste of taxes. Many school districts around the country offer more alternatives for kids to go to different schools. She gets thrown in jail, yet, violently abusive cops get to go free, financial thieves get to go free, people deliberately committing crimes against others go free. Our legal system is a joke!

    January 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • bruce

      //What a shame. Perfect example of how our tax dollars do not get spread evenly and the poor are forced to suffer.

      Actually, schools in poor districts get additional funding. It is not a funding issue. Part of the problem is that a large portion of the parents in poor districts just don't care. If a teacher is incompetent in a poor district – she can still teach. If a teacher is incompetent in a upper-middle class district – the parents get up-at-arms and the teacher is dismissed.

      So they end up punishing a parent that cared.. sweet, what a nice message.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      As bruce said, Akron schools (the one she doesn't want to send her kids to) have about $4,000 more per student. Since they raise in local tax revenue less money, most of this comes out of the state and federal budget. Akron schools actually received OVER $30,000 less because this woman lied and sent her kids to another district. Copley, on the other hand, because it is a more affluent area is required to primarily self fund... however, there is a cap on local taxes (by state law) that restricts how much money they can raise for education... which means the money spent on educating her children not only reduced the amount of money Akron had overall, it also reduced the amount available per child in Copley.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kermit12

    First, I am a white woman who was raised in the South in the 60's and 70's. I know darn good and well that I am treated better than a black person is when I am pulled over by police.

    2nd, I've lived in different school districts in the city I lived in for 18 years. When I lived in the black (poorer) section of town, there were almost twice the number of students in the classroom. When I lived in the whiter (richer) area of town, there were more services available to students and less students per teacher ratio.

    I think this is an issue of race. I respect what the mother did, she is trying her best to get her kids into a school with a better reputation than where she lives. It should be a crime that there is a difference. I applaud her efforts and hope this somehow brings some good to the surface.

    Race is a huge pink elephant in this country. The major good changes I've noticed is that black people are getting more respect since President Obama was elected.

    It needs to be equal all the way across the board. Period. I look and pray for that day.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      Akron.. the more ethnically diverse and poorer district... has fewer students per teacher. It also has more money to spend on supplies/materials. This is because, although it contributes far less per child from local funding for its public school system, it receives dramatically more money per child in state and federal funding. It has a budget which gives it more than $4,000 more per child than Copley. This funding is available on a per child formula so by not sending her children to the district she lived in, this woman cost the ethnically diverse district over $30,000 in outside funding.

      Copley, the predominantly white district, on the other hand, is required to largely self fund its education. There is a state law restricting the level of local taxes so it has a limit imposed by the state as to how much it can raise for educating its students. This means that that district had less per child to spend on educating its children because this woman lied.

      If anything, the funding system, at least in Ohio, intentionally greatly favors the poorer and more ethnically diverse districts (and, yes, it gives more money to non-white districts solely based on race). Please note I'm not saying this isn't necessary because of the challenges these districts face. But, the disadvantages are NOT due to an inequity in funding... in fact the inequity in funding favors them significantly and all the citizens in Ohio and those paying federal taxes pick up the tab rather than that community.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dave

    Why cant these people stay where they belong? Every time the government forces them on us, we have to spend a fortune to move away. I am tired of working to build decent neighborhoods, just to see them denigrated by the likes of these people.Stay where you belong!

    January 27, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • CNelson

      Racist much, dave?

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

      Oh I get it. Since these people destroy schools like they destroy neighborhoods, I must be racist. Well if the shoe fits then so be it, it doesnt make me any less correct.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Syph

      Oh, you incendiary little troll, you.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janeway

      Dave, exactly what WORK have YOU done to build a great neighborhood exactly? I'm dying to know.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • andrew

      dave's obviously a peice of crap

      January 27, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. af

    Nobody would have said anything had she been a rich mom sneaking her kids into the poor school.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Concerned Parent

    I understand that this may offend several people, so I apologize in advance....I am so tired of hearing about race, black, white, whatever. I do understand that there are still ongoing issues with racisim, but I am so tired of it coming up everytime someone feels the other person was wronged. As far as this lady's situation, I can see where she was concerend for her children and wanted a better way, and do not think it should have been as serious as jail time, but I do not agree with what she did. I had a similar situation where my two sons were not getting the education I wanted them to have, so I pulled them from school and enrolled them in K-12. It is similar to public school, but the work is done at home under the supervison of "ME" and I am in control of making sure they are using the giving resources to succeed. I believe that at some point the parent has to take the responsibility of their children.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. N2D2

    Of course let's turn it into a race issue once again. Funny how the race card always gets pulled to get your way. This crap is ridiculous. Now here comes Uncle Al and his racist rhetoric.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. sdedit

    I think the larger point is, the whole purpose of having public schools is to provide equal opportunity to a quality education for all kids, no matter how rich or poor their parents are. This woman shouldn't HAVE to lie and cheat to get her kids into a decent public school.

    When poor kids don't have access to a decent education, it doesn't just deprive them of a better future... it affects all of us in the form of crime, welfare, and economic productivity and growth. So while I empathize with the woman who feels that her tax dollars are being used to educate people who don't live in her neighborhood, I'd like to point out that paying to educate that child today is better than paying to clothe, house, feed, prosecute, and incarcerate him in the future.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Maybe they should create their own decent school, instead of destroying ours as they have in every inner city.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Teri

    Is what she did illegal? Apparently. Is it wrong? No. Odd that we will jail a parent who is trying to make a better life for her kids and going over and above and out of her way (because these kids obviously weren't riding the bus each morning) to give them the best she could and we have sorry parents out there running free.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Syph

      Sometimes, the law, indeed, is an @ss. Deal with it.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. BW

    Every American should have the same quality education no matter you live rich or poor. If this equality does not exist then something is wrong, and it is.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      You cant teach every monkey to be a man, at least we can save the ones that try to be something.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. af

    Hear hear Sdedit!

    January 27, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cw

    This is why everything is falling apart. Whites follow the rules and get burned all the time. When a black gets caught breaking the rules, they immediately pull the race card. they refuse to have any accountability. If I have to get a drug test to get a job, everyone on welfare must get a drug test not to work.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janeway

      CW are you serious? Or did you just want some attention?

      January 27, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rushme1

    Obviously other areas are getting serious about this issue and it doesn't seem to be race oriented:

    http://www.thelowell.org/news/78-latest/3573-school-district-residency-fraud

    January 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DYBO

    I have seen parents willing to rent an apartment so they can get their children into the school they desire. This is not always for academics but sometimes for sports programs.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
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