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. Geri

    Maybe this story needs to be looked into closer; I doubt that race has anythignto do with it; I am sure this woman really was trying to do the best for her children (I don't blame her for this; I may do the same thing). Jail seems a little harsh....

    January 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dtboy

    This is why we need vouchers, so you can use your tax money to send your child to the school of your choice, rather than government dictating where they go. Government role is to serve from the bottom up, not control from the top down.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    She committed fraud and she should be prosecuted for it. I’m tired of paying for others to break the rules. I have to abide by the rules and so do you. If you believe you are above the rules and break them and get caught, then shut up and take your punishment.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave


      January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayZ

      I dont condone the action, or the method. But I do condone the rationalization.

      Whats it like to be a sheeple?

      January 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. judy beaver

    It seems to me a judge was exceptionally harsh on this lady. This is not a felony considering the many people that get away with much more and are not charged. You have ruined her life as far as her training to be a teacher. Shame on you she has worked hard for her education and is trying to improve herself. I feel that the judge should have to change the charge and should be a more compasionate person. All she was doing is to try and improve her childrens education.It is to bad that our school districts have to be so different. all school districts should have to meet the same level. ohio has had governers that are suppose to and ran on the effect they would improve all school districts. why are they not held responsible. when stated they ran on ballot to improve and have lied that is a worse charge. why are the politicans held up to the truth and made responsible. a lie is a lie for them also, and she lived between the 2 homes. our laws are very inadequate and favor the poliiticans come on judge have a little compassion

    January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      Judy good beaver?

      January 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • eric m

      You may not FEEL like this should be a felony, but the law says otherwise. An offense is judged on its own merits, not what others have gotten away with in the past. Likewise, the rule says that if you are convicted of a felony (which she was), you can't be hired for those positions. She made a choice. You may agree with that choice, but it was a conscious decision to break the law. Breaking the law has consequences.

      Nobody is looking at this from the other angle. Schools receive some of their funding from the state based on the number of students enrolled. By sending her kids to the wrong school, she was depriving the kids' rightful (poor) school of funds.

      Also, I see a lot of people claiming the father was paying taxes. Has anyone confirmed that he was a homeowner? School dictricts receive much of their funding from property taxes, which would not apply if the father was renting.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DivaMama1

    I believe if the mother could have moved, she would have, but she was living in housing, which meant that she could not afford to move. Although this mother commited a crime, I do believe that the punishment does not fit the crime, and what will happen to her dream of becoming a teacher, not with a felony charge. Akron school district, I believe that you have commited a crime far worse.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lilinzaniac

    The article yesterday said they are usually able to resolve these kinds of cases outside of court, but they were unable to reach an agreement with Ms. Williams-Bolar. Makes me think this is a lot less race related as everyone seems to be making it out to be. I assume she knew the consequences of taking this through the court system and obviously choose to go forward with it. I'm curious to know why they couldn't reach an agreement before this went to trial...

    January 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      Duh–because she could put on the sad face and people would rush to her defense without checking out the facts.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ?

    Everybody keeps talking about how her father was paying taxes in the district. I don't know whether he was or not, but he was still stealing from the government.
    He was charged with tamepering 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.

    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.

    This is not as cut and dried as a lot of you think it is. These people were committing felonies and KNEW they were.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Natattack

    My parents lied to the school district and totally got away with it. Granted, we only had to do it for a year. And the original zoning was RIDICULOUS. I was bused to a school in ANOTHER TOWN almost forty minutes away for my sixth grade year. Add that to all the frequent stops along the way, and you're looking at a two hour bus ride to and from school. Come seventh grade, my parents decided that it was completely impractical to have to drive that far to pick me up for doctor's appointments and things like that, so they talked to my aunt and she let them use her address to enroll me in a junior about ten minutes away from my home. My parents would drop me off in the mornings and I'd ride the bus to my aunt's in the afternoon to keep up pretenses and wait for my mom to get off work. It was a 20 minute bus ride. However, the reasoning behind this zoning was also quite different. They were busing children from HIGHER income areas to LOWER income areas to attend schools and create a racially/socially balanced population. However, many parents complained of the impracticality of this, and in my eighth grade year the school district rezoned everything and I was finally able to LEGALLY attend my junior high school.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lisa

    I love this mom. She's trying to do better for her kids, so they won't have to live in subsidized housing the rest of their lives. This is one law breaker I applaud. She should do whatever it takes to get those kids in the right district so they can continue in that school. I hope someone in that district steps up and helps her. Perhaps her own father can take the 2 girls in.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      If they want to do better for their kids, maybe they should keep a father for them.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • AverageJoe76

