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mykarma
Jan 26th, 2011, 10:13 PM
Ohio Mom Kelley Williams-Bolar Released from Jail a Day Early
Posted by Madeline Holler on January 26th, 2011 at 4:18 pm
kelley williams bolar judge patricia cosgrove Ohio Mom Kelley Williams Bolar Released from Jail a Day Early

Released today after nine days in jail for sending daughters to a better school.

The Akron, Ohio, mom who was thrown in jail after being found guilty of sending her two girls to a school outside her home district was released today.

Kelley Williams-Bolar served all but one day of her 10-day sentence, after being convicted of a felony for falsifying documents claiming residence in another school district.

Williams-Bolar’s case has garnered national attention — and outrage. The single mother did what dozens of other families in Akron had — put their kids in good, well-funded schools and out of low-achieving, sometimes unsafe ones. But she was the only one to face charges — and jail-time — for her actions.

Judge Patricia Cosgrove, who is bearing the brunt of national outrage over the Williams-Bolar case, allowed for the day-early release by crediting the single mother with time she had already served back in 2009 when she was arrested and charged in the matter.

Cosgrove is speaking out about the case, after the heat of everyone’s rage turned to her. Cosgrove explained that attempts to get prosecutors to allow Williams-Bolar to plead guilty to misdemeanors, or to reduce the charges outright, went nowhere with Summit County prosecutors, who wanted to make an example of Williams-Bolar to other parents considering ignoring district boundaries. All talks outside the court met with failure, the judge said.

She told reporters [via Ohio.com]:

”The state would not move, would not budge, and offer Ms. Williams-Bolar to plead to a misdemeanor,” the judge said in an interview Wednesday.

”Of course, I can’t put a gun to anybody’s head and force the state to offer a plea bargain.”

County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh wouldn’t respond to reporters questions about the case.

The judge also spoke out and defended her courtroom comments, which included comments about Williams-Bolar future as a teacher. Williams-Bolar was a few credits short of getting her teaching degree and eventual teaching license. She worked as an educational assistant at a school for special needs children, where she earned $13.55 per hour.

Cosgrove told Williams-Bolar at her sentencing hearing that in addition to jail time, community service and probation, she faced another punishment. From an Ohio.com report on the hearing:

”Because of the felony conviction,” Cosgrove said, addressing Williams-Bolar directly inside the packed courtroom, ”you will not be allowed to get your teaching degree under Ohio law as it stands today.”

Cosgrove’s comment provoked outrage. She told the press her words had been misconstrued. Again, Ohio.com:

‘I did not mandate or order that her teaching license be suspended or revoked,” Cosgrove said Wednesday. ”That is absolutely inaccurate.”

Cosgrove said Williams-Bolar’s nonviolent felony offenses do not necessarily mean that she will lose her teaching certificate. She said Ohio law only states that a felony conviction ”may” be grounds for such action.

The judge said the Ohio Department of Education will hold a hearing and make the final decision ”whether or not they will revoke her license.”

”I have nothing to do with that as a matter of law. Once she was convicted by a jury of any felony, that conviction has to be reported to the state, and then it’s up to the state at that point in time to decide whether or not they’re going to revoke her license,” Cosgrove said. ”This is the Ohio legislature who wrote this law, not [this] court.”

… Because Williams-Bolar had no previous felony record, Cosgrove said she will write a letter to the state Board of Education asking that Williams-Bolar’s license not be revoked.

”I will do everything I can, as far as sending a letter, asking them not to consider it,” the judge said.

The county prosecutor has plenty to answer for, such as why Williams-Bolar and her father had been singled out. And why she wouldn’t consider a plea agreement or misdemeanor charges for a woman with no criminal record, two children in school (the wrong school but still!) and who was working her way out of poverty.

Perhaps a petition calling for Walsh’s resignation should be next up on the agenda.

Akron City Council President Marco Sommerville is meeting with Walsh today to discuss why she insisted on felony charges in the Williams-Bolar case.

Photo: Akron Beacon Journal

mykarma
Jan 26th, 2011, 10:47 PM
Ohio Mom Kelley Williams-Bolar Released from Jail a Day Early
Posted by Madeline Holler on January 26th, 2011 at 4:18 pm
kelley williams bolar judge patricia cosgrove Ohio Mom Kelley Williams Bolar Released from Jail a Day Early

Released today after nine days in jail for sending daughters to a better school.

The Akron, Ohio, mom who was thrown in jail after being found guilty of sending her two girls to a school outside her home district was released today.

Kelley Williams-Bolar served all but one day of her 10-day sentence, after being convicted of a felony for falsifying documents claiming residence in another school district.

Williams-Bolar’s case has garnered national attention — and outrage. The single mother did what dozens of other families in Akron had — put their kids in good, well-funded schools and out of low-achieving, sometimes unsafe ones. But she was the only one to face charges — and jail-time — for her actions.

