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. mom

    @gwats – First of all that is a harsh and hateful message. Second of all I'm one of those people who work each and every day etc, etc.
    The question my friend is why are OUR kids more important than HERS?
    And the point is she shouldn't have to steal something that should be rightfully hers to begin with. A country as great as ours should not consider quality education for all our children to be a privilage. It should be their right to pursue to their full potential.
    And the reality is your tax money will pay for her welfare so you don't want to your taxes to pay for her or her kids, then give the woman and her kids every opportunity to become the productive citizens they are fighting to be.
    Otherwise you are foolishly defeating your own purpose!

    January 27, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • specter619

      Theyre worried about the money?.... How much more did it cost to lock up a nonviolent offender?... The judge is a slefrightous dong our legal system is clearly broken.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
    • mechatronics

      She already has the right to this education for her children in the district she lives in. Not somewhere she doesn't live.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      yes, but this country has proven over and over again, that we have no respect for the poorer classes.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      In her district, there were TEN schools that had open enrollment with ratings of either Excellent or Excellent with Distinction (which is the same rating as the school she put her children in illegally). Why didn't she choose one of those within her district? They were rated just as high. She DID have access to good education for her children. She just wanted the fancy district (maybe they had more perks). She broke the law, plain and simple.

      January 28, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • sicktruth

      I dont care what BS you guys are trying to drum up to make this women look like a villain. She was a mother who wanted something better for her kids! Putting her in prison over this was the BIGGEST waste of your dollars folks. Children should get the opportunity to advance in school where ever there is space and obviously there was space at that school for WHITE KIDS! FYI: I am not Black BUT I AM EQUALLY OFFENDED BY YOUR COMMENTS AND OUT BS JUDICIAL SYSTEM. Go ahead and put another black person in jail for something trivial so that way we can burn them some more. Disgusting!!!!

      January 28, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Mary J

      @Mom: Well said.

      January 28, 2011 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      I challenge any of you to not try and offer your children the best possible education. If her father had a residence in that district, then I guess he was paying property taxes right? Anyway, I liken this to Les Miserables. Absolutely ridiculous. Were her children stealing from the middle or upper class? Really, I am white, sad that I have to say that. I am also a registered republican, before someone accuses me of being a "liberal." I have paid taxes for the last 28 years, but only had children for 6 years. My grandmother paid property taxes until she was 84. I never complained about who my money went to educate and neither should any of you. Shame on you racists. I don't like the race card, but there is a disparity. It is real. Educate everyone, raise all of the masses, and you won't have to worry about looking over your shoulder at the ATM. Are you really so shallow that you think you somehow genetically superior to others simply because of your European ancestry? There may be no higher power whatsoever, that means that you need to step up and make the world a better place. Sometimes I am disgusted to call myself an American, because of crap like this. I was born poor white trash, and struggled through school to become middle class. This woman's arrest serves no purpose other than to revive the segregation of the 50's. What next burning crosses? Set up the account, I don't have a lot but I will support your legal defense. Until we are all equal there is no freedom.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Lifebites

      Well said Mom, but one thing you are missing is that its not the taxpayers job to provide education in the first place. but sadly, it is, and this woman, just like anybody else in this country, if you dont like where you are living, then move! This is a free country..heck, if she thinks her school system stunk, she could have taugh her kids at home...She has her whole story and we're not getting all of it. She has to grow up and take the punish she rightly deserves. Besides, if she can afford to appeal this, and NAACP is helping...maybe instead of fighting it, she should spend that money and energy on moving, or providing a better education

      January 28, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Addie

      Sending her to jail is harsh, she should have been made to pay the district for back tuition. However, most districts do state it is considered a felony. If she is aspiring to be a teacher and role model, do you want a liar and sneak teaching your kids? Her kids are learning a valuable lesson, if you get caught doing something wrong, you pay the price. Also, if this person was white, would it have made news, probably not, but it is the racist black activists that cry prejudice every time a black person is arrested for doing something wrong. Just because you are black doesn't give you a free pass to commit a crime.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin

      The problem lies with the mother. The school district actively pursues anyone not living in the district and will work with the parent to enroll the child in the correct district. This particular parent refused to work with the district to get her kids into the right school. As a parent I understand wanting the best for your kids, but you have to follow the rules. If she wanted her kids to live in that district she should have moved in with her father or given custody to her father, problem solved.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      I did the same thing with my kids. now all four got though college
      They should make her the mother of the year" All she did was want what's best for her kid.

