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. BobHorner

    If she robbed a liquor store with a gun to get money used only to pay tuition would it be OK because it was a mother doing it to help her children? Perjury is a felony just like robbery.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Victoria

    This thread disturbs me on so many levels. The racist undertones and even overt racism towards African Americans and Latinos is sad. This story is about inadequate education for poor youth in this country. Unfortunately race and class are closely tied together and yes, this has much to do with our nation's history of oppression against people of color. But the bottom line for me is that our kids deserve better. All of you who want to punish the parents fine. The rest of us who look at the education of our kids as a matter of great concern, please keep fighting the good fight. Lack of quality education is ultimately going to lead to great consequences. If you are educated then you understand what I mean. And for the record, what I mean by that is taking the time to educate yourself on the issues. If you're not, then you likely will come back at me with something ignorant.

    Tupac Shakur, love him or hate him, once said, "there's more on the streets than the war in the Middle East." 15 years later, these words haunt me. Wake up everyone. Our greatest threat is unfortunately right here at home...

    January 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Milly

    This is completely off topic...but how many days in jail did those two WHITE people get for crashing the White House state dinner? Oh wait, they got a realitty TV show and interviews. Americans are so f*&(ed up.
    Compromising national security is a much bigger issue than putting a grandfather's address on a school for so your children could have a shot at getting a better education. Clearly, this woman is trying to provide for her kids as best as she can. Shame on you white America. And yes, I am white too. Fortunately I live in Canada where there is more tolerance and compassion. Shame shame shame on you.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mom

    Ok, I'm white, college educated, higher income and live in the best school district of my state. I was born close to poverty and went to a school in the bottom 5 of the state – not bottom 5%, bottom FIVE. Yes I built my career without any advantages given and yes I now pay higher taxes for my kids to go to the best schools. But if I were that mom then I can't say I would have made a different choice if it meant my kids could have a better future. The problem isn't that she BROKE the law. The real problem is our educational system is BROKEN! Even with what I've earned I fear for my kids' educational future. Has anyone looked into the cost of college? Has anyone research how difficult it is to get into college now – even if your kids go to a top school? Our children are our future and we need to invest in them – all of them to their fullest potential and capabilities. Do they want the 30k back? Then let the kids get a quality education so they can contribute that and more to society. Let the mom get her teaching degree so she can better herself and afford to officially move into that district. And yes I worked hard to live where I live but this woman's kids are in school NOW. She doesn't have 10 years to build a career so she can afford an affluent neighborhood though it appears she is trying to get her degree.
    And like others have said, the childrens' grandfather lives there so it's not like she chose an area with no family ties. I'm not saying good for her but desperate times often provoke desperate responses. The system is broken and God help us if we don't fix it soon! The basis of our educational system should be to support those who want to build a future, not throw obstacles at them at every turn. I'm the profile who should agree with this arrest and I simply can't morally. We need to fix the real problem and it's the overall system not this woman!

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

      Thank you for your post. I totally agree.

      January 27, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mom

    @Milly – You judge white Americans with the same prejudice you accuse us of judging African Americans. The one thing I can say about my area is though affluent there is a great deal of tolerance and there isn't a sense of prejudice toward minorities. I know that may not be true everywhere but you can't judge all by the actions of the few or you are equally as guilty of prejudice!

    January 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mom

    @Aloisae – Another example of how the system is broken. I'm sure not all kids in Akron are disruptive and want a good education. So how are we investing in them? How are we setting them for success so people like this mom don't feel compelled to risk criminal prosecution to provide this for their children?
    And for those who are disruptive, can any be saved and motivated? We certainly need to try. The answer shouldn't be to punish the crime but to solve the problem that drove these people to break the law in the first place. Why don't we segregate by performance and achievement? Doesn't matter your race or where you live, if you show dedication, work hard and make the grades we'll reward you with more opportunity. Then the kids that truly want to earn a good education will receive one.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 7love

    This situation between Kelly Williams-Boyer and Copley-Fairlawn School District is not a racism matter. She is a single mother of 2 children, but given Akron Public Schools and City of Akron, OH several blackeyes. Even though she is employed by school district, she just slap the face of her employer. She feels her children can learn in another school district for free. Akron has an Open Enrollment policy that she could use to choose a different school cluster within the district. If I was the judge, her sentence would be to repay the tuition along with 80 hours of Community Service through Akron Public Schools. NO JAIL TIME I,personally, do not feel sorry for her. STOP THE HATE & RACISM IN THE WORLD!!!

    January 27, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. shoops

    Ironic thing is that with mom in jail the kids will probably need to go live with grandpa and will continue at the same school because they are now in-district....

    January 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. LAB550

    If ever there were a case that exemplifies the insidious tandem impact of racism and classism in the United States, the Kelley Williams-Bolar case is the new "poster-child." A non-affluent African-American Mother, who uses her African American Father's address, is sentenced to jail-time by an affluent European American judge, at the behest of her nearly-middle-class European American accuser, because she wants a decent education for her non-affluent African American children, which they are not likely to receive in their non-affluent home district. So, since the courts are the system of choice to redress this case–how about a class action suit against the State of Ohio, very much like the Abbott v. Burke case in New Jersey?

    January 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mom

    Think of the risks she took to her own future to protect her kids, future. She clearly is an intelligent woman seeking a higher degree. What motivated her to take these risk for her kids? There lies the problem to be addressed – THE AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM NEEDS REFORMING!!!
    The only good to come of making this woman an example is maybe some people will wake up to how broken education in America currently is!

    January 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Borntobe

    This is not anything new. Move to a boarder state close to Mexico and see how many students you see going back everyday. So what's the problem.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TCarlson

    Just curious, is Ohio a Tbagger Red State. That would explain how backwards and Nazi like this approach was. Unbelievable to be living in the 21rst century and feel like you're living in the 19th (before Slavery).

    January 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mom

    I think she should get her masters and move to another state to teach. That part really is absurd. Michael Vick is a convicted felon and he has continued his million dollar career but this woman who only wanted a better future for her and her kids can't have the career she's pursuing a higher degree in? That's an educational system that promotes education? No, that's simply counter-productive!

    January 27, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. gwats

    She was G. D. thief, who stole from folks who work each and every day to pay their taxes and house payments to hold on to their homes and communities. what she did is the same as robbing the 7-11 down the street by driving off and not paying for gas. Why are HER kids more important than anyone elses? Answer: they are not! Now they have a criminal mother who will finish raising the little angels on welfare.
    Maybe someone will see her on the street and try to 'explain' it to her.

    January 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Valerie

    I wonder if the taxes the grandfather pays in that school district count for anything , I don't blame her for wanting a better education for her children

    January 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
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