I Want My Kids To Get A Better Education. Would You Break The Law?

Jail - Woman in Jail
United States
March 4, 2011 3:25pm CST
A woman in Ohio was sentenced to Ten Years in jail because she lied about her physical address of her residence so her two girls could go to a better school. The woman was followed and tracked by agents to catch her before she was arrested. After the hearing she was found guilty and the judge, overturned the years and gave her 2 Felony convictions, 10 days in jail and 80 hours of community service. Now labeled a felon!! Wow!! is what I have to say. So tell me how far would you go to protect your children? Is it still okay to lie, if it meant that your children would be in a safe neighbor school? Does the sentence fit the crime? Read more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/27/kelley-williams-bolar-schools_n_814857.html
9 people like this
37 responses
@Kirinx (1693)
• United States
24 Apr 11
I dont think that was really fair for them to put the mother in jail.since she was only trying to do the best for her children.I dont consider a felon at all.I dont have children but i understand why she lied. the sentence wasnt fair. If i had children i might break the law.who knows i dont have kids.
1 person likes this
@Kirinx (1693)
• United States
24 Apr 11
darn it! this laptop always misses keys..anyway i meant to say I dont consider her to be a felon at all.
• United States
27 Apr 11
Hi there, I agree with you that felony and two of them by the way was way too much. I can kind of understand that it is against the school district's policy and rules but to have gone through extremes that they did was a bit more then I feel they do against real commone criminals. Kind of a really messed up system. I could understand them asking the children to be transferred in fairness of the school rules to the neighboring parents but what they did sounded like they were going after a hard core crimminal. Thanks for responding and no problem with the missed keys. Currently I am reformatting my laptop and am stuck with my netbook and it is so irritating because I am trying to watch my errors and it is nearly impossible. lol
@Kirinx (1693)
• United States
27 Apr 11
oh wow for real? i just reformated the laptop as well.I used to have vista but i changed back to xp. i hate vista with a passion!! what were your reasons for reformatting?im just nosy.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
I agree with you. The punishment is a little over the top. When I first started reading this and saw that she was sentenced to 10 years my eyes must have bugged out! I was ready to be outraged. But then I saw that it was changed. Still, the felony charge is really a bit much for what she did, isn't it? And, right, it will stay with her forever. I see that she is a teacher. That felony charge will take care of that. I'm pretty sure you can't be a teacher in public schools if you are a convicted felon, can you? Still, a lie is a lie, is a lie. That is never the solution to the problem. I understand wanting the best for your children, but, the best would be teaching them honesty and a hard work ethic. If you want something better for yourself the answer is work hard for it. (as you say you have done for your children) There are so many things she could have done differently. I do think that she had to be dealt some kind of punishment because she did break the law, but, I don't think a felony charge is fair. I would do a lot of things to help my child have a good start in life but teaching them to lie to get what they want is not ever the solution.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
Hi commonground to make matters worse she received two felonies so not just one. Just shows sometimes that lying and crimes are just not worth it. I understand what her intentions were, however how many people today work so hard and are such caring people and never have an opportunity to send their children to a better school. I suppose the issue here is that they should apply more efforts in the school districts so that the children get better education, because it might avoid more attempting to do this. I feel sorry for her girls because this has to be very hard on them as they are being made fun of in the neighborhood.
• United States
4 Mar 11
Also, as the parent she could have applied more effort in helping her children be the best they could be in whatever school they have to attend. You hear stories all the time of young people who, in spite of all odds, have come up through bad homes, bad neighborhoods and bad schools who have really applied themselves and made the most of their education despite all odds. And going to a better school does not ensure they will make the most of it. Look what they had for an example... a mother who lies to get what she wants. I know that all things are not just cut and dried and not everyone has the same drive and ambition. But the oppurtunity is there. You don't have to lie and cheat to get by. And you're right, again, the girls are made the laughing stock of the neighborhood and everyone knows what the mother has done. But, you know what? People do this every day. I've known people who have lied about where they live to keep their kids in a particular school. And it's not always just for a better school. Some do it because they have moved but the kids want to keep going to the same school where all their friends are or they want o stay and finish the year in the old school because they want to graduate with their friends. You don't think of these people as breaking the law but I guess they are. It's a lot to think about.
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 11
Thanks for BR
@aurorastorm (1136)
• United States
7 Mar 11
I technically do not agree with lying and in my own situation, I wound up moving out of state for a better school for my child instead of trying to falsify our address to get him in a better school That being said I do not blame this mom at all for trying to give her kids the best education possible and I am glad she is not going to go to jail.