      January 28, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • shyann

      I agree with you,couldn't have said it better 8)

      January 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Porkopolis

      Ms. Williams-Bolar did not have to use deception to get the education she desired for her children. She had at least three options:

      1. Purchase a home in the district.
      2. Move in with her father who had a home in the district.
      3. Pay the tuition the district was charging.

      Not having availed herself of theses options is stealing from residents of the district.

      January 28, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JudyJ

      Something is fishy here...the school claims it lost $30, 000 in tuition? Actually, per-pupil funding is based on the number of students in your building on the state's official count day (yes, as well as taxes). So if the two girls were in school on count day, the district RECEIVED their state funding. Many districts-including mine-ignore residency just to get the state funding.

      January 29, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Luv My Country

      There is something important to think about here. Like it or not, our nation's schools are the responsibility of local communities, with some help from state funding, and some, but relatively little help from federal funds.The law protects local communities by ensuring that students are required to attend schools paid for by taxpayers in the local community. This means that people cannot just send their children to school anywhere they wish. If they would like to attend schools other than their own, they are required to reimburse local taxpayers for the cost of their child's attendance. Another option for her would have been to hand over legal guardianship of her child to someone who actually lives in the district. This is the law, so this mother broke the law. Plus, she blatantly refused to cover her financial responsibility to the district. This is one of those situations where we need to apply the guideline "What if everybody did this?"
      We all would like to just send our kids to whatever school we would like. But this is not how our schools operate. When the federal government takes over schools, then there might be open access across the board. We could not even do this by state-centralized systems. There are kids who illegally walk across the state border in our area and attend schools in another state illegally. This mother's desire to have her child in a better school is certainly understandable. But she broke the law, and chose prison rather than compensating the district from which she 'stole' services. When we break the law, there are consequences. Yes, this is about money. It costs a lot to provide our children with education. We have a system in place, however flawed it may be. Perhaps we should think about changing the system to look more like it looks in countries where children are succeeding at a better level than ours...like China, or almost anywhere in Europe. In these countries, education is centralized. But, oh no, I am pretty sure that we would not want such a "socialist" approach to education!! These are very important considerations that we should think about before indicting a school district and a court that are applying the law and consequences where someone has broken the law and refuses to accept responsibility.

      January 29, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • mollyd

      JAIL HER!!! HOW DARE SHE WANT THE BEST FOR HER KIDS!!!!

      DUH
      Why is one district, so close by, so much better????????? Public schools in our country pretty much suck. She's smart and justified to want the best for her kids. God bless her.

      January 31, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
    • mollyd

      I can't believe that the put this woman in jail!!!!!!
      What are the idiots there thinking??????

      January 31, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. Copley resident

    @Lisa...I am also a Copley resident; however, I am appauled at this miscarriage of justice. Sure Ms. Williams-Bolar made a mistake, but does this warrant being "nailed to the cross?" The penalty does not fit! These people are trying to ruin her life. How is that fair? How is that just? How can they sleep at night? I can't believe that she got two felonies!! One would expect that penatly from a crime of murder. At this point, I am truly ashamed to admit that I live in an environment where people are so heartless and unjust. By the way, I pay the same taxes, but we obviously do not share the same viewpoint.

    January 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Actually, I would expect a life sentence for murder, not two felonies...

      January 28, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • mechatronics

      She didn't make a mistake. She knowingly did this. Thats a crime.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      if our system was equal, then she wouldnt have to "steal" the services, but she is poor,so she isnt allowed to have the good education for her kids, and shes not white, so she has no chance.

      January 28, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • sicktruth

      @reality checkkk

      Man you are the best troll I have ever witnessed. Its obvious!

      Thank you for the laugh! BTW if you even the slightest bit serious about your comment then move to the south they got a school for your kids in the KKK University or Mulletville.

      January 28, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Yeah this story shows everything that is wrong with this country. The USA is turning into one of the most heartless and evil nations on earth under the American Taliban. Conservatives won't stop until their ugliness spreads to all parts of the globe.

      January 28, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. jazz

    I feel for this mother. All she wanted was a better life for her and her children. I think jail time was really silly.