Judge Patricia Cosgrove, who is bearing the brunt of national outrage over the Williams-Bolar case, allowed for the day-early release by crediting the single mother with time she had already served back in 2009 when she was arrested and charged in the matter.

Cosgrove is speaking out about the case, after the heat of everyone’s rage turned to her. Cosgrove explained that attempts to get prosecutors to allow Williams-Bolar to plead guilty to misdemeanors, or to reduce the charges outright, went nowhere with Summit County prosecutors, who wanted to make an example of Williams-Bolar to other parents considering ignoring district boundaries. All talks outside the court met with failure, the judge said.

She told reporters [via Ohio.com]:

”The state would not move, would not budge, and offer Ms. Williams-Bolar to plead to a misdemeanor,” the judge said in an interview Wednesday.

”Of course, I can’t put a gun to anybody’s head and force the state to offer a plea bargain.”

County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh wouldn’t respond to reporters questions about the case.

The judge also spoke out and defended her courtroom comments, which included comments about Williams-Bolar future as a teacher. Williams-Bolar was a few credits short of getting her teaching degree and eventual teaching license. She worked as an educational assistant at a school for special needs children, where she earned $13.55 per hour.

Cosgrove told Williams-Bolar at her sentencing hearing that in addition to jail time, community service and probation, she faced another punishment. From an Ohio.com report on the hearing:

”Because of the felony conviction,” Cosgrove said, addressing Williams-Bolar directly inside the packed courtroom, ”you will not be allowed to get your teaching degree under Ohio law as it stands today.”

Cosgrove’s comment provoked outrage. She told the press her words had been misconstrued. Again, Ohio.com:

‘I did not mandate or order that her teaching license be suspended or revoked,” Cosgrove said Wednesday. ”That is absolutely inaccurate.”

Cosgrove said Williams-Bolar’s nonviolent felony offenses do not necessarily mean that she will lose her teaching certificate. She said Ohio law only states that a felony conviction ”may” be grounds for such action.

The judge said the Ohio Department of Education will hold a hearing and make the final decision ”whether or not they will revoke her license.”

”I have nothing to do with that as a matter of law. Once she was convicted by a jury of any felony, that conviction has to be reported to the state, and then it’s up to the state at that point in time to decide whether or not they’re going to revoke her license,” Cosgrove said. ”This is the Ohio legislature who wrote this law, not [this] court.”

… Because Williams-Bolar had no previous felony record, Cosgrove said she will write a letter to the state Board of Education asking that Williams-Bolar’s license not be revoked.

”I will do everything I can, as far as sending a letter, asking them not to consider it,” the judge said.

The county prosecutor has plenty to answer for, such as why Williams-Bolar and her father had been singled out. And why she wouldn’t consider a plea agreement or misdemeanor charges for a woman with no criminal record, two children in school (the wrong school but still!) and who was working her way out of poverty.

Perhaps a petition calling for Walsh’s resignation should be next up on the agenda.

Akron City Council President Marco Sommerville is meeting with Walsh today to discuss why she insisted on felony charges in the Williams-Bolar case.

Photo: Akron Beacon Journal

http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/mom-jailed-for-sending-kids-to-better-school-23973624

This woman is only 12 credit hours from becoming a teacher and now she's a felon for trying to give her daughters a better education. Something is truly wrong with our school system.

Wigglytuff
Jan 27th, 2011, 12:14 AM
This woman is only 12 credit hours from becoming a teacher and now she's a felon for trying to give her daughters a better education. Something is truly wrong with our school system.

if it were not for my new promise to self to be non violent i would have some things to say about this judge. however all i can say is that both the judge and the prosecutor are bad, bad people.

Sally Struthers
Jan 27th, 2011, 12:28 AM
I am not sure that the judge is at fault here. It is the prosecutors that are being overzealous.

Helen Lawson
Jan 27th, 2011, 12:54 AM
So young. So innocent. So what?

Some will get tough. Some will go insane. Some will die.

They take showers. Long showers.


--Reform School Girls

Barrie_Dude
Jan 27th, 2011, 01:38 AM
Ridiculous

mykarma
Jan 27th, 2011, 02:34 AM
I am not sure that the judge is at fault here. It is the prosecutors that are being overzealous.
If you look at the video you'll see the judge is not innocent. As a matter of fact I think the end result was up to her.

Sally Struthers
Jan 27th, 2011, 02:38 AM
what video?

ampers&
Jan 27th, 2011, 02:59 AM
what video?
http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/mom-jailed-for-sending-kids-to-better-school-23973624

mykarma
Jan 27th, 2011, 10:37 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/video/us-15749625/mom-jailed-for-sending-kids-to-better-school-23973624


Why Is Kelley Williams-Bolar In Jail For Sending Her Kids To A Suburban School?
by Carol Scott January 25, 2011 06:25 PM (PT) Topics: College Access, Equal Access, Parents

Update: 11 a.m. EST, Jan. 26, 2011 Edward Williams, Kelley Williams-Bolar's father, called to clarify that her decision to enroll her children in the suburban district had nothing to do with the academic quality of the school and was because of safety issues. Williams-Bolar's house had been broken into and she'd had to file 12 different police reports due to crime in the area, he said. Enrolling the children in the district where her father lived was a safety-based decision, and Williams wants to dispel any rumors that it was based on academics.