• United States
7 Mar 11
arorastorm how are you? She actually did go to jail for ten days and now has two felonies, 80 hours community service and two years probation. This is quite a lesson for having lied. Unfortunate that the government and the community as a whole cannot put forth more effort into making sure the education system gets better. Instead they go full throttle in proving a point. Sad for all of them but hopefully more will reconsider before doing this also.
@sid556 (31000)
• United States
8 Mar 11
I think you have a great point about them improving the schools so that parents would not feel that they have to bring their kids to another district. Alot of times this happens when the parents move to a new district and the kids don't want to give up their friends from their other school. Actually, I've heard that story more than a parent lying to get their child into a better school. Anyway, I also agree this is very harsh for what she did but if they are going to use anyone as an example then I'm glad it was a mom who had the money anyway and has a dad that is willing to help out.
• United States
8 Mar 11
sid you are so right! Imagine this occurring to a person with no means to defend themselves. I am sure it will be a high profiled case and maybe fortunately for her she will earn from all of it. Which is sad because no one will be afraid to break the law again.
@topffer (37792)
• France
5 Mar 11
We had the same system in France when I was a kid for public schools, and many were cheating the system to get a better school, by choosing an option for their child available only in the school they wanted. Some were possibly lying too. This has disappeared today, and you can ask the school you want for your children. The previous system has been seen as unfair : parents with enough money were sending their kids in the private school of their choice, where others had no choice than the local public school. Today they can rush to ask the school they want : there is a number of seats opened to other communities. Well, it is a running : when the school is full, the enrolment is closed, but everybody has the same chance. By the past, I never heard of somebody condemned for a lie to have tried to get another school for their children. I even know that some rural communities with not enough children to keep a school opened where encouraging people to lie and put their children in their school. I suppose that somebody wanted an exemplary sentence, and that a "first quality" liar has been chosen as a scapegoat to give a better visibility to the message. I cannot understand differently the fact that she was tracked by agents is here to prove that the decision was taken at a high level. Now, this example is probably not the best that you can send, except if you want to say to the population that a poor black woman will not be able from now to send her children to a rich white school without risking to be sentenced to jail. I am sure that some parents are reassured by this sentence.
1 person likes this
@topffer (37792)
• France
5 Mar 11
I think also that federal police has better to do than to track moms lying to get a better school for their children. But maybe have they totally elucidated violent crimes, kidnapping, bank robberies, etc. and have no spy or terrorist to track in Ohio ? I do not know when the FBI records will be totally opened for this case but it could be interesting to know how they began to investigate. In another point of view, this woman has made so much lies that she is not morally defensible, even if the sentence is disproportionate for the "crime" and she is an obvious scapegoat.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
Good point Topffer, this case of of high interest to me, because I know several parents who do this and they will be hearing it from me. Hopefully they do not feel like they are invincibly and make some changes because the Government appears to be unfolding many new areas with the law.
@sswallace21 (1824)
• United States
5 Mar 11
I don't have children, but I do believe I would do whatever it took to help my children have a better life. I really think the law went way to far in this woman's punishment. I'm really curious where the tip came from that she was lieing in the first place. I find it odd that they would just start following her. I sure hope she decides to fight the felony charge. If they insisted on punishing her, they should've given her a lesser charge. After all I'm sure they would do the same thing to help their own children. I'm going to take the time and read this entire article.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
I agree with you. Severely punish the people who mean to do right to help other and let the criminals walk free. It's sad the criminal have more rights then the average person. Welcome to america!! LOL
• United States
5 Mar 11
@angelic123 (1112)
• United States
4 Mar 11
Not all good intentions are good or best to do. It is like stealing an expensive dress for your kid because it will look good on them. As far as education is concerned, everyone is entitled to have it. Let say her neighborhood is not conducive for her kids to learn but she can do something about it but not by telling lies, she can guide her kids well in learning on that not so good school. If she is worried about safety, she can look for other school or ask help from social workers or something. I know she has a very nice intention but it does not mean you are free to do anything to achieve that good intentions.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
I can agree about the lying and or stealing, but some communities do not allow options for allowing the children to go to better schools, but then I paid mega bucks, worked simultaneous jobs and did move into a good community. This all done as a single mom.
• United States
4 Mar 11
that is the answer, move to a nicer community.It is sad that in these country the choice of sending to other school is restricted, in my country you can send your kids to any school as long as you have the right documents like birth certificate, transcript or record etc. Being a single mom is hard for I have seen it with my mom, raising us is difficult. That is why I am so proud of single moms who are taking care of their kids well.