    January 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Her mistake was in thinking the Servant Class could intermingle with the Ruling Class.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. SADIE

    First off i am glad that someone who was BREAKING THE LAW was made to take responsibility for their actions.
    Secondly I am really sick of people pulling the race card every bloody time they get caught doing something they shouldn't.
    Do you honestly think she only got in trouble because she was black? Give it a rest if any of us tried this we would all get into trouble.
    Personally I am done apologizing for being white, get over it and stop blaming all your issues on your skin color. Maybe if you weren't doing something illegal you wouldn't have gone to jail? There's a clever idea.
    as for the topic of slavery that has popped up here? No one that i have ever known has owned a slave, so no I don't feel that i have to spend my life apologizing for a past issue.
    Yes it is sad that this ever happened in the US history, but it has NO bearing on this case at all.

    January 28, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Sally Li

      It is a fundamental human right for parents to educate their own kids in the way they see fit, as long as that way is not abusive or neglectful. The public school structure of taxation and bureaucratic tyranny robs all parents of that right, including to a certain extent parents who can afford to pay for both school taxes and private education for their own kids.

      January 28, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • fee

      This is everyday life. its not a race issue, they probably wouldnt have checked to see where she lived if she were white. Its people like you that make it hard. Nobody asking you to apologize for being white. White s have been in charge so long. Most white families have money from what their slaves did for them, they stole their land used their ideas to gain fortune, now yall get better educations, opportunities we don't have, just because of that. It will never be fair, until Jesus returns, because everybody has to have someone to hate, discriminate against, do wrong, and in every culture, in every country, it the people of color that gets the short end of the stick....In biblical days people always did God's people wrong, its our turn I guess, but Im sure hes not gonna allow this forever. Go on Sadie bask in this. That was not fair, they could have just removed the kids. Now she has these felonies, that ruin you. She will have an uphill fight to have anything now just for trying to give her kids a good opportunity. we all pay taxes, some more than others, but that shouldnt be an issue.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Tlee

      No one is asking you for your apologies but don't act like what this woman has done is some horrible crime. Maybe some of these problems wouldn't exist if not for the fact that during the 60's and 70's many black people were excluded from buying homes in certain areas. Maybe we should figure out why the schools are different. She used her father address to get her kids into a better school district. Would you say the same if it was a poor white mom who wanted to get her child in a better area.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:38 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      "Do you honestly think she only got in trouble because she was black? Give it a rest if any of us tried this we would all get into trouble."

      There are a lot of people in that district that do that. They made an example of her because she was mixing her black kids with their "pure" white privileged kids.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Jill

      SO... when are all the robber barrons on Wall Street going to jail?

      January 28, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • tam

      @Sadie,
      Yes, she broke the law and should be punished for her actions but she should be punished fairly meaning she should receive the same punishment as all others who did the same thing. I am sure she isn't the only parent in that district that has done this. Instead the district decides to make an example out of her (this is where the race card should be played) and prosecute resulting in her getting afelony further limiting her chances of getting a job that would have allowed her to afford to get off public assistance. They've just made her a permenant burden to the system.

      Now can you see how discrimination works against the system?

      January 30, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mom

    I have never commented on anything , but this time I am disgusted with the whole situation. I was reading one of the comments made by one of the women on here and she said that Miss Bolar knew that havin this many children was going to cost her a;ot of money. I was once a low income mother and was married but my choice was only to have one child. No one knows this womans situation, granted we all must obey the law, but sometimes as a mother we have this natural nurturing instinct to make sure our children are taken care of. There are thousands of parents that are doing the same thing but never got caught. This sad country that we live in , Once again this is clearly a race issue. We have to make this woman an example. Sad Sad!!!! In America we all pay taxes one way or another, IFrom corporations to the school system its all about greed . They will never see that 30,0000, she owes. . The United States need to concentrate on getting people back to work, healthcare and other important issues besides foolishness. I really feel for this woman

    January 28, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. Doctor

    I am a white man and way back when I was in jr. high school my parents did the same thing. I wouldn't have made it in the school I was in. They choose what they believed was the best school for me, and you know, they were right. My parents died several years ago, so I guess no "over zealous" prosecutor can put them in jail now. Maybe they can invalidate my early education and ruin my career. But, no worry, I am a white man. No one ever questioned my transfer to a better "mostly white" school.
    We as a people need to do something here! Can't we help get this conviction overturned? Come on people, it's time to speak up here. I am white and I outraged ,as we all should be. I have never posted a comment, but this it just so wrong.

