Mother Jailed for Lying to Send Kids to Better School

Should a parent be locked up for lying to enroll her children in a better school system? The Ohio jury who found Kelly Williams-Bolar guilty of doing just that certainly thinks so. After listing her father’s ritzy Copely-Fairlawn address instead of her own in Akron on school registration and free lunch forms, the single mom was sentenced to 10 days in jail, reports the Akron Beacon-Journal. She was convicted on January 18 of two felony counts of tampering with records and given two years probation and 80 hours of community service, states her hometown newspaper.

Williams-Bolar, a teaching assistant for special-needs children, was released this week  after serving all but one day of her sentence. According to Beacon Journal columnist, Bob Dyer, she is currently a few credits short of her teaching degree— a dream that will now go unrealized as she’s considered a felon in the state (and thereby prohibited from gaining employment within a school district).

Dyer, a resident of Copely-Fairlawn, elaborates: ”Williams-Bolar had no criminal record. She was working in a city school as a teacher’s assistant — helping special-ed kids…and when she wasn’t at work, she was working to better herself, taking education courses at UA…Still, do we really want to employ teachers who steal tax dollars from schools? Some folks have questioned whether she truly set out to deceive…What is indisputable is that she knowingly ripped off taxpayers for two years.”

While many argue that Williams-Bolar simply wanted what was best for her two daughters and was willing to do whatever it took to ensure them a good education, others see her as a plain and simple felon who tried to beat the system. Regardless, this case has sparked a heated debate nationwide.

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael Kress, American Baby . American Baby said: A mom in Ohio will be jailed for lying about her address to get her kids into a better school. Right or wrong? Vote here [...]

  2. by Pam

    On January 28, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Two felonies? That is ridiculous. This woman did the wrong thing for the right reasons. What should have happened is that when caught lying about where she lives, is that her kids should have been sent back to the school district they reside in. Period. Putting this mom in jail and slapping her with two felony counts is unbelievably harsh punishment.

    More charter schools, school vouchers, and school choice!!! Let’s please stop the monopoly the public school system has on us. It isn’t fair and our kids are suffering for it.

  3. by rachel

    On January 28, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    That is right school of choice should be allowed in every state. It promotes all schools to try harding in getting kids so they take better care of the schools. Michigan has school of choice why can’t ohio?

    I also area with Pam about the kids should have been sent back to their school district and the woman should have just had to pay the taxes. Not to felony counts.

  4. by Amy

    On January 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I and just wondering is it really for that reason? And did she know if she was committing a felony? It does not mention how the schools are in comparison to each other or any thing like that. I just think that if you do the crime you pay the time just like any one else. Forging false info on documents is a crime just like if you lied to get a better tax refund or something like that. I am not saying that she should not have had just a slap on the wrist but also that she should have know a bit better before lying about her info on these types of documents.

  5. by Heather

    On January 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    This is such a sad story- her whole career has now been ended. I’m unsure on why the punishment was so harsh. She used her father’s address, so wouldn’t that mean the grandfather is paying school taxes for that area? A stretch yes, but not entirely “ripping off the taxpayers.” Seems like such a harsh punishment for trying to do the best for your kids.

  6. by Leslie Bauchman

    On January 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I went to school in another distric than where I lived just the same county. The difference was my mother did the right thing by getting the school board to approved it. This mother should have done the same thing.

  7. by Cassidy

    On January 28, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    I think two felony counts is a bit harsh, especially considering that the actual address that she used was a real one from someone in the family. I understand that she wasn’t paying taxes in the area where those schools were located, but I understand why she did it if she wasn’t satisfied with the school system they were being forced in. Nevertheless, I do feel there should be penalties for lying, but perhaps making them move to the correct school would have been more appropriate. Maybe instead of lying she should have figured out how to move into the school district where she wanted to send her kids….that’s what I’m working on doing now!

  8. by Janet

    On January 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    She used her fathers address, he is paying school taxes so why should his grandchildren not being able to attend school in that district? Two felony count’s plus community service what a crock!

  9. by Shirley

    On January 28, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I think two felony counts is definitely too severe. Could the town not have taken her to civil court for the money they feel she owes? It seems to me that she was made to be an example to others who might want to try this method of getting their children into a better school system. Its a sad commentary about our society as a whole, that you have to be rich in order to obtain a better education. And those without are doomed to their “caste” in life apparently.

  10. by Jess

    On January 29, 2011 at 12:44 am

    I think this is awful….My mom sent me to a different school out of my district for years. Same county. And I agree with alot of these other postings. #1 if the she was using the Grandfathers address he was paying the taxes why should his grandchildren not be able to benefit from it. Plus it seems to me that if they were out of the area the mom obviously has to put in the time and effort to take her children to school. I am sorry but I see parents who don’t put any effort into their childs education and here this mom is just trying to provide the best for her children. I think that all schools should be equal anyway. Its very sad that parents feel they even have to go to this extreme to provide their children with a good education.

  11. by BMoore

    On January 29, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I am sorry but that was way to harsh. I would absolutely do the exact same thing if there was a better school my kids could go to. I believe as a parent you should have the right to choose where your kids go to school. Parents shouldn’t be forced to send their kids to a specific place just because of address. The town should be the ones on trial not the mother. Kuddos to you monmy for trying to provide your children the best education.

  12. by Tara Burkholder

    On January 30, 2011 at 1:18 am

    The felonies stem from the fact that she falsified Federal documents by lying on the Free/Reduced Lunch Form. Those are Federal forms, not just state or local district forms. She probably drew undue attention to herself & her children by applying for the program. Typically in wealthy districts, very few, if any, kids are enrolled in it. So, if she hadn’t falsified a Federal form for both her kids, they’d likely still be enrolled & no one would be any wiser to the situation.

  13. by Urja Dave

    On January 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    This is ridiculous. The poor woman just wanted a better future for her children. Did they even think about the repercussions that her children may face not going to a good school? I know plenty of people who have done this. It sucks that they made an example out of her though.

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  15. by Zap

    On August 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Somehow she managed to get her child to better school and this is what counts!Parents would do anything for their child!