• United States
4 Mar 11
There are some that simply can't do it, however there are ways to get the priorities straight and lying is certainly not a good example to the girls. One is 16 and well aware of what is going on. So not a good example at all for the kids.
@RamRes (1723)
• Argentina
10 Mar 11
OK I can't say that what she did was totally good, and being condemned may be the right choice legally speaking, but the "crime" is not all that important too. So my real question and the real problem here is, why that mom has to do that for their sons to have a good education? Is not the education an human right? And ultimately, is not the government who must provide a good and EQUAL education for all citizens? This is a clear sign of discrimination toward that family and that neighborhood. Why the school would not admit the child if he gave his real address? The school should also be punished for making this distinction, after all schools are to educate people, to tell the child that we are good for what we are and so on. But this one is giving away the capitalist message: "People is worth for the amount of money they have", by not letting the child enter if not from a "good" place. I'm not sure if that school is really a good place for my sons to learn. This is why the education is the topmost importance of all important countries. It must be public, provided by the government and free for everyone who needs it. Of course, without any distinction of genre, social class or anything.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Mar 11
My friend I completely agree with you and although I have never had the need to out smart any system, because I worked really hard and paid for private schools for my children. I so agree that all children should be equally benefited from the education system but unfortunately the Government is not willing to budge with this. They say stay in school, but do nothing to assure the children actually do. Which is sad because they are our future.
@Hatley (164354)
• Garden Grove, California
5 Mar 11
hi hardworkinggurl I would not break the law but I would work hard to change any law that did not alloww my children, if I were in that situation, not to get a better education. No its not okay to lie or break the law as there are alwa ys ways aroung these things even ]to home schooling. I really think that punishmen did not fit her crime at all.She should not have been jailed and should really have been helped to find better education for her c hildren. She is not a criminal and should not have been treated as such.perhaps community service but thats all not brand her as a felon that went way too far.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
Hi Miss Hatley, Oh gosh it seems so nice again to interact with you again! I agree the system is a failure, because I would say why not employ all that effort and energy into improving the school and the system as a whole. Why waste tax dollars to look good and try to prove a point that many will continue to do any ways. Because they will. I would never and have never considered this route instead I worked 2 jobs and moved into a descent neighborhood and sent both of my kids to Private school. Although many perhaps could not achieve this they should at least live their lives setting good examples.
• United States
5 Mar 11
This was all over the news and I could not help but to think about the two girls. It is sad that the woman tried to out slick the system and now has to pay a high price and chunk of her credibility. But along with choices there are consequences. I do feel that the punishment is way too harsh. I think punishment is okay to impose to teach others that honesty should be imposed first and foremost but the felonies and probation are a bit too much. I think a fine, perhaps community service and court supervision should have been enough. But I read some of the comments and see that some members were saying as to lead by example and others not to foolishly commit. I still feel it is way too harsh and now a price she has to pay for it.
• United States
5 Mar 11
I have to agree because there are far more criminals roaming the streets and unfortunately for her she has to pay the price for what ever restructuring they feel compelled to undergo. There are many who still do this today and are not aware of the fact that it apparently is against the law!
@thesids (22351)
• Bhubaneswar, India
5 Mar 11
Hi GF Though this is not a just thing to happen, still I have to say that the law is to be held and the guilty punished. fortunately or unfortunately here in India we do not have much of such effective laws... I mean all is well as long as you are not caught and to be caught in such a case, the chances are rare. That said, the law was a bit harsh and could have been just a warning or a monetary penalty with a few hours of community work as the intentions were noble and not that criminal... I mean every parent will want good and better of the child and it should have been given a consideration.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
Well a law is a law, and there is consequences in "breaking" them, but I think it is a ridiculous law! I think any child should be able to go to any school if it offers better education. Well the problem is that ALL the schools should offer the best education and the same including safety. Talk about a free country, you can't even go to a public school free of choice...
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
I wanted this very same thing for my daughter. But,I moved to the neighborhood the school was in. I can't believe she was charged like this. I don't think they had to go tat far. I would have made her pay a huge fine. But to ruin that womans life with this charge. I wonder if it was worth it for the girls. I could never do this. I have friends who better change their kids school tomorrow.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
They actually had FBI agents follow her to school, work and grocery store recording her every move. They were determined. 49 parents were caught but she was the only one who was judicially dealt with. Yeah, you better speak to your lady friends because the FBI is concentrating more on catching then they are on helping the system. Very sad indeed and am afraid the girls will suffer the consequences.
