The below intern blog is a commentary on falsifying residency to gain access to a better school based on the article that can be found below the commentary.
Only in America does it seem possible that a mother trying to do the best for her children by enrolling them into a better public school would be convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. It is widely known that public schools in this country are grossly unequal in terms of resources available and quality so it isn’t hard to believe that this woman would make a move such as this. Frankly, I’m surprised that more families aren’t caught doing the same exact thing. Granted the mother in this case did lie to get her children into a better school, but there is no reason as to why the prosecutors couldn’t be reasonable and offer a plea deal to reduce the charge and sentence. No, instead they decided to try and make an example of this poor woman and her family. Sadly the only lesson learned here is that the state will use any “legal” means necessary to protect and enforce their precious status quo.
You’ll Stick With Your Crappy School, and You’ll Like It
By Radley Balko
Crazy case in Ohio, where a 40-year-old single mother lied about the residency of her children in order to get the kids into a better public school. Kelley Williams-Bolar claimed her kids lived with their grandfather rather than with her in Akron. Instead of merely transferring the kids back to the bad school, local officials instead decided to charge Williams-Bolar with two felonies, claiming that by enrolling her kids in the better school, she defrauded taxpayers of more than $30,000.
Williams-Bolar was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison earlier this month, although Judge Patricia Cosgrove suspended all but ten days of the sentence.
Cosgrove also appears to have grown frustrated with prosecutors’ insistence on making an example of Williams-Bolar.
Cosgrove said the county prosecutor’s office refused to consider reducing the charges to misdemeanors, and that all closed-door talks to resolve the case — outside of court — met with failure…
Cosgrove said numerous pretrial hearings were held since last summer.
”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.”…
Late Wednesday, Cosgrove issued a news release to area newspapers and television and radio stations, citing the need to respond to ”overwhelming public interest” in her sentencing decision.
”The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office retains complete control over whether to charge a person with a felony or a misdemeanor,” the release stated.
Cosgrove’s bailiff said the office had been bombarded by calls from angry area residents, most of whom were saying that Williams-Bolar’s punishment far exceeded her crimes.
Williams-Bolar was also attending night school to obtain her teaching certificate. Her felony record could now bar her from teaching. Cosgrove has said she’d consider expunging the felonies if Williams-Bolar completes six months of probation.