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. Janeway

    Check it out. I know lot's of people who have done the same thing this women did. As a matter of fact my mom and dad did it for me once when I was in eighth grade so that I didn't have to go to a ghetto ass school in my city. While I don't agree with Kelley not getting in any trouble, I do believe that the punishment should fit the crime. White people, unless they have lived along side minorities all their life and struggled with them will never understand this, so the comments about "I pay my taxes here and NO ONE else should get in if they don't" are not unusual. There are a couple of points to be made about sensationalizing this in particular case. One being that it would appear that due to the race of the individuals involved they recieved a harsher punishment than if they were white or of a much lighter complexion. Secondly, the issue with education and the in-equality of it is something worth taking a look at. While we are standardizing health care we really need to be standardizing our education system and breaking up these teacher unions or at least eliminating some of their power. The power that allows in-effective teachers to continue taking the spot of someone that really cares. I feel for this woman and I hope that she get's out of this unscathed because I don't care how you all feel about it I think we should all agree that the punishment did not fit the crime and if we turn a blind eye to this type of rouge sentencing it's only a matter of time before YOU (whatever ethnicity you are) become a victim. We ALL break the law and it doesn't matter how minor, if you do it it's wrong no matter what so be careful about pointing the finger and making harsh judgements. – NorCal

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

    First, lets get the facts straight. This woman was told along with 37 other families that were out of district that they would have to make other arrangements. The school district offered to set up a payment plan to pay tuition or they could move into the district. The other families complied and this woman did not. She continued to send try and send her kids to the schools while not living in the district. Second, Copley Ohio is not an affluent white suburb. I grew up there. It is a middle class, middle income community. There aren't mansions everywhere. Its very diverse. The media has sensationalized this story to a point that its disrespectful to the people that live there. The school district isn't producing ivy league kids with pockets full of diamonds and trust funds. Before believing the lies that the media prints, take a step back and do some independent research.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janeway

      Katie,...what independant research did you do?

      January 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      You can look the school budgets up online on the state dept of education website.

      Copley has much less money to spend on its students because it is required to primarily self fund (it pays over 75% of its own education costs) and there is a limit by state law on the local taxes. Akron on the other hand ends up with over $4,000 per student because, while it raises significantly less per student out of local funding, it receives substantial support from general state funds and federal funding, both of which are determined on a per child basis.

      This means, Akron (the poorer district) received less money than it should have been eligible for because this woman lied and sent her kids to another district. While this did mean Akron didn't have to educate those children (so it didn't change the amount available per child in that district), it did mean that over $30,000 less was available in Ohio for public schools (since the state and federal funding available is computed per child). Also, Copley with its more limited funding opportunities had less money to spend per child, primarily paid for out of local taxes since it doesn't receive anywhere near the per child allotment from state and federal funding, to pay for its own children's education.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      that should have been "Akron ends up with over $4,000 more per student than Copley"

      January 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jl taylor

    This is not a case where jail time should have been considered. The race of the mother does not mater. All God loving
    Americans should be able to find forgiveness and understanding of this womans' reality.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. American by birth, Southern by the grace of God!

    Where is the ACLU in all this?!? "Separate yet equal" is NOT legal! I'm a bona fide middle class white girl, and I find it appalling that this mother is accused of "stealing" a proper education for her kids..... Shame on you, school district!

    I thought Brown v Board of Education & the civil rights movement had taken care of this nonsense.

    Tell me where to donate – better yet, I want to volunteer to aid in her defense.

    Silver lining: didn't happen in the south – thank goodness!

    January 27, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Man by birth, Man by the labor of Mom & Dad!

      A piddly misdemeanor. Why is this national news?

      January 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • baldrick

      "Man by Birth...": Right!.... and wrong! Yes, it IS a piddly misdemeanor. It's national news because they charged her with TWO FELONIES, thereby ruining her chances (& probably those of her children as well) to finish her education, get a decent job, and get off the welfare rolls!

      January 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mario

    Why is this news.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Luis R.

    This is what a lot of people do, in order for their children to have a better education. It´s not the parent´s fault. it´s the state´s and the nation´s fault for not making schools EQUAL!! Schools in the US should all be equal, in order for this not to happen. If schools are not equal aren´t states violating the 14th amendment..I seriously don´t see this right, jailing a woman for trying to do what states and the nation has failed to do, what is next America??

