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. Nags

    This is a big mistake. This could have been avoided by School District. I am against any one going to jail because they tried to send their kids to school to which they do not belong. The kids could have been removed from school. I don't see a need for the mother to be jailed. I also do not see a reason why Judge, of all people, does not see that this is not a felon and no one needs to go to jail because of this. I am very disappointed.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tom

    Giving your kids best possible education is definitely right thing to do for any parent. Why would the system force people to cheat to do the right thing ? There is obviously something wrong with the system...

    January 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Paul

    In Louisiana, there is an open enrollment which allows children who live in the Parish (county) to attend any school in that Parish, regardless of you reside. This alleviates many of these types of problems.
    It is totally understandable for a parent to want to put their children in the best school. To have spent the type of money they did tailing her and the court costs is a bit over the top.
    Does it really cost the school that much more to educate a few more kids? Aren't schools subsidized by the US Govt. based on enrollment?
    To have saddled a mom with a felony conviction for this and put her in the same catagory as a murderer is crazy. She now has a whole new set of problems... getting a job, buying a house...

    January 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Elli

    It was a bit disgusting to watch Carol just badger the Superintendent, trying to get him to feel bad about what they did. They tried for two years to get this woman to make a different choice. Yes, it's sad that these kids see their mother branded a felon. Yes, it's sad she will have trouble becoming a teacher. What are you getting at? Should we give her a pass for her poor choices, her ILLEGAL choices, because other people will pay the price? Or because it's SAD? Give me a break.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte K.

      Why not? People who dont even belong in this country get better education choices than our own citizens. The illegal families here dont even need id, income, proof of residency or anything to enroll their children in school, but this woman is jailed? Something is not right.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DuWayne

    If his father does pay his property taxes, then the children should be living at HIS house to attend the school. Then it would not be an issue, but instead the mother wanted to lie (I can understand her wanting the best for her children). Perhaps if she did it the honest way, she wouldn't be a felon now, and she wouldn't have set the example to her children that its ok to lie to get the things you want.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tam

    Why aren't ALL schools excellent? Are some kids worth more than others?

    January 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte K.

      Good question Tam. Apparently, so. Not that its right, but that's certainly the message that's being sent.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why not?

      Because some schools attract better teachers than others. Who wants to work in a school with gang problems and boarded up windows?

      January 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. doris delacy

    THE LESSON – DO NOT LIE – SHE WAS GIVEN A CHANCE TO TELL THE TRUTH AND SHE CONTINUED TO LIE
    THIS IS THE LESSON SHE NEEDS TO TELL HER CHILDREN – DO NOT LIE – THE SCHOOL IS OVERCROWDED DUE TO ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT AMERICAN TAXPAYERS HAVE TO PAY FOR – AND OUR AMERICAN CHILDREN HAVE TO TAKE A BACK SEAT – SOLVE THE PROBLEM – PRIOR TO 1974 SUPREME COURT CASE ILLEGAL ALIENS COULD NOT ENROLL THEIR CHILDREN IN SCHOOL IF THEY COULD NOT PROVE RESIDENCY. NOW WE CANNOT ASK WHERE THE CHILDREN COME FROM AND WE PUT OUR AMERICAN MOTHERS IN JAIL FOR RESIDENCY LYING WHICH ISONLY GRANTED TO ILLEGAL ALIENS AND THEIR CHILDREN. ITS ALL A DISGRACE

    January 27, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MyTwoCents

      Doris. Here we go again ! Illegal aliens are responsible for everything wrong with America. This case has nothing to do with illegal aliens. Get your facts right. People like you just want to blame someone for whatever ails you.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte K.

      She shouldn't have had to lie. She should have been afforded the same opportunity as the other students. She should have been afforded the same opportunity as the illegal aliens, dont you think?

      January 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rita

    Let's stop dancing around the issues. If this was a white women trying to give her kids a better education, they would not have spent $6k in surveillance, nor would she have gone to jail, and they would not demand that she repay $30k. They would have said, she was doing what was "best for her children". How do you steal education for your kids. Seriously!!! It's time that the school district take a good look at themselves and since they demanding $30k back I hope they put in the school district that need it the most.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh

      Not true, I know a white woman who was caught for the same thing, however she moved in with her father for a few months with the kids and the school felt that they were residents of the town therefore. Of the past 9 years, she and her kids really lived in the town less than 6 months.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • SB

