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. No tea for me

    Yes the law is the law. However; at one time it was law that black people could not drink from the same water fountain as a white person. Was that law right??? Is every law that is place in every state right? Come on people! Get off you high horses in your golden palaces and see how wrong this was. They went to court because the school spent $6,000 on a PI (instead of education) and confronted the mother to pay $30,000. When she refused to pay the SCHOOL wanted blood. The prosecution would not take a plea bargin to reduce the charge because they wanted to ruin this mother's life. So please tell me again people that the law is the law. Examples of laws some of you people are breaking right now in Ohio:

    â– In Oxford, It is unlawful for a woman to appear in public while unshaven. This includes legs and face.
    â– In Youngstown, You may not run out of gas

    January 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Gross miscarriage of justice and a waste of taxpayer money.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • coffegirl

      Love it...Great minds think alike, I was looking up some of the crazy laws that nobody lives by too.

      January 28, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  2. Anothermuse

    Really, jail? Take the race stuff out of the equation, is that really the right punishment for trying to get your kids into a better school?

    January 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. USInsanity

    I love how many of the self-righteous commentors here say this woman should have moved into the district so her children can go to a better "white" school..really? How many of you can afford to just pick up and move somewhere else right now? Especially with the economy being the way it is? Do any of you live in the projects and have to get on waiting lists to move to another project? Do you know how long that takes? Research Section 8 housing and see how long waiting lists are for public housing. Her father lived in the district where the kids attended school and he paid taxes. So whats the problem? This is all based on race, she is being made an example others have said, if she was white in OH, we wouldn't be hearing about this. Brown v Board of Education made it illegal to segregate children in school based on race...however these days segregation in public schools is based on money..who has it and who doesn't. Nothing has really changed in the past 50 years ..economic segregation in our public school system is alive and well..

    January 27, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • What?

      Why didn't she move in with her father?

      January 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • pplgetagrip

      Why should she have had to move in with her father to give her childeren a beter education? Maybe they should have had a good school right in her neighboorhood? Maybe every school should offer the very same, very best education not matter where one lives and we wouldn't have problems like this. Its asinine that this woman went to jail for this!

      January 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • What?

      Tell that to the people who voted against school vouchers. With a voucher, she could enroll her kids wherever she wanted.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      Before you get too much on YOUR high horse: Akron (the district you are saying is being discriminated against) is given significantly more in terms of state general funds and federal funds to educate their students. While I'm not suggesting this is unfair, it does mean that the discrepancy in the tax base of the districts has more than been made up for by the taxpayers of the state and all of us paying federal taxes. Akron, as a result of its substantial funding from outside sources, has $4,000 more per student to spend (and as a result has 3/4 the number of students per teacher ratio because it can afford not only to spend more per student on supplies but also spends a lot more per student on teachers) than Copley (the supposedly affluent district this woman lied to send her kids to).

      If anything, the racial discrimination is going the other way with the predominantly white districts not only being expected to pay a much larger percentage of their own educational costs (in the case of Copley over 75%) than the more racially diverse districts (in the case of Akron, about 37%) but they also have far less money to spend per student. Again, I'm not saying this isn't necessary because the more racially diverse districts struggle so much despite all of the funding received from other sources but it is not a case of economic inequity in terms of school funding discriminating against racially diverse districts.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • neal smithline

      That's because she doesn't want her father to see all the bad bad men that she brings home, the bad bad men that knocked her up and left her with the kids!!!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why not?

      If her neighborhood was that bad why WOULDN'T she want to move in with her father (or at least have the kids live there)? If I was the grandfather, I'd be inviting her to get the kids out of that environment!

      January 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 2bsquare

    It didnt cost the school district a dime. The grandfather was paying his taxes. I live in a town where 86% of the students are non english speaking. Only 20% of the students in town attend the public school. THe tow spends 16,500 per student, but the worse thing is that over 20% of the students have no assocition to the town.

    No Family, no associtions to the town. So where is ICE in NJ? Where is Gov. Christie. Even this is to hot for him.
    Welcome to RB, NJ

    January 27, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alisha

    So many of you folks are so upset and going on about how this woman didn't pay taxes in that district and because of that, her children shouldn't be there and that "the law is the law". It's also a law in Ohio that nobody can be arrested on Sunday and that women can't wear patent leather shoes in public. You also seem to be forgetting that her father does pay taxes that support the school district, so why not give his grandchildren an opportunity for a better education and a better life? I grew up and attended school in one of the more affluent school districts. I went to school alongside a lot of kids that didn't necessarily live within the boundaries of that district. It never seemed to be a problem unless those kids were from one of the "undesirable" groups from the innercity. I think this whole thing is about more than just who's paying the tax bill. Why was the school willing to spend so much money to investigate the whole thing? Why isn't anybody complaining about the money they wasted on that? Six grand will buy a lot of new books

    January 27, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hereInCA

    We had an Anglo-Saxon family do the same thing here in California. His parents registered him into the school using the grandparents address. When the school found out, all they did was force him to leave the school immediately.

