President Barack Obama focused on education for a good bit of his State Of The Union Address on Tuesday night. But while he focused on the positives and how education should inspire, in Akron, Ohio, a woman was being jailed for doing what she thought was the right thing.
Kelly Williams-Bolar is a mother of two; she lives in the housing projects.
In her district, the children were attending a school that is failing to educate her children properly. So she did what any parent would do: take action.
While enrolling them into a better-performing — and majority White — school, she used the children’s father’s address so they could attend a better school.
The suburban school district hired a private investigator and discovered that the children actually lived with the mother instead of the father.
With the discovery of falsifying records — which constitutes as a felony, Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced Williams-Bolar to two concurrent five-year prison sentences.
However, she suspended the sentence in favor of a 10-day jail sentence, 80 hours of community service and three years of probation.
Williams-Bolar had been working on earning a teaching degree, but now she cannot earn it due to an Ohio law saying felons cannot earn that particular degree.
So in an effort to better her children’s education, Williams-Bolar received a jail sentence, mandatory community service, probation and is now barred from receiving a teaching degree.
Ironic, isn’t it?
While the falsifying records charge is indeed a felony, I’m interested to find out how the school district decided to hire a private investigator.
Either way, the punishment seems a tad bit cruel.
But, on the flip side, if Williams-Bolar is allowed to walk away unscathed, that would open the door to nearly every parent doing the same thing.
It would cause unsuitability in the school system and strain already scarce resources.
It’s really a catch-22 for the justice system. No one is a real winner in this case. It’s a tough decision by the court system; but, it’s one that had to be made to ensure the laws are upheld.
Otherwise, anarchy would occur, leading to an eventual collapse of the government. But, it is a sad story.
A mother is doing what’s best for her children, and she’s jailed for it. Sadly, our educational system is that messed up.
So while Obama preached to the choir about fixing our educational system, Williams-Bolar suffered the sad reality that is our educational system.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Darryl D. Smith is a former editor of The Gramblinite and may be reached at http://www.darryldsmith.com.