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. Furutan

    This is an issue of Jim Crow. Minority districts typically have less money for education, so their schools are not able to provide the same quality of education as other districts. Every child has the right not only to an education but to the same quality of education as any other child.

    January 28, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Name*ernie chambers

    Now tell me why this is even happening.. if it wad a white man putting his children's into a black school, it would be no problem, so tell me why this poor woman had ta go ta jail.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Name*ernie chambers

      This happens everywhere. Now tell me why its minorities, not illegals that's gettin in trouble. We need martin Luther king, and Malcolm x.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. mom

    It is to benefit of all regardless of gender, class or race if we enable our citizen to contribute to their highest potential REGARDLESS of gender, class or race.
    There are two people named "mom". I'm white, was raised in the worse school district, worked hard and now send my kids to the top district. I won't say I was lucky and I can promise you a short, blond woman gets judged unfairly too. The other mom says this is a racial issue. I don't know enough facts to agree or disagree but shame on them if it is!
    Please don't judge all whites, Southerners or those who achieve success in an unfair manner anymore than we should judge other races and economic classes. Honestly prejudice and hate across the races and classes distracts us from the real issue. This woman and her children deserve a quality education, and it's a win/win. More productive citizens means a stronger society! REGARDLESS of gender, class or race, we need to stop fighting among ourselves and fight for educational reform!

    January 28, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
    • coffegirl

      I agree.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dvv554

    In Ohio, if you live in poverty and/or live in section 8 housing. You can apply for a voucher for your children, so they can attend any private school in the state; at no cost to the parents. She had every opportunity to enroll her children in any school in her district or private. While I understand that you want the best for your children, it does not make it right to falsify information. Doing a wrong to make a right is not a good lesson for her or her children.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • coffegirl

      Here's the question then, if it is that easy, and allowed, as long as you applied for the voucher than why is it such a big deal that she skipped the paperwork and process. Isn't the outcome the same?

      I think 9 days in jail, $30k in fines and sticking a felony charge on her is pretty extreme for not applying for a voucher.

      January 28, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  5. Educated Mom

    I salute you, education was a priority to her

    January 28, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. coffegirl

    There are many stupid laws, many laws that are broken and never prosecuted, punishment of the same crime can be different depending on the lawyer, the judge and a jury, if there is one. So spare us with it's a felony and she must pay, it's only a felony because her attorney didn't pea deal...bad negotiator.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. mom

    I will say this. I am a born and raised Southerner from the deep south. To the comment that the bigots on this thread should move to the South, we don't want them! I can honestly say I have MANY African American friends as do my 6-year-old and 10-year-old. No one in our community would ever judge on race – at least it's not acceptable behavior. I have and will hire minorities, and they are all excellent employees that I am fiercely loyal to. The head of my department is an amazing American American woman that I respect immensely. Also, I never inherited a dime of pre-Civil war wealth so what this white woman has SHE earned by her own sweat and hard work not from anyone who was enslaved over a 100 years ago. All of you from both sides of this should be ashamed for your unfair judgements of each other! Seems to me some of us so-called backwoods Southerners can teach others a thing or two about tolerance and fairness.

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

    Do vouchers quarantee placement? And her dad lived in the district. That is the key point. Why shouldn't his grandkids benefit from his tax contribution to the school system.
    None of this would be an issue if all children had free access to a quality education!

    January 28, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. coffegirl

    Regarding illegal immigrants...If the problem is too big to solve, the law ignores it and instead punishes the little ones that they can catch. We don't have the man power to catch the parents of the illegal immigrants and force them back to their country so we just keep paying...Same with the drug crimes that are prevalant in the same bordering states.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  10. AMENWISE

    My vote for mother of the year. Kudos to you lady for doing what you have to do to get a better education for your children. This should wake the government up. She is not the first nor will she be the last. Why do we have to go to extremes to receive a proper education? This is supposed to be a great nation despite all our achievements we still cannot offer good educations to children in poorer areas. Instead of focusing so much on Iraq and Afghanistan, how about fixing these schools. We have a democratic Afro-American president but we still have below average school districts. Why is education not free and equal to all? Are we still living in a caste system? If you are rich the world is your oyster, if you are poor the world is your stumbling block. The judge and the school district should be ashamed for even convicting this poor woman. If seeking a better opportunity for your children is a crime then every immigrant all the way back to the Pilgrims should be locked up. This country was built on freedom and opportunity. Something is wrong with this nation. Wake up people! What ever happened to "Brown vs The Board of Education?"

