Monday, March 30, 2015

Throwing School Mom in Jail~

What in the hell is wrong with this country? I ask this question again as I read about a respected member of her community who has never been in trouble being charged with a felony and convicted and sentenced to two years in jail on two counts of tampering with records. Her real crime. Wanting to get her kids the best education that is available in this country. Her real crime, her Zip Code numbers are wrong. That's all.!
(Originally posted by Scanner on Open Salon, February 7, 2011, more details below)

Kelly Williams-Bolar from Akron, Ohio  lied about where she lived to get her kids into a better school. The judge suspended the two years, but still sentenced her to pull 10 days in the county jail and do 80 hours of community service, along with various other cost-straining things like probation. She used her fathers address instead of her own to get her kids a better education. While this may be a lack of judgement by this woman who is herself a teachers aide and works in the school system herself, does she really deserve jail time?
She could very well lose her teaching license and her job over something that at most should have been a slap on the hand. I hate to yell "racist" here, but if there is another word, fill me in. African-Americans make lower wages, live in school districts with lower property taxes and therefore go to schools that in comparison to the white and affluent schools are a disgrace. It's true in Akron and just as true where I live. I've seen this first hand and I have yet to see one white person convicted of the same thing in my area of the country.
This is from the Columbian Spectator: 
According to a UCLA study, American schools are now more segregated by class and race than they were in 1954, when the Brown v. Board of Education decision was made. A Harvard study found that, while only 4 percent of white students attend schools where the poverty rate exceeds 80 percent, 43 percent of Latinos and African Americans do. In a country where school funding is determined by district property taxes, this means that the average student of color receives an education of considerably lesser quality than the one afforded to their white counterparts. The National Assessment of Education Progress has confirmed that this system produces better test results amongst white students countrywide. 

This isn't racist?  If public schools are mostly funded by state and federal governments, why should a person of color, and I mention Latin-Americans along with others in this, have to go to inferior schools. When my son was in elementary school I had to do the same thing, along with hundreds of other parents, both white and black, who carried their kids to school everyday. My wife or I carried him to a school in another district because the one that was in our area was over-crowded, under-funded and truthfully, the teachers were just better. Why should a parent be prosecuted for wanting to give their kids a better education?

The year after my son graduated from this school, they had a major crackdown and parents had to have proof their kids lived in the same school district. Not just an envelope like we used, but solid-proof  of some kind. But, not one person had to go to jail. Not one person to my knowledge was even charged. It was common knowledge. Even the teachers had their kids in the same school they taught in, which was just as illegal. Just because they taught there, the law applies to them as well.

Were is the common sense that should be the first thing used in something like this? The prisons are filled with these petty cases while people who use violence in a crime or sex offenders are running the streets.  Cells are filled with drug offenders whose only crime is they were caught buying pot. You want to laugh this is so silly but you can't. Since Ronald Reagan started the war on drugs, millions have been locked up and billions and billions of dollars spent building prisons. I read where we've spent over a trillions dollars so far on the war on drugs and we are worse off than we began. What a joke!

Fortunately, for Ms. Williams-Bolar, the Ohio-Justice and Policy center is taking her case pro-bono. Again, from the Columbian Spectator:

David Singleton, executive director of the center, called Kelley Williams-Bolar's case  "an injustice."''This case never should have been prosecuted criminally," Singleton told the Akron Beacon Journal. "That is the injustice in the first instance. 

"Now she's got two felony convictions and she's at risk of losing her job as a teacher, teaching special-needs kids. That's just way out of proportion to what it is she was found to have done wrong,'' Singleton told the Beacon Journal. ''Prosecutors have enormous discretion, and this is a case that, I would say respectfully, should not have been prosecuted."

An activist group has also collected over a 164,000 signatures to be given to the Governor to get him to pardon this poor woman. Who knows what will happen. Governors are a strange breed. Give them direct DNA evidence against a prisoner proving they are innocent and the will refer to the judge in a lot of cases, politics as usual. Nonsense! District Attorneys decide what cases come forward or not. Unfortunately their vanity often makes the decision for them. What has happened to that good old American Common Sense? I guess it has gone way of out-sourced jobs and the vanishing middle class of this country. Shame on us! 