In 2008, Kelley Williams-Bolar was just another single mom in Akron, Ohio, scrimping and saving to make sure her daughters had a better life. She was putting her kids first. Working for a teaching degree. Relying on the support of her father who lived nearby.

Tonight, she's sleeping in jail, facing three years of probation and the potential loss of her teaching career.

Why? Williams-Bolar simply sent her kids to school in a district where they did not live.

An African-American single mom living in public housing, Williams-Bolar was convicted of a felony for listing her father's address as her daughters' place of residence and sending them to school at nearby Copley-Fairlawn schools, a suburban school district, for two years.

The district hired a private investigator to track her and her daughters down. Williams-Bolar was sentenced to 10 days in jail, 80 hours of community service and three years of probation.

The punishment doesn't stop there. Williams-Bolar - currently a teaching assistant for special needs children who is earning a teaching degree - may lose her career as an educator because she's now a convicted felon. All because she wanted a better life for her daughters.

What Williams-Bolar is accused of doing is illegal. But even if she faked her daughters' address (she maintains that her daughters split their time between two homes), it's unconscionable to send her to jail, tear her family apart and ruin her chance at a steady career just because she wanted to send her kids to a different school. The sheer cruelty of the verdict - and the judge's own admission that Williams-Bolar is being punished to serve as an example for other parents - has created a tidal wave of online support. Sign the Change.org petition today.

In just eight hours, more than 1,000 have signed a Change.org member-created petition to reduce her sentence. Supporters have overtaken Twitter with the hashtag #savekellywilliamsbolar (sic), using http://bit.ly/williamsbolar to link to the petition.

It's a sad truth that public schools in American vary widely in quality, safety and affluence. Kids in one zip code can get top-notch teachers and swanky classrooms while kids just a few miles away make do with cast-off books and rat-infested hallways. Your education can determine your future - and Williams-Bolar wanted her daughters to have a brighter one.

Williams-Bolar's family maintains that the switch was not academically-based, and was rather for the safety of her daughters. She told the court that she'd been scared for her daughters' safety in Akron, and that there was no intention at all to deceive school officials. But that wasn't enough for Common Pleas Judge Patricia Cosgrove, who thought her behavior deserved a felony conviction.

A growing number of advocates and activists are speaking out about the racial and social ramifications of this case. Among them is Dr. Boyce Watkins of Syracuse University, a well-known professor and speaker who wrote about the Williams-Bolar case on his blog.

"This case is a textbook example of everything that remains racially wrong with America’s educational, economic and criminal justice systems," he wrote. "There is no logical reason on earth why this mother of two should be dehumanized by going to jail and be left permanently marginalized from future economic and educational opportunities. Even if you believe in the laws that keep poor kids trapped in underperforming schools, the idea that this woman should be sent to jail for demanding educational access is simply ridiculous."

When reached by telephone by Change.org earlier this evening, Williams-Bolar's father Edward Williams - who's also facing criminal charges - was grateful for the support shown by the Change.org community. He told us that the National Action Network, Akron Chapter, is leading on-the-ground efforts for Williams-Bolar.

A National Action Network representative also told us tonight that Williams-Bolar is in need of financial help to pay for legal fees, as she's planning to appeal the judge's verdict. You can send donations to the National Action Network Akron Chapter, c/o Kelley Williams-Bolar, P.O. Box 4152, Akron, Ohio, 44321. Checks can be made payable to Williams-Bolar.

And keep checking Change.org for more updates about this ongoing campaign.

*JR*
Jan 28th, 2011, 12:36 AM
Something is truly wrong with our school system.

One thing wrong is public schools (uniquely) being funded via local property taxes, perhaps the most unfair way to do so one can imagine. Its bad enough that hard working ppl are often paid like crap, and therefore live in places that are dangerous as this lady does, according to her father. Therefore the property values are lower, yielding less tax revenue. And besides the unfairness to parents often busting their butts doing jobs that society demands somebody do without fair pay, WTF did their kids do wrong to deserve 2B trapped in lousy schools? :fiery:

Gdsimmons
Jan 28th, 2011, 03:08 AM
Im just smfh right now. How many people in tis country use someone elses address to send their kids to a better school?? Like millions of people do that. Its ridiculous to send someone to jail for that. All she wants is her kid to have the best education.Ten days in jail?? Seriously?? Another reason that our school system is fucked.

Crazy Canuck
Jan 28th, 2011, 03:27 AM
Nothing misleading about that title at all.