    January 27, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      How exactly are they supposed to make the schools equal? The state and federal governments are already picking up the majority of the tab for the Akron school system (the district this woman works in and didn't want to send her kids to) and that district has more than $4,000 per student to spend despite its lower tax revenue. Copley, on the other hand, has to primarily self fund since it isn't eligible for the same level of state and federal funding, plus there is a state law restricting local taxes so that it is limited on how much it can raise locally.

      This means Akron has smaller class sizes and more money for supplies and materials. The inequity is in their favor in terms of investment... that isn't what makes it fail, it is the students and their parents. Sadly, however, the bad parents and the disruptions caused by their children reduce the quality of education for all the kids in the district.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      *sighs for poor proof reading*

      That should have been "Akron has more than $4,000 more per student than Copley"

      January 27, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jackson

    She didn't deserve this. Go to

    January 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bruce

    The amount of money the school gets depends upon the number of attendees. This is why attendance is taken. The fact that the child was registered at another school, outside of the residence of her mother (but at her grandfathers) mean J.S. to the cost to the school. Because the child was registered there, the school got money for her due to the attendance figures being increased by 1. Her grandfather lived in the district, so his property taxes were contributing to the local tax base which partially funds the attendance. If Copley-Fairlawn returns the money they received due to the child's attendance, they can complain.. otherwise they should STFU.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      That isn't entirely true in Ohio. Copley-Fairview receives significantly less in outside funding (ie. state and federal) per child than Akron does and it is restricted by state law as to how much it can raise for education from local taxes. This woman sending her children to Copley-Fairview actually meant more than $30,000 less available for public education in Ohio due to the substantially lower per child allowance from state and federal funding that the Copley-Fairview district receives (and which Akron lost because these children weren't registered there). It also meant less money available per child in Copley-Fairview because they had not alternative available to them to make up the funding to cover more students.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Steve

    I cannot resist but admire this mother's devotion to her children. But on the other hand, if enough people were to do this, the whole system would be burdened tremendously. And seriously people, stop turning this into a racial argument just because she's black. Everyone's gotta pull their own weight regardless of race

    January 27, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janeway

      Steve, you seem to miss the point. The only reason race is an issue is due to the harsh sentence that was handed down. Considering this woman had no prior record, was in the end stages of finishing college to herself become a teacher the sentence was extreme.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brenda

    Why couldn't the school do an inter-district transfer. My son went to schools outside his district because as a single mom I worked in another district and had my child care in place in that district. There are alot of other families who do the same thing. I don't understand why this school district had to be so unbending, especially since the children's Grandfather was in the district. Why isn't that school board working at improving the situation instead of using valuable resources to harass a caring single mother who appreciates the value of a good education. Seems to me that the wrong person went to jail.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Name*armywife


    January 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janeway

      NAme*armywife, clearly you could have benefited from an inter-district transfer. LOL

      January 27, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justice4All

      Army based on your reply, you would be a prime candidate for why we need school of choice. Clearly you did not benefit from having a good education. Or you missed out when they were teaching English.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fred

    Why is the number of Google entries a line in a news report? How did the district lose $30,000 in tuition? Why didn't the woman move in with her father and pay him rent?

    January 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kim

    In my own kid's school district, our classes our overcrowded and resources strained because of people living outside the district bringing thier kids in, and the school system does nothing, although they admit it is a serious problem.....crowded rooms, hallways, not enough restrooms, etc. etc. You cannot blame a mother for wanting better for her children; however, attendance issues can become a serious detriment if left unchecked. But ten days?????????

    January 27, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Makingsense

    Isn't the real issue the school system that is failing our children. We are raising less educated children that are not prepared and still some cannot read!

    Let's address the issue of ensuring that all children receive an equal education. Let's raise the bar for all of America's children as these will be the leaders of tomorrow.

    January 27, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. student

    Our school is one of the most diverse schools in the state. I don't understand why people believe race is the issue in this case. This woman tried to send her students to our school after our school had made it very clear that it would not allow students from outside of the district to come in without paying tution.

    January 27, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
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