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. TonyInNYC

    She might've broken the law, got caught, and is now being punished. Too bad it isn't against the law for the state - and this nation - to send poor children to bad schools and better-off children to good schools, thus preserving the economic disparity (which the children themselves did not create) that is a drag on this nation's productivity and future prosperity.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      Except the schools are not "bad" or "good" based on the funding but instead on the involvement of the parents and the choices made by the kids attending them.

      Akron, the "bad/poor" district has significantly more to spend per student ($4,000 more per student... and this doesn't include things such as lunch subsidies for low income students, it actually results in them having 3/4 as many students per teach as the "rich/good" districts because they have more to spend on teachers and more to spend on materials/supplies per student) NOT because they raise the money themselves (they only pay about 37% of their own expenses out of local taxes) but because general state funds and federal funds subsidize them so heavily. Copley, the "good/affluent" district has to pay over 75% of its own educational costs out of local taxes and has much less to spend per student.

      If you want to erase the discrepancy in education, it is up to the parents in these poorer districts to make the difference. The sad part is that there are many good parent in these bad districts... but the bad or incompetent parents and the resulting actions of their children bring down everyone. And, of course, people scream and yell if the high performing kids (whose parents are involved in their education, make sure they go to school and do homework etc) are given the advantage of separate, safer schools in which to excel because it would be "unfair" to the poorly performing or disruptive students.

      January 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. the_dude

    There is nothing racial about this. These white guilt idiots need to give it a rest. Someone on public assistance better not lie about their residence. That is very dumb and asking for problems.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Elo

    it is sad how all she wanted to do was provide a better life for her daughters, if her father is paying school taxes for this school let those girls go to that school.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayZ

      Us objective people must stick together on these threads. I mean, even Robin Hood would have been hung if he got caught.. dont make it right.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JenniferH

    on another note: the father of the children is half responsible for this mess and should be sitting the mothers ten days (as opposed to her doing it).

    January 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sam

    She deserved what she got. If she wanted to send her kids to a better school all she had to do was pay the tuition. Why should she be able to get around paying the required fees? I'm sure the tax payers in the community pay dearly for their kids education, but it should be okay for her not too? Give me a break. If she really was all the concerned about her kids education, I guess she should have lived with her father and not try to cheat the system. I'm glad she was caught, and I hope more communities go after others who try to cheat the systems. I pay my taxes so my children can attend school in the community in which they live, no one else pays it for me!!! If you don't like it move. Bravo to the school system keep up the good work. P.S. What a fine teaching moment for her kids> how to cheat!

    January 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. just me

    First of all, homeless kids can go where ever they want.

    Also, in Arkansas, we have open districts, where if you are a minority, you can go where you want.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. alienmom

    @Katrina,your knowledge of what teacher's unions do is sadly WRONG.Got a teacher in your family?,they are lying to you.? I have never seen a bigger bunch of whiners than teachers.Odd the same whiners never leave they just get more advanced d egrees so they can get away from teaching and be "almighty administrators." The billions that have been spent since the 60's to educate b l a ck students has been squandered by UNIONS.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. embarassed in akron

    I live in nearby Akron. I know families that have felt the need to move out of Copley Fairlawn because their children were emotionally abused in Copley schools because they are black.

    In this case we have a family who has a member paying taxes into the Copley system but still are convicted of depriving the school district of tuition. The district receives payment from those taxes whether or not the children attend. This is shameful.

    Violated the law? Laws regulating education in Ohio have themselves been declared illegal in federal courts. So this 'violated the law' argument is founded on sand.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Goncalo

    Unbelievable. I wish more mothers would care for their children as much as this one. Parents should try to get their kids into the best possible school, and I can't believe this mother went to jail for that.

    Twenty years ago, when I was in school, my parents did the same for me, and I am hugely grateful they did.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mila

    OMG! She just a good mother who what her kids to be in better school. What about parents who bring their kids to realative who has same last name but does't belong to school distric, wnat about those who even not belog to the country????

    January 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. js

    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.

    If he was receiving public assistance I find it hard to believe he was paying taxes. Should she have gone to jail...probably not but it sounds like there was more to it than just that.

    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 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Zoe

    Well, that's good that she's out. Jailing a woman for trying to get her kids a good education is entirely unethical, and frankly if she used a family members address I don't see what the problem is. They have family that lives in that district so who cares? They're just making an example out of her and its obvious because there were several other parents caught doing the same thing at that school but they were white so its not recieving any media and they never saw a day in jail.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Charles

    Please... the very idea that anything in the US is equal, fair, or free is ridiculous. It has never been and never will be.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • JenniferH

      THat my friend is freedom

      January 27, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • TonyInNYC

      Nevertheless, aspiring to achieve the self-evident truth that all men are created equal is not a bad thing for us to attempt as citizens in this democracy.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. A.

    While I applaud this woman's desire to ensure that her children receive a good education, the fact remains that she broke the law and has to face the consequences. Perhaps a better idea would be to get involved at the kids' school and try to make positive changes.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tony

    She should stay in jail like other people does. American's court system is too weak.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
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