By Aneesah Dryver
Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single, Black mother from Ohio, was sentenced to 10 days in prison for sending her two daughters to a school in another district. Williams-Bolar and her family lived in the housing projects in Akron, Ohio while her father, Edward L. Williams, lived in a nearby Copley township. Williams-Bolar used her father’s address so that her daughters could attend a better school. Judge Patricia Cosgrove also sentenced her father with a fourth-degree felony of grand theft. Williams-Bolar and her father are charged with misleading the school system for two years. The court concluded that the cost of Williams-Bolar sending her daughters to the wrong school was $30,500.
Williams-Bolar had no previous criminal record, but now she will be stripped of receiving her teaching credentials. “Because of the felony conviction, you will not be allowed to get your teaching degree under Ohio law as it stands today. The court’s taking into consideration that is also a punishment that you will have to serve,’’ said Judge Patricia Cosgrove. Under Ohio law, felons are not permitted to teach in schools. Williams-Bolar is arranging an appeal.
Kelley Williams-Bolar’s story is not a common one but it has sparked a national debate about our country’s educational system and why families are desperate to get their loved ones out of economic turmoil. Now that her story is in the forefront, it serves as a reminder that our country has much more work to do to ensure that every person does not have to go to extremes to receive quality education in this country.