A Parent’s Sputnik Moment: Fixing Our Broken Education System

A Parent’s Sputnik Moment: Fixing Our Broken Education System


Last week, an Akron Ohio woman spent ten days in jail and was sentenced with two felonies for using her father’s address in order to allow her daughter to attend a high performing school in a predominantly white neighborhood.

The public school Kelley Williams-Bolar’s daughter was supposed to attend has below average scores across the board in all subjects.  Also, the crime-ridden neighborhood where the school is located can be described as sketchy, at best.  William-Bolar’s case resonated with many parents nationwide because there are several thousands, if not millions, of them who have or who are presently in a similar situation, perhaps falsifying their addresses for the sake of giving their child a shot at the best education possible.

William-Bolar’s case has prompted some national civil rights organizations to rally on her behalf. They, and many others, have questioned the prosecutor’s use of discretion to pursue this case in the first place.  In fact, others caught doing the same thing were simply given slaps on the wrist. They also challenge the school district’s decision to spend $6,000 to hire a private investigator to follow William-Bolar and her children between her home, her father’s home and the school.

The argument has been raised that the sentence imposed on Williams-Bolar was excessive for the crime, as there are those who have plead guilty to DUI and DWI offenses and have spent less time in jail than this woman [who was prosecuted for trying to enroll her daughter in a better school].

The case sparked some serious inquiry into the equity of the U.S. education system.

More about the Williams-Bolar case can be found at The Politics of Raising Children at The Washington Times Communities

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Jeneba Jalloh Ghatt represents small, women, and minority owned business and technology companies at The Ghatt Law Group LLC, the nations’ first communications law firm owned by women and minorities. She's won landmark cases on behalf of her clients which include national civil rights and public interest organizations. In addition to actively authoring several blogs, being a radio show host and sitting on the boards of three non-profits, she is a tech junkie who has been developing online web content since the very early years of the Internet, 1991 to be precise! Follow her on Twitter at @Jenebaspeaks, on her blog, Jenebaspeaks, which covers the intersection of politics and technology or on her Politics of Raising Children blog at The Washington Times Communities section. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and have complete editorial independence from any Politic365 partners, sponsors, or advertisers. For additional information about Politic365, please visit http://politic365.com/about/.