 All info from these various sources:

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

I would do the same for my child if I had to.

maryway February 07, 2011 10:12 AM

I would do the same.. If she had been white would this have happened.
IT makes me so ill.

rated with hugs

Linda Seccaspina February 07, 2011 10:24 AM


an excellent and useful post.

Greg Correll February 07, 2011 10:30 AM

This is beyond stupidity. What an indictment of the courts. See Bonnie Russell's post today on Lindsay Lohan for further proof that the system stinks right out loud. (If any is needed.)

Boanerges1 February 07, 2011 10:31 AM

It is a terrible sentence. Mom's all over the world can relate to her and the kids probably spend lots of time at her Dad's house so what is the big deal. sigh.

zanelle February 07, 2011 10:35 AM

The funny thing is Scanner, before I saw where she was from, I was thinking to myself 'Only in North Carolina.' I'm from Ohio, and there's only one for this: retarded. Someone should give her an award instead of penalizing her.

Margaret Feike February 07, 2011 10:35 AM

When did Ohio turn barbaric? A disgrace to mankind.

Leon Freilich February 07, 2011 10:44 AM

In California, property taxes fund public schools so rich districts are in wealthy suburbs. So Rancho Santa Fe is like the best private schools and Oakland is a complete mess. Basic unfairness and segregation.

Janice Wood February 07, 2011 10:58 AM

If the system was fair and democratic it would provide a better education for all not just those in the privileged areas. If they throw people in jail for educating the poor then democracy will effectively be outlawed.

zacherydtaylor February 07, 2011 10:59 AM

Why is it that I get the impression that if this lady's child could slam dunk or rush for 100 yards a game that there would likely be no issue here whatsoever.
I agree--this is selective justice unless the judge is practicing "pour l'ecouragment d'autre".

Walter Blevins February 07, 2011 11:07 AM

I can only imagine this prosecution is to let the other blacks know that they will be next.
We have public education in this country but there is nothing equal about it.
Her only problem was getting caught in what many do not consider a crime of any concern.

Mission February 07, 2011 11:14 AM

Oh this is a disgrace. Thank you Scanner, for writing about this. It's beyond disgrace.

I've done this for my kids, my parents did it for me. There was a time when a parent could send their child to any school. I guess too many poor people were burdening the "better schools" with tattered and obviously poor children to allow that to continue.

I want to scream. Someone better step in for this woman AND her kids!

Foolish Monkey February 07, 2011 11:17 AM

I can barely believe this story, so sad that it is true. I hope the Governor has some common sense.


A Life of Healing February 07, 2011 11:23 AM

They're trying to do the same with me and I'm certain color has nothing to do with why I'm facing the possibility of doing time in jail.

It's about color alright! The color of money...prosecutors don't discriminate. They will milk the system any way they can. Regardless of facts. Including her personal history.

Belinda T. February 07, 2011 11:30 AM

The problem is, D.A. s are ranked by the number of convictions they get. Instead of throwing so many people in jail -- which costs states millions -- they should simply raise fines for revenue. Makes no sense.

Thanks for sharing this, scanner.

john blumenthal February 07, 2011 11:31 AM

This is just ridiculous. I have done this for my son.. And I'd do it again too!!!!

white and black February 07, 2011 11:36 AM

Belinda, I think the racism comes in being forced to do this to start with. I also had to do this, but I live out in the country. Not the suburbs where mostly white families live and their kids go to school. The judge was heard to have said he was going to make an example of her. To who? While you may be an exception, the fact is that most African Americans do make less money and do live in poorer parts of the city. Ride through the richer parts of town and then the poorer parts of towns. The difference is astounding. Then check the rosters. Most of the kids are kids of color, it's just a fact. Prosecutors discriminate everyday. Sit in a courtroom all and watch how they operate. Then check the prison system and see how many blacks are in prison in comparison to whites. It's unfair and racist!

scanner February 07, 2011 11:47 AM

It's a travesty.

