Ohio

Eye on Education

Topics

kelley williams bolar headshot

Why Kelley Williams-Bolar Went to Jail

Background

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Kelley Williams Bolar confers with her lawyer, David Singleton, at a July 20, 2011 Ohio Parole Board hearing.

Kelley Williams-Bolar is an Akron woman who was convicted of charges related to lying in order to send her children to a nearby suburban school district.

Williams-Bolar was convicted in January 2011 of two counts of tampering with records so that she could send her children to the Copley-Fairlawn City Schools instead of the Akron Public Schools.

The Copley-Fairlawn school district received a state rating of “excellent,” the equivalent of an “A” in 2011. The Akron school district was rated “continuous improvement,” the equivalent of a “C.”

Williams-Bolar is African American and both the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton have spoken out in her defense. In the 2010-11 school year, 14 percent of Copley Fairlawn students were black. Forty-seven percent of Akron students were black. However, Williams-Bolar told the state Parole Board that she does not believe that she was prosecuted because of her race.

Williams-Bolar has said that she wanted to send her children to the Copley-Fairlawn schools because she was concerned about their safety after school—not because she believed they would get a better education there. Her lawyer has said the idea she moved her children to another school so they could get a better education came from “school choice advocates” and the media.

In September 2011, Governor John Kasich reduced Williams-Bolar’s offenses from felonies to first-degree misdemeanors. Kasich’s decision was contrary to the recommendation of the state Parole Board.

Latest Posts

Kelley Williams-Bolar is Organizing an Ohio “Parents Union”

Kelley Williams-Bolar is back in the spotlight. The Akron woman who was convicted of charges related to lying in order to send her children to a nearby suburban school district is organizing an “Ohio Parents Union,” the Akron Beacon Journal’s John Higgins writes. The parents’ group is intended to “counter the influence of teachers’ unions.” And this weekend, Williams-Bolar [...]

Gov. John Kasich Reduces Kelley Williams-Bolar Felony Convictions to Misdemeanors

Ohio Gov. John Kasich used his executive clemency authority to reduce the felony offenses of an Akron mother convicted of records tampering for lying in order to send her children to a nearby suburban school district. Instead of two third-degree felonies, Kelley Williams-Bolar will now have two first-degree misdemeanors on her record. Williams-Bolar was convicted [...]

Is the Kelley Williams-Bolar Case Just a Media Creation?

In a parole board hearing today, Kelley Williams-Bolar, the Akron mother who was convicted on felony records tampering charges for lying in order to send her daughters to the suburban Copley-Fairlawn district, continued to back away from the elements that had brought her case national prominence. She told the parole board that concerns about her [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education