      Dave, you are obviously a bit racist. Anyone could read your posts and come to that conclusion. And racists are pretty much the most brainwashed, ignorant, and infantile people. Because they don't know the truth, they tend to assume they know.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Clete

    This is why education needs to be moved up on the list. The goal should be that public schools in the US are the best and that means all public schools regardless of location.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. A CNN Reader

    I guess its ok to break the law, teach your kids its ok to break the law as long as you 1) are a minority and 2) its to better yourself.... huh? NOT

    January 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candice

      "I guess its ok to break the law, teach your kids its ok to break the law as long as you 1) are a minority and 2) its to better yourself.... huh? NOT"

      Are you serious? Please stop putting every minority in a box. There are plenty of whites (rich ones who get off for same crimes committed but have great lawyers and those who just simply use their skin to protect them) who do some very illegal things and don't receive their proper reprecussions like minorities. It is easy to say that when you haven't been in that position. The law has not always been a friend to minorities, even if they do it right. Sorry, equality has not always been for all.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Elaine

    If the new grading system for parents is approved, give this Mom an A for effort. She was doing all she could to improve her Kids education.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • getoverit

      I guess a parent sitting down with her kids and helping them learn at home is out of the picture? only choice for our kids to learn is the government and committing fraud is perfectly fine too

      January 27, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lewis_Carroll

    I have no issue with them putting her in jail for not being on the up and up. But, how many illegals are they allowing to stay in that school? If we will put an American citizen in jail for crossing a 'county' line then what are the repercussions for crossing a 'country' line?

    January 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • getoverit

      she was not put in jail for crossing the county line, she was put in jail for lying about her residence. Its called fraud

      January 27, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • lftryagain

      So, getoverit, you are saying people who cross the border then use FRAUDULENT IDS and Social Security Cards should get in trouble too? Fraud is Fraud, let's deport everyone of those criminals. I also want to see those people who work for DPS selling illegals aliens drivers lisences imprisoned.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lftryagain

    I am a white woman and a single mother (now of a college grad) and I applaud this woman for stressing education and trying to do what would benefit her children. I stressed and banged the importance of education into my son. When he graduated from high school he took out student loans to go to college because I certainly couldn't afford it. However, he told me that he KNEW NOT going to college was NOT an option. More women ought to be like this, and our governments (city, state and federal) need to make sure our citizens are getting what we pay into. We would have so much more money to educate our kids if we weren't financing the education of Mexico's children and any other illegal immigrant that comes across here. Paying to teach in Spanish in our schools is a joke and a waste of money.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • getoverit

      We would have so much more money if our government stop being a babysitter giving free money to people who are too lazy to get a job. Here is a solution, stop giving unemployment and low income housing, etc. Make them all go get a farm job if they can't get a job in the city and that would stop illegal immigrants from coming here due to not farm jobs for them. PROBLEM SOLVED

      January 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medellin

      GetOverIt – stop smoking that stuff, it will rot your brain, I think it already started

      January 27, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • lftryagain

      getoverit, there area a lot of jobs for Americans that are filled by illegals that are not agriculture jobs. 12 million jobs, is 12 million. I personally would like to see the government stop giving aid, but I want to see those TAX FREE organizations and CHURCHES do more to take care of the needy, like it use to be when there wasn't social service programs.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candice

      Thank you for your honesty and appeal for this woman and others like you and her. Again, classism and racism are still issue in this country.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. anothermom

    I was just watching "The Talk". The superintendent of that school district said there were 49 cases like hers. They were able to work out the other 48. The mother was offered multiple payment plans and other options, but nothing worked. Perhaps she didn't have the money. It would have been perfectly legal for her to grant some kind of legal custody to her father and have them live at his place in that school district. Our school system actually hires people to come by your house and check that the child lives there. One woman here said that happened for every one of her 6 kids. This is because so many people try this same trick. It's not uncommon for this to be tried. I think that simply moving the kids back to the appropriate school would suffice as punishment.

    I totally disagree with jailing her for something of this nature. However, there seems to be more to this story than meets the eye if 48 of 49 people worked something out and she didn't.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • getoverit

      Thank you! Now people can stick the racist cards in their behinds. So sick of hearing minorities use racism to avoid justice. Oh and for whoever is about to call me racist, I am a minority too

      January 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medellin

      Trust me you are not a racist, just ignorant. Its our education system, it really sucks

      January 27, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • getoverit

      haha thank you! but seriously as a minority I am sick of people of my same race pulling the racist card for everything, I mean the school did go way over board but at the same time it is not "ok" to commit fraud

      January 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
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