Cap'n Parrotdead February 07, 2011 11:53 AM

It is way past the time for correcting prosecutor to PERsecutor.

There are way way way too many instances where LE, cops & judges do these things to human beings. Unfortunately, THEY almost never have to answer for their crimes against the public.

XJS AND ME February 07, 2011 11:56 AM

They're making an example of her for the very same reason they're making an example out of me, scanner. I'm not black, but I do understand the politics that're played in courtrooms. That's why I'm risking the possibility of jailtime. I refuse to keep my mouth shut while the State has a team of lawyers, experts, and witnesses ready to slaughter me, I simply won't tolerate their portrayal of me as a violent person. Throw my ass in jail. I won't accept a plea because I'm not guilty of any crime. Period. If they want to waste time and money, I'll reveal every single detail of the case, including the narrative records inundated with erroneous info and outright lies.

What's really appalling, to me, is the underlying message is that we're treated like criminals and we have no rights from the get-go we're guilty until proven innocent.

Belinda T. February 07, 2011 12:10 PM

Absolutely not. I know a bunch of folks who have done this. But they were white and never got caught.

Sheba Marx February 07, 2011 12:17 PM

I called the Governors’ office to ask him to pardon her to clear her record and when I said she was sentenced to 2 years they told me it was only (1 week) completely oblivious to the fact that her record will show two years. Please call his office at 614 466 3555 and ask him to pardon her to clear her record!

PS did somebody say her name was Rosa Parks?

rockne1865 February 07, 2011 12:29 PM

I agree. I think she should get a medal rather than a trial.

rated with love

RomanticPoetess February 07, 2011 12:32 PM

I have no children but I would have done the same. This is just stupid. I know someone will pipe up and say that by putting her two kids in a different school it will keep two kids out who are in the district, but this isn't worthy of jail time. Unbelievable.

Geraint Isitt February 07, 2011 12:37 PM

Shame and outrageous ! Killing a fly with a cannon ball. The warped 'sense of justics' befuddles me to no end, Scanner. Thanks for putting up this. Shame! Shame! Shame!

FusunA February 07, 2011 12:41 PM

As if this country doesn't have REAL problems. And we wonder why the courts are so busy...this is disgusting.

BuffyW February 07, 2011 01:12 PM


Leepin Larry February 07, 2011 01:33 PM

"My wife or I carried him to a school in another district because the one that was in our area was over-crowed... "

Yeah, too many crows in my kid's school, too.

codger07 February 07, 2011 02:00 PM

codger07, you got me cuz! I bet you were the kid in school that told the teacher every time you saw kids talking. Did you clap the blackboard erasers too?

scanner February 07, 2011 02:04 PM

It's a sad day when we go after the good citizens .......people who just want better education for their children, a better chance in life.....And I agree with you, it reeks of racism.......Thank you for this post. Rated.

Lynn Lyra February 07, 2011 02:10 PM

I caught this story on the news and, I agree, their motives are suspect in criminalizing this woman's actions.

Sarah Cavanaugh February 07, 2011 02:58 PM

So what about the myth that only us sothroners (sic) are racists?

Matt Paust February 07, 2011 03:37 PM

I agree with you completely and thanks for the school system/poverty/race stats. People need to read that stuff. I hear too many people say that not only do they think that racism is dead, they think the pendulum has swung too far the other way.

By the way, do you know that Tim Wise is opening a conference in Elon (keynote speaker) at the beginning of April?

koshersalaami February 07, 2011 04:09 PM

So-called "stowaways" are a common occurrence where two school districts of widely varying quality are contiguous. In Boston, parents who can afford it rent apartments in next-door Brookline, where the schools are better, using them as mail drops but never occupy them.

The answer is portability of state educational funds, as many districts have empty seats some years and are full the next.

Con Chapman February 07, 2011 04:48 PM

Scanner how many black kids were you in public schools with? I hate to say something here that may come off racist but if I do not write facts then I am wasting my time writing and your time reading it. Many black children have severe behavioral problems and are extremely disruptive in the classroom as a result of being raised only by their mother and in many instances their Grand parents. Why do you think upwardly mobile blacks want so desperately to live in white neighborhoods and have their children attend white schools?

