• Adam Dayan, Esq.

Parent Advocating For Her Children Thrown In Jail

What kind of message is it sending to Americans when a mother who fights to give her children a good education is thrown in jail? Ms. Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single mother raising two daughters in Ohio, was sentenced to time in jail for falsifying documents so her children could attend a good school. Because falsifying records is a felony in Ohio, and an individual with a felony conviction may not obtain a teaching degree under Ohio law, Ms. Bolar's ability to become a teacher is in jeopardy. (She was pursuing a degree in education and working as a special needs teaching assistant at a high school.) But what is the bigger message here? Doesn't the government share in the blame for a parent having to lie and deceive in order for her children to get a decent education? In New York City, in the debate about the quality of our public schools, so much emphasis is placed on parents' needing to do more for their kids, do homework with their kids, be there for their kids. But here is a parent who was trying to get for her daughters what every child in America deserves and is entitled to - an appropriate education - and she is thrown in jail. She is now going to sit in jail and her daughters will be motherless during that period. Precious dollars that could be spent improving the system are now being wasted on prosecuting this case and providing a jail cell. Falsifying information is wrong but it never should have come to that. Was it not just two nights ago during his State of the Union address that President Obama spoke about education being the key to set us apart from other nations, make us #1. How are we going to achieve that when we jail the very people who are fighting for our children. Parents should not feel compelled to lie and cheat to get their children what they deserve and the government needs to start answering some tough questions about the state of our public schools.

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