Deborah Simmons has an interesting column in today’s Washington Times concerning the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, an Akron, OH mom recently jailed for using her father’s address to enroll her daughters at a public school outside her school district.
Like any parent, Ms. Williams-Bolar wanted her girls to get the best education possible. However, she considered her neighborhood zoned school inadequate and dangerous. And as a teaching assistant living in public housing, private school was not an option. Now, as a result of attempting to get her children into a good school, Ms. Williams-Bolar has a criminal record that will bar her from her goal of earning a teacher’s license.
Just released from jail on Wednesday, Ms. Williams-Bolar is fast becoming the centerpiece of a debate on educational inequality. Already her case has been spotlighted on national television, newspapers, and blogs. She’s also the subject of no less than nine Facebook pages and groups.
While the debate will continue about whether Ms. Williams-Bolar was justified in breaking the law, as Simmons notes, we need to remember her children and all the other children who are trapped in underperforming and unsafe schools.
“We can’t get around the fact that Ms. Williams-Bolar broke the law in seeking the means to a better life for her daughters. She committed a crime and has done her time.
But what about her girls and the untold numbers of other low-income boys and girls languishing in troubled schools while inside-the-Beltway powerbrokers tussle over dollar signs?”
You can view a discussion of the case with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien from last night’s Anderson Cooper 360 show here.