Having tossed that little bucket of cold water on the noble intentions of this post I feel that it is also imperative to add that when black children are raised and educated with white children there are no discernable differences in intelligence. The problems arise with the board of education itself who inundate black schools with the worst available teachers, fairy tales they euphemistically call black history, and then release upon the country hoards of almost full grown illiterate semi primates who shuffle about with their pants around their knees and an air of entitlement that used to only be reserved for the aristocracy. Many of them feel they are entitled to be considered artists because they are able to rhyme words with the proficiency of an average 4 year old and the animals of our poisonous capitalistic system are only to happy to capitalize on their delusions by recording the ranting's of these chimpanzees and marketing it as art. The target audience of this “art” just happens to be those black children that are still in school thus creating a self perpetuating system that keeps Americas prison economy flourishing.

Jack Heart February 07, 2011 06:18 PM

This case infuriates me beyond belief. Parents do this ALL THE TIME to get their kids into better schools because the system is so fucked up we can't provide EVERY CHILD with a great education. And districts turn a blind eye. I am certain it is racially motivated. And to find out that she is a special needs teacher who may lose her job...I am speechless. And really, really pissed off.

sweetfeet February 07, 2011 09:45 PM

And Jack Heart, I know plenty of kids with severe behavioral problems who are extremely disruptive. They come from a variety of racial and family backgrounds. No race, family, or economic situation has a claim on problems in school. I could be more more poetic, but now I'm really, really, really mad.

sweetfeet February 07, 2011 09:53 PM

I'm glad you publicized this, scanner. It is a shame, and does indeed smell of racism. One of my son's best friends used our address for awhile to continue attending the same high school when her family was in the midst of a move. No one ever challenged it!

And in the case you cite, the kids' address was their grandpa's? I fail to see what the problem was. Let 'em live with Gramps for the record--who are they hurting? Grandpa pays taxes!

SnippytheGrammarDog February 07, 2011 10:04 PM

Wow, Jack Heart. The baggage you carry is heavy indeed.

SnippytheGrammarDog February 07, 2011 10:07 PM

The public school I attended was 80% black. One of my daughters has a boyfriend for the last 4 years who is also black. The leader of the long island chapter of the Cribs is a regular visitor at my house and is more like a son to me than my daughters soft ass college boyfriend. I spent 2 years in state prison where 90% of the inmates were black. I was their dorm rep and they called me “Pharaoh”. I watched as they systematically rapped and robed the same type of pandering fools like sweetfeet and snippy the dog perhaps when you are less “angry” sweetfeet you can give us another example of how to write bad poetry if you would like give me your address I shall send some cribs over to run a train on you perhaps this will provide you with enough inspiration to write beyond the second grade level you usually write at. And as for snippy the dog yes the truth makes for very heavy baggage.The American Black Man will never follow any of you he sees your pandering for just what it is weakness .When you pander to him you become Tom Willis of The Jefferson's. The average white liberals penchant for condescending apologist whimpering towards the black man is the exact weakness that gave life to the strategy that Soros and his fellow elitists used to install the Obamanation and lose us the entire south. All party's concerned must be made to understand that if the black man wants a piece of this pie he will have to earn his stripes just like every other ethnic group that entered America. A 90% vote for a relative of Dick Cheney and George Bush who happens to be black is a rather inauspicious start to say the least.

Jack Heart February 07, 2011 10:49 PM

If every parent who did this same thing for their children were thrown in jail, there'd be no room left for the murderers, for God's sake! That judge needs to be removed from the bench. Idiot.


L in the Southeast February 07, 2011 11:58 PM

Originally posted at Throwing School Mom in Jail~ although it won't be available there much longer it can be confirmed by those who have access to Google archives or other archives.

Kenneth Sibbett posted under the user name, Scanner and was one of the most popular people on Open Salon. It will be a loss for his work not to be available to the public along with a lot of other good articles that are coming down soon. This is one of my favorites of his and I hate to see to go, even if I can't attract the attention to it that he did. Hope he's doing well.

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