Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single mother who was going to college and working as a teaching assistant at Buchtel High School (part of the Akron School District), had no previous record, but when she falsified school registration forms, applications for reduced or free school lunches and other official documents when she enrolled her two daughters in Copley-Fairlawn schools in August 2006 she set in motion a series of events that would give her a felony conviction and end her dream of ever becoming a teacher.
Ms. Williams-Bolar lives in the Akron School District, but she wanted something better for her children, so she falsely claimed her children were living in the next town over, Copley Township, with her father (the girl’s grandfather) so they could attend the Copley-Fairlawn School District. Her desire for something better for her children is admirable, but her method of securing it for her daughters cost her everything… With a felony conviction on her record, she’ll never be able to work as a teacher.
Some will look at this case and see racism – “would a white mother have suffered the same fate?”
Some will look at this case and see the plight of the poor – “this mother lacked choices for her daughters because of her poverty.”
Some will look at this case and see a justification for school choice or vouchers, anything that offers victims of a failing school system a way into a better school.
Yet for me, one simple, unanswered questions stands out – “Why didn’t this mother and her daughters simply move in to the house they claimed to be living in?” That simple act (simple because I know nothing about the family dynamics at play here) would have been 100% legal, and Ms. Williams-Bolar would still be working towards her college degree and realizing her dream of teaching someday, and her children would have benefited from the well-regarded Copely-Fairlawn School District…
Washington Post: ‘A Rosa Parks moment for education’