Southern Girl Perspective

Happy Friday, folks!!! As I sit here writing this post, it’s snowing for the second time this week… I’m slightly tempted to start looking for employment back in Florida….But in any event, let’s get on with today’s post. 

Today’s “This Week in the News” post is going to be slightly different.  Instead of talking about multiple things that happened this week, I’m only going to focus on one.  The topic will be about the arrest, conviction, and story of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the Ohio woman who was charged with two felonies and sentenced to 10 days in jail for falsifying legal documents.  Essentially, she wanted a better education for her children and stated on district documents that she and her daughters lived part-time with her father, who lives in the district where she wanted her daughters to attend school.   She was able to send her girls to this school for 4 years, until the district hired private investigators to follow her, and at least 3 other families, to see if they in fact lived where they stated they did.  When caught, the other families paid the tuition (i.e. taxes residents spent to send their children to school); Ms. Williams-Bolar did not.   As such, she was charged with 2 felonies, found guilty, and sentenced to 10 days in jail.  (Due to the media uproar, she was released a day early.)  Now, the NAACP and other organizations are fighting for her and are looking to get her conviction reversed.

I know I’m probably going to be in the minority with my thoughts on the matter.  As such, this might be a little lengthy so I can say what I gotta say.  Is Ms. Williams-Bolar wrong for wanting a better education for her daughter than what was provided in the district she lives in?  Absolutely not.  Was she wrong for lying on the forms?  Absolutely.  Thankfully, Southern mom and I were not on public assistance, but I did not attend the schools I was zoned to attend.  My mother completed special permission forms for me to attend my middle and high schools.  I’m not sure if that’s an option anymore, but I believe there’s another course of action that Ms. Williams-Bolar should have explored.  Should she have been convicted of 2 felonies?  Probably not.  Should she have been punished for falsifying legal documents?  Yes.  She broke the law, and that’s what happens when you break the law; you get punished.  The punishment was definitely harsher than the crime.  I don’t believe she should have spent any time in jail.  She probably should have been court-ordered to pay the back taxes and sent on her merry way.  Unfortunately, she was used as an example to other parents who think about doing the same thing.  (Same thing happened to a few people I know, but that’s a story for another day.)

Due to this conviction, this mother won’t have the chance to become an educator, which is what she was working towards.  I do think it’s funny how some people are making the comment they wouldn’t want a cheater or someone “like her” to teach their children.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but no one is perfect, and I’m sure we’ve all done something wrong.  What do you guys think?  Have you been in a similar situation or know of someone in a similar situation?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

(Read more about Ms. Williams-Bolar here.)

1 Comment

  1. I haven’t really been in this situation. I got into an upward bound program and worked my way into a scholarship at a private high school. The schools I went to for elementary and middle school were good schools with good teachers. Some of the students were bad or didn’t want to learn, but we had so many different classifications I rarely had classes with them. I don’t really agree with segregating slower learners who have no disability or real deficiency like this, but it did allow them to focus on those of us who were there to learn, and it’s what high schools do all the time, with college preparatory and honors classifications.

    I don’t know if there were other measures she could have taken, such as actually moving into the district, having her kids stay with her father during the week, filing special paperwork, or getting grants (as they do here–if your school is below a certain “grade” you can get a voucher for a better school in the district), but she should have explored her options. Lastly, if she planned on being a teacher, she should probably be abreast on policies in the education system anyway, shouldn’t she?

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