    While I agree that the children were correctly removed from the school, I don't believe the mom should have received jail time if this is her first-time offense. If anyone were to repeatedly do the same crime, then the punishment needs to be harsher. The school could have just as easily given her a warning or a fine, then moved on.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • pplgetagrip

      She should not have had to move her kids at all. They are should be able to benefit for the education that their grandfather clearly pays for by paying his taxes. Next why is it a crime to want your kids to recieve a good education? I'm sure she wanted her children to have a better opportunity than she has. As a parent that's your job...IF the school has nothing better to do then sit around having parents thrown in jail for wanting to right by their kids then they need to ge a life. How dare they do this to a woman that is trying to give her kids a fair and equal shot in the world.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • hereInCA

      The district has rules and guidesline as to whom can register to the school.
      The child's parents could have chosen to complete an Intra-district transfer request to attend the school legally.
      The request is at no cost, but is dependant on space available, and at a first-come, first serve basis.

      Since there was room for that grade level, this child took another child's spot whose parents chose to go through the proper process. Are you saying it is fair for this child to "cut in line" and not follow the rules?

      January 27, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Medellin

      The argument is not that the kids should not have been kicked out of the school, its that she was arrested and did jail time. That was vindictive, specially when so many other parents do that. as far as taxes, when I pay federal taxes my taxes help pay for highways in other states, should we stop that and let everything go to hell. What happened to "Dont ask what your country can do for you, Ask what you can do for your country". I swear we are going down hill, the US will lose its position in the world stage. No one wants to contribute to the growth of this country.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jill

    This is sad.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Illegals

    Is this school district going after all of the illegal aliens that are in the school? If you are here illegal then you are breaking the law and entering your illegal children into schools without paying taxes is illegal also. We could give our children a better education if we weren't spending money on all the illegal aliens in this country. They are not responsible for all of this country's problems but they are a big part of it because they are using our tax dollars and they are not paying any taxes. What she did was wrong but understandable. If this country does not get a handle on education for our children (all of our children) then we are going to become a third world county.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • lftryagain

      The sad thing is, here in Texas we have Mexican students who cross into Texas everyday and illegal aliens enrolled in the schools and the schools can't turn them down! So, no, only American CITIZENS and LEGAL immigrants are expected to FOLLOW THE LAW and are prosecuted if they don't. The Illegal alien "Preferential" treatment strikes again.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Robert

    We are in a similar situation here in Orlando. There is a NICE elementary school across the road from where we live but my son (hispanic) has to go to a different (lesser)school a few blocks away. The school district just wants to keep the hispanics away from the white kids. Racism is alive and well even in professional education. Definite racism here in Florida.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Three Dog Mama

    Here is a single mother who was trying to do right for her kids and she gets put in jail? If that isn't racism, I don't know what it is.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pamela perovich

    This is about the haves and have mots ,all the states should spend the same on each child ,because my son goes to school in the city of chicago he does not get the services that a autistic child should recieve ,i moved to help my son the school first of all treated my child awful because i moved to oak lawn to help my son ,was treated like a leopard. education in the united states is for the wealthy look @ jenny mccarthy her son has a private tutor lucky lady what do we get in the city of chicago nothing nothing !!! the justice system in ohio awful !!! jury be ashamed losers losers!!!

    January 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Vanessa

    What is so sad about this story is the fact Hollywood Celebs spend less time in Jail for more serious offenses and here you send a mother to jail for 9 days of a 10 day sentence. She only wants a better school for her children. What is our country coming to. SHAME on you Copley-Fairlawn Schools in OH.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Laurel

    So typical of a subsized housing resident wearing all that GOLD.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • pplgetagrip

      What does what she has on have to do with anything? Where you wearing your white hood when you said that?! Yikes!!

      January 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      laurel – you should be ashamed of yourself. People like you make me sick. It could be costume jewelry for all you know. She showed some respect and wanted to look nice at her trial. I wish people like you would just do us all a service and shut up.

      January 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Ann

    This is a great example why voucherswould be a better system than local property taxes to fund schools. Fund the child and let parents decide where to enroll their kids. Bad schools would have to clean up their acts or close. Funding for education would be equalized, success would then depend on parents and the students themselves.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. aleppo1091

    Absolutely best 4 years : homeschooling my step daughter grades 1-4. I wish more families (well, fewer of the hyper-conservative, quasi-religious ones!) would step up to this experience. She opted for public school beginning grade 5, & was surprised to find she was scoring at a 7th grade level. LOL, no, I'm not a tiger mom – the kid is just crazy about learning. BTW, the school system wouldn't let her advance. Depending on your location, the public schools have little to no input. If you don't have a computer at home, odds are good that one is available at your library.

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