Kelley Williams-Bolar tried to send her two daughters to safer schools—and in doing so, she found herself convicted of a felony and sent to prison for 10 days. Williams-Bolar lives in Akron, Ohio, but wanted to send her children to the schools in Copley Township, where her father lives, so she apparently claimed they lived with him. District officials were so suspicious they hired a private detective, who found that the girls lived with Williams-Bolar, although she contends they were all living with and taking care of her ailing father while the girls attended the Copley schools. (Gawker notes that the Copley schools are “whiter” than the Akron schools, and Williams-Bolar is black.)
Though the superintendent acknowledges such cases are typically resolved without a trial, Williams-Bolar was charged with and convicted of falsifying records. She was also charged with grand theft—the school wanted $30,500 in tuition for the two girls—but the jury could not reach a unanimous decision. The judge tells the Akron Beacon Journal that, in spite of multiple pre-trial hearings, “the state would not move, would not budge, and offer Ms. Williams-Bolar to plead to a misdemeanor.” Williams-Bolar's father was also charged with fraud in a separate case involving the Department of Job and Family Services; his case hearing is next month.