      I disagree. We have friends, who are white, who were reported living out of district. The house across the street was in the district, theirs was not. It isn't about color. It is about what is right and wrong. My friend ended up moving to keep her child in the school she chose to send them too. Not buy a house, but moved in with family. This lady was wrong by lying – she should have moved in with her dad if that is where she wanted her children to attend school. All actions have consequenses.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MyTwoCents

    It is interesting to know that the individual the school district in this case hired for $6,000 to do the investigation used illegal means to determine which parent lives in the school district. Sgt. Gary Webb, a 20-year veteran of the Akron police force, has pleaded guilty to a felony charge that he improperly used a law enforcement database to investigate parents regarding residency requirements for Copley-Fairlawn schools. The illegality of obtaining said information was moral grounds enough for Mr. Brian Poe, school supritendent for the Copley-Fairlawn schools to have stopped its prosecution of the case.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Just Me

    She stole for the taxpayers in that school system. The taxpayers pay very high property taxes to run and maintain a good school for their children in their district. By sending her children to a school district she did not belong to or pay into she stole services and a seat intended and paid for by others.. she should be made to pay the mopney back with interest as well as never have costody of her children again. she is not a good example to her children. She is just teaching to take what ever you want regardless if you have a right to it or if some one else paid for it.. it is not an issue of black and white.. it is an issue of values..

    January 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • CERO

      You have got to be kidding. A woman who wants better for her kids should lose them for trying. Wow, bet you want Palin for president.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • lee s

      Cero, if she really wanted it better for her kids why didnt she find the time to tutor them herself'?

      January 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh

      But she's not paying taxes for that school. Question is, why NOT allow kids to go to school in another district as long as a grandparent is paying taxes there?

      January 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Justice doesn't exist

    I don't get how she tampered with anything if the address she used was that of the kids FATHER! If that is their father and they live with him part time, why in the hell is she charged and convicted with this "crime"? Call a spade a spade people.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Realist

      The woman used HER father's address.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CERO

    SO LET ME GET THIS RIGHT. SHE USED HER FATHER'S ADDRESS TO ENROLL HER CHILDREN IN THE LOCAL SCHOOL. SHE WAS ARRESTED AND GIVEN 10 DAYS (SERVING 9) I AM AN EDUCATOR AND OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT IS CROWDED TO THE HILT WITH CHILDREN WHOSE PARENTS DID NOT ILLEGALLY CROSS A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAP, BUT A BORDER MAP. TENS OF THOUSANDS (IF NOT MORE) STUDENTS ARE ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY AND BEING EDUCATED FOR FREE. WHEN THEY CLAIM TO BE HOMELESS THEY DO NOT HAVE TO SHOW PROOF OF RESIDENCY AND ARE IMMEDIATELY ENROLLED. WHY IS THIS ALLOWED TO HAPPEN, YET THIS ONE WOMAN WITH TWO CHILDREN IS JAILED? I WOULD TAKE THIS TO THE SUPREME COURT. IF MINE CAN'T HAVE, THOSE WHO SHOULD NOT, WON'T.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • JDoe

      An educator who cannot capitalize properly has zero credibility.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lee s

    she could have always tutored them after school or at night, or on the weekend, or during the summer....There are always other options.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • MyTwoCents

      Easy for you to say lees s. A single mother of two trying to make ends meet, going to school to be a school teacher and having time to tutor. Give me a break. Live in her shoes and see if you have any time for yourself talk less of having time to tutor.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rod Venger

    This case should at some point be part of an ethics class. We all know that stealing is wrong, and a crime, but when your kids are hungry...or you are hungry...should the baker really call the police when you shoplift a loaf of bread?

    Of course, there's ramifications on both sides of the argument. Starving people is a bad thing...but so is allowing ONE person to shoplift and inviting 100 more to do the same. Pretty soon, the baker has no bread for anyone.

    This is very much like that. Who can blame this mother for wanting to get her kids out of a district that will 'pass' her kids no matter what their shortcomings and into a school that will actually teach them? Yet what happens when 100 parents do the same? Water seeks the lowest point and all of those outside students would drag the good school down and everyone suffers for it.

    Mama Bolar should get a "Parent of the Year" award...but go back and spend that 10th day in jail too.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rh

    This happens all the time. I know a guy whose daughter drives from Philly to his suburban NJ town with her two kids, then he takes them to school in town, and she goes to work in Camden, picking them up after he watches them after school. They got caught and she and the kids moved in with him for a few months so it looked like they really lived there.

    And for some reason people don't think this is stealing.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • rh

      PS the woman, her kids, and the grandfather are all white in the case I mentioned.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte K.

      If this guy pays taxes to the school, what has been stolen? He pays the same taxes whether he has children in school or not.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
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