    January 28, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. annabelle

    For once I have to chime in here. I am disgusted by some of these comments, where in this article was anything said about her being on welfare? The school district is complaining about the cost of the education and the investigation of her.... my question is this..... what about the costs of the police department to investigate the crime, the cost of the prosecution and the prosecutor's staff to review and approve the charges. Then we move on to the court systems... the cost of the Court systems and Prosecutor's to try the case. Lastly we move on to the costs associated to house her in jail for nine days. Therefore, I don't think the school district has any standing to complain about the costs of the education that these children have received.

    The only thing that this woman wants for her young children is a better life. I imagine (as I too am a single mom) she wants her children to get a quality education so that they will never have to STRUGGLE to take care of their families, she wants them to have a good strong education to springboard off of when they go to college.

    It is clearly a sad day when we put a single mom in jail whose ONLY crime is her desire to give her kids a better education. We have plenty of violent offenders walking amongst us everyday whose crimes are to prey on innocent victims. I think trying and putting her in jail for nine days was clearly an abuse of our legal system.

    I hope that the district is forced to allow her children to continue attending their district. I also hope that the district is punished for wasting court system dollars.
    I do wonder if this does have something to do with her and her children's race. It makes you wonder whether or not this school district functions under an elitist belief. If it does, she should bring a suit against them- the Jim Crow Laws went out a very long time ago. We as a society have much bigger problems then a mom trying to get a better education for her children.

    January 28, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. coffegirl

    Let's face it the law of keeping kids out of "certain" districts was created for the sole purpose of keeping the riff raff out. The proof of this is when you look at how and where our Federal Dollars are dispersed, the higher class neighborhoods get more money per pupil...Why is that? Some will argue it's because higher income cities schools pay higher taxes...if that were true than have their higher income city dwellers pay for those higher taxes, not all Americans...All of our Federal Taxes go into one pot and should be dispersed equally among the cities to provide better education for all!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  13. J. D

    You know I'm 60 yrs old and have known people through out the years who have registered their kids in different schools for various reasons. Some were even caught and had to change schools but this is the first time I've ever heard of a parent being prosecuted for it. Why is it a crime to want to educate your children so they don't have to live on welfare?? Totally ridiculous!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. HICK

    Straight up, she broke the law. There are guildlines set in place for a reason, each school is built to compacitate the students within a district, not just anyone who wants to attend. Now the RACE thing, if anything, the blacks have the upper hand in everyday life, the white are now the minority because we allow them to put us there without debate/fight. Just yesterday, I went to my sons school, there in the office was a list of scholarships being offered by organizations/state and the very first one was specificall only for AFRICAN AMERICANS, not just your academically qualified child but he/she must be black. I scrolled the list and no where was a scholarship being offered specifically to a a white person, no way, then we would be racist. There are alot of things that I dislike about the system but, there are avenues you must go through, not disregard the law in place because you are black. GUILTY AS CHARGED!!!!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. islandmommy

    The school district and prosecutor's office need to be investigated. How many of the supposedly 100 families investigated by the school were black, and does this represent a fair proportion of the black students over all at the "better" school? Or did the school single out black families to be investigated? I hope I live to see the day that "zoned" schools no longer exist and parents can select public schools or use vouchers for private schools. If parents had true CHOICE in where to send their kids, regardless of their ability to purchase an expensive home, schools would have to step up their game to compete for students. As it stands, the school system is so self serving that it can (and has) stagnated on its laurels. Even "good" schools are not that great– look at how the United States ranks worldwide in student performance. It's shameful!

    January 28, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • FC

      @islandmommy You got that right...Now, they have opened up a can a worms 75% of the kids out there live out of the school district...I can't wait to see how this turns out, and let's not let this just go away...WE MUST KEEP up with this one. They were so busy video taping for two years and the camera is on them!

      January 28, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
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