In an exclusive interview with ColorLines, Kelly Williams-Bolar talks about her life post-trial. The 42-year-old Ohio mother of two was given nine days in jail and sentenced to two years probation for falsified documents—she put her father’s address on school residency documents to get her children into the high ranked Copley-Fairlawn School District. Motivated by a 2006 home break-in, a divorce that left her in public housing, and knowledge of the education system, she decided to consider other school options. When asked to pay $30,000 in tuition after the district found out the truth, she refused and the highly-publicized case began.
Williams-Bolar, who works as a teacher’s aide in an Akron, now spends a lot of her time delivering speeches and making public appearances to spread the message of education reform. According to the piece, in February she announced the formation of the Ohio Parents Union, part of a growing national network dedicated to giving parents exactly that kind of power. “I was just a mom,” she says, “Akron Public Schools wants to keep us all here so we can suffer while they get it right. My daughters don’t have a second chance at their education.”