@aeiou78 (3457)
• Malaysia
5 Mar 11
10 years of punishment is definitely unreasonable and too heavy. 10 days of jails shouldn't be implemented too. If she was fined for certain nominal amount of money and released free, then it is considered reasonable in my view. 80 hours of community service could replace the fine if she couldn't afford to pay it. In my country, it is not a big deal to use a false address in order to enter a better school. I were doing so when my first children just admitted the Grade 1 or Standard 1 primary school here. ha! ha! ha! She is not 15 years old.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Mar 11
Although I have never done so I did not know it was against Federal Laws. I always understood it as against the school rules but by no means to be this harsh of a law. I am still wowing!! I can't get over how they hired FBI agents to follow her to school, home and grocery stores to prove that she did not live at said address. So do they put forth this much effort with high crimes, gee if they only did perhaps this would not be such a corrupted world. Unbelievable to say the least.
@Mickie30 (2631)
4 Mar 11
No I don't think it is fair. I wouldn't have lied, but I can see where she is coming from. Your children are so precious. You would do anything for them. I think the sentence was unfair because there are people who do far worse crimes and get away with it. I cannot view this as a crime. I think it is unfair what punishment they gave her.
@coffeebreak (17820)
• United States
4 Mar 11
IF they'd put that much effort into finding the Al-Quada and all the "bad guys" targeting USA...we'd be so much safer in this world! But no, seems all they want to bother doing is ridding us of those that want an education. I sure do feel safe now, don't you?
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
LOL coffeebreak, I sat here listening to the news and telling myself what FBI agents were following her to school, home and the grocery store to have proof that she was lying. I was like so unbelievable. To make matters worse let's drag the court system down with all the additional expenses to prosecute and fight her appeal, while we have hungry, homeless and Al-Aquada issues going on in the world. So crazy how our judicial system works, so bizarre!
@phyrre (2322)
• United States
4 Mar 11
That's really a hard question. I mean, when we looked into houses we made sure to settle into a good community where we were sure our children would get a good education, even though we didn't have any children at that point. We looked ahead to the future since we knew we would be settling in this house with no intention of moving. However, not everyone is that fortunate and there are a lot of people that can't afford to get out of bad neighborhoods no matter how hard they try. And face it, as parents we all want to do what's best for our children and if we're in a rut we want to give them better lives and have them have what we never had. So would I lie to provide my child a better life through giving them a good education? Maybe. I mean, if they're just going to a public school then I really don't see what the harm is from them going to one school over another. Maybe I just don't understand how the public school system works, but I know that in my school we had people from neighboring towns and our school welcomed them and it was never a problem. On the other hand, if it's illegal it's illegal. Her intentions may very well have been good and I honestly can't say I wouldn't do that if I were in the same position, but you still know that there's going to be consequences for your actions regardless. Though, honestly, 10 days of jail time and 80 hours of community service isn't that bad of a punishment. It could have been much more severe.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
She also received two felonies so she is marked for life as they cannot be expunged. My thinking still remains does the punishment suit the crime, though. It sure is twisted; I grew up in the worst imaginable neighborhood, I was a single parent of two and I worked two jobs to earn my great neighborhood. I understand many do not have the choice and options. I don't believe I could lie, because then I had to train my kids to lie to about where they lived, so quite a dilemma and pickle she is in.
@sid556 (31000)
• United States
7 Mar 11
Hi Hardworkin, I understand her reasons but the law is very clear and like any other choices we have to think ahead to all the possible consequences and be prepared to deal with them. In her case getting caught and charged. Tuition is really high, I realize but the people that live in that community pay the taxes for that school system. It is not ok to send another kid in from a town that is not paying for that school without charging. And what if everyone decided to do it? I was in a town where the elementary school was amazing but the highschool left a lot to be desired and offered little in the way of sports and extracurricular. I just moved a couple of towns over to a town with a much better school with more opportunities. I would have thought that she would have considered what it would do to the kids in the event that they got caught and they were forced back to the school they belong in and mom is in jail. She could have just let them stay with dad during the week if she wasn't willing to pay or to move.
• United States
7 Mar 11
Absolutely and I could not have said it better. There are so many what if's in life and this one was a very costly one for her. She herself stated they could have actually moved in with her father, and unfortunately that was one what if she will regret long term. So what it truly boils down to is that the intention was there, but no willing to sacrifice for the intention. This is really the bottom line. When I think about the 2 full time jobs I had and being a Supermom all in one, granted I was always very tired but can't say once that I was willing to cheat the law/system. I do hope that the school systems improve and that instead of putting forth all this effort and energy to catching people, that they actually put forth energy to improve the system, so less parents are less likely to attempt this form of cheating.