    January 28, 2011 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Tlee

      Well said

      January 28, 2011 at 5:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Billy

      Do you really think it's necessary to state that you're white? I don't think you're white....or a doctor! Good try on rallying the troops behind you though.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. viltlazapata

    It's quite obvious that the judge is an idiot. What a waste of taxpayer dollars...

    January 28, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. viltlazapata

    Mechatronics, it' bigots like you that are ruining this country.

    January 28, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • mechatronics

      Actually it is people like this women who are. All they do is take, take, take without contributing anything to society.

      January 28, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      She was going to school to be a teacher.

      You're an idiot.

      January 28, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin

    Its no accident that a black female cop is leading her along, that is a PR move by the police chief, looks a lot better given the racial undertones hinted at by many. Its PR tactics at its finest.

    January 28, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Wonder if they bused the black cop in from another police district

      January 28, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • SADIE

      Really? I would say it is more racist to assume that this cop wasn't all for the arrest of this criminal. just because she happens to be black doesnt mean she thinks this woman should go free pr that she is being used for her race. Maybe she volunteered, stop looking for racism everywhere just because there is a black person involved.

      January 28, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ken Wood

    sheesh... the woman wanted her children to have a better education by getting them into a school that she wasn't supposed to get them into merely because of her physical living location... so, what does this say? It says that our school system is in extraordinarily POOR shape and that segregation and racism is STILL a BIG problem here in the good ol' US of A.

    Now, let's fix ALL schools so AMERICAN CITIZENS do NOT have to do something illegal JUST to get their kids the education that ALL AMERICANS DESERVE!!!

    This is 2011 !!!!!!!!! What IS wrong with us???

    January 28, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  11. Ken Wood

    Yeah, and if it was money that was the motivation, sure, lock em up, but, just because they want a good education for their kids... it was wrong to lock em up. we have our priorities all mixed up!!!

    Does socioeconomic status dictate where our children can learn??? yes... now, higher education is another story but primary school and even up to 12th grade, it should be MANDATORY that ALL Americans should be exposed to a top-notch education. ALL AMERICANS!!!

    January 28, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  12. rachael

    I feel the need to put my opinion on this matter but please remember that is just that. An OPINION. I am from this area. I graduated from green high school in 2005 and we were considered "a rich school". We were not, but since it was in a good area, we are mostly funded by tax money. Have you ever heard of a levy? Let me tell you, just typing that 4 letter word sends chills up my spine. What a levy is a vote on a very small increase of property tax which would go back to the school. Do you know how many times it was denied? It was bad. I will say this, my school didnt have many blacks and I know some people would say race, but we had a large group of asian, hispanic, ect. Green also has one of the largest programs for handicapped students both physical and mental. I knew kids who didnt live in the boundries of the school but not a single one of their parents LIED!! Also before you say they had money not true. 3 of them got reduced lunch. Should this mom go to jail, no. But should she be punished, yes. One more thing, my step brother went to Copley, and its not as rich as this board is making it to be.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Tlee

      some how rachael, while going to school, chasing after boys and myspacing your friends, you were able to look in the private records of all the students. You can say without a fact, no one had a false address on it. Shut up. This is the same old story told hunderds of different ways. Read what the doctor wrote. It happens more then you believe in every area. Every city has top schools that parents believe will give there child a better education. So knock it off with your crap and if you feel to make a statement, don't act like you are speaking facts.

      January 28, 2011 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sally Li

    One more reason for replacing the bureaucratic tyranny of public education with the parental responsibility of privatized education EVERYWHERE in America, NOW.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Tlee

      wow, that will improve everything. Soon the cost of edcuation will sky rocket past the cost of college. Great idea Sally Li. NEXT!!!!

      January 28, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  14. gayla

    I am amazed at the two comments I just read. How out of touch those two sounded. I cant believe anyone would put that lady in jail for trying to give her children a better education, than she believes they would get in the neighborhoodschool. I would also like to remind yall that you did not get to pick your race before you were born. So ease up with the juding of folks because of their skin color. Maybe take a class in the real school called life! in other words you are probably to young to know any better.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. Shel Beasley

    I am appalled at the number of vicious racial comments posted. Guess I was living with an assumption racism was much less prevalent in America than it actually is. Truly sorry that I was so mistaken. 36,000 she "stole" from taxpayers as one poster put it is miniscule compared to what was stolen from taxpayers by Wallstreet Gang.

    January 28, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
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