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Ohio Mother Jailed: Sent Kids to Better School

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on February 03, 2011 9:15 AM

Would you be willing to risk a criminal record for the sake of your children's education? Kelley Williams-Bolar, an Ohio mother of two, did.

By using her father's address to send her daughters to a school in a neighboring, affluent suburb, she unwittingly opened herself up to criminal sanctions.

Kelley Williams-Bolar's intent was not to defraud the Ohio Department of Education, but, like any good Ohio mother, was to provide her children with an education--in this case, one that the local underperforming and dangerous school couldn't provide, reports The Atlanta Post. Private school and other alternatives within her local district were not options, as she lives in subsidized housing.

Lying on government records carries with it heavy penalties--potentially at both the state and federal levels. Some states, like Ohio, have laws that specifically punish falsifying state documents, while others look to the impact of the falsification to determine which crime is committed. Oftentimes, this results in charges of theft, as it did for this Ohio mother. The "theft" was in the end result: state money was redirected from one school to another to supplement her children's attendance.

Some may feel that Kelley Williams-Bolar was lucky to find a judge sympathetic to her situation, reports The Huntington Post. Finding the state of the law to be outlandish, the judge granted her a suspended sentence, put her on probation for two years, and is requiring her to do 80 hours of community service. 

Unfortunately, the Ohio mother has nearly completed her teaching certificate--a certificate she won't be able to use because Ohio, like most states, bars felons from being in classrooms.

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