• United States
7 Mar 11
It would be a wonderful direction if they applied this type of effort towards bettering all schools so the children of our future get a good start in life. Somehow the government truly does not have their priorities in order.
@sid556 (31000)
• United States
8 Mar 11
Our kids are an investment in our future really. When people complain about paying taxes on the schools when they don't have kids in school it's ridiculous. In a few short years, these kids will be the ones working in the hospitals, stores, nursing homes, fixing your autos, running the cities and towns, etc etc.
• United States
6 Mar 11
only thing i see wrong with that is them not paying taxes for the better school.... but then again there are people with no kids that live in the same school district and have to pay the taxes... I understand where she comes from & wouldnt say I wouldnt do the same thing. I had friends who did actually do this to go to a better school. that is my 2 cents, everyone feel free to imput with thoughts and stories as well.
• United States
6 Mar 11
I raised my children in the Catholic school system and although they never went to a public school, I paid taxes which contributed to the public school systems. I do understand now that doing what she did is against the law, I would have never thought that as I figured it just went against the schools regulations. I personally would have not done that and as a single parent of two worked really hard and have always abide by the law. At any rate I find that the punishment is way too severe for the occurrence, and also feel that not only the government but the school officials should employ more effort into better the system and not prosecuting this woman. But as we know crime, because it is now labeled crime, they feel they need to make her an example, an example that now has cost her a great deal because she is not going to be allowed to utilize her upcoming teaching license either. I do wish her well and hope she can somehow move past this for the sake of the children. Welcome aboard to you to myLot!
@sid556 (31000)
• United States
7 Mar 11
Good job Hardworkin! When my oldest daughter was really little, I lived in a community with no Kindergarden and I wanted her to go so I ended up paying the tuition in a Catholic school. It was pretty steep but well, I get caught anytime I've done anything wrong and the way I looked at it was....I was setting an example for my daughter. I was really young then and had no idea at all how severe the punishment was. I agree...pretty harsh but she should have checked all that out before making the choice to cheat the system.
• United States
7 Mar 11
@sid you are so right! I have followed the story and she had many options, she actually did. Although I am sorry for her girls this was a very selfish decision. While being grilled about why she did what she did, I have learned that she had many options. She could have moved in with her father, she could have paid the tuition because she could have afforded it, she could have actually done several things that would have avoided this for her. So she is no exception. Many of us go without because we decide to work hard, be honest and set great examples for the children. So unfortunately for her she is being made an example and will pay for this bad comfort decision for the rest of her life. Because what it boils down to, yes her current school district was bad, but she wanted to have her cake and eat it too. Does work fair that way for the many honest hardworking ones like us. (*sad*)
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Mar 11
It probably fit I know I got mad because I was 1/2 block from the line and I couldntgo to the school I wanted too my friends and ousins had moved into that school districk and I Wantd to go with them but couldnt for being only 1/2 a block away from that line well I ended up quitting school got my GED later
• United States
7 Mar 11
Some of the rules these schools have is so unfair. If only they understood that good education is important. I am glad that you received your GED, and did not fully give up.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
7 Mar 11
NOpe I did but I was 42 when I got it also did trade school for welding so I am a welder love it
• United States
8 Mar 11
Congrats! Lakota really some people never complete their education. My hats to you and enjoy your hard earned job.
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
28 Apr 11
Some schools are so bad, no one wants their kid to go there. The woman did wrong. She should have moved, but maybe she couldn't. What is obvious is that the courts gave here a sentence that is not in proportion to the crime. 10 years in jail for wanting your kid in a better public school is a bit much. The real crime is that the school in her neighborhood is lacking in some way. All public schools are not equal, but some are just unbelievably horrid. It's the children who suffer.
• United States
28 Apr 11
Absolutely I have to agree with you one hundred percent. That was my concern that the children miss out. Her two daughters were removed from the school and now back to the terrible district school. It is bad enough for the abrupt change in the middle of the school year but the change for the worse. I have to also say that instead of spending all the hard earn tax dollars in convicting this woman and or any others in the future, why not apply that money into bettering schools and education. Sadly our laws are so horrible prioritized. Thanks so much for your positive response.
• Israel
28 Apr 11
And every kid in the bad school district are loosing out too. When my parents bought our home in Southern California, the picked one with the best school district. I was lucky, but not everyone can afford to pick their home according to the local public schools.