Ohio Mom Kelley Williams-Bolar Jailed for Sending Kids to Better School District
Judge Sentenced Mother Convicted of Falsifying Residency Records to 10 Days in Jail
By ANDREA CANNING and LEEZEL TANGLAO
Jan. 26, 2011
An Ohio mother's attempt to provide her daughters with a better education has landed her behind bars.
Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted of lying about her residency to get her daughters into a better school district.
"It's overwhelming. I'm exhausted," she said. "I did this for them, so there it is. I did this for them."
Williams-Bolar decided four years ago to send her daughters to a highly ranked school in neighboring Copley-Fairlawn School District.
But it wasn't her Akron district of residence, so her children were ineligible to attend school there, even though her father lived within the district's boundaries.
The school district accused Williams-Bolar of lying about her address, falsifying records and, when confronted, having her father file false court papers to get around the system.
Williams-Bolar said she did it to keep her children safe and that she lived part-time with her dad.
"When my home got broken into, I felt it was my duty to do something else," Williams-Bolar said.
While her children are no longer attending schools in the Copley-Fairlawn District, school officials said she was cheating because her daughters received a quality education without paying taxes to fund it.
"Those dollars need to stay home with our students," school district officials said.
Sentence Intended as Deterrent
The district hired a private investigator, who shot video showing Williams-Bolar driving her children into the district.
The school officials asked her to pay $30,000 in back tuition.
Williams-Bolar refused and was indicted and convicted of falsifying her residency records.
She was sentenced last week to 10 days in county jail and put on three years of probation.
She will also be required to perform community service, the Beacon Journal reported.
Williams-Bolar said she was being singled out.
"I don't think they wanted money ? ," Williams-Bolar said. "They wanted me to be an example."
Presiding Judge Patricia Cosgrove acknowledged as much.
"I felt that some punishment or deterrent was needed for other individuals who might think to defraud the various school districts," Cosgrove said.