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Ohio Mother Jailed for Sending Kids to Better School

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Posted on January 28 2011 12:00 pm
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog LisaGraas.com since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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After a $6,000 investigation paid for by the Copley-Fairlawn school district, Kelley Williams-Bolar has been brought to “justice” in Ohio for trying to get her children into a better school.

Williams-Bolar was tossed into jail for ten days after investigators learned that she had falsified records to indicate that her daughters lived in their grandfather’s district so that they could attend school in his district, action she took to protect her children from the failing schools in her high-crime neighborhood. Voices on the Left and the Right are responding with outrage, but what exactly do those on the Left think is to blame for this problem? Racism, of course.

It’s overwhelming. I’m exhausted,” she said. “I did this for them, so there it is. I did this for them. [ABC News]

As a mother of four myself who lives in a district where the public elementary school has for years been the worst in the county, I understand something about Kelley Williams-Bolar’s anguish in dealing with the reality that her daughters’ school environment was unacceptable.

In Williams-Bolar’s case, it appears that the situation was far worse than being merely “unacceptable.” It was to the point that she did not feel that her daughters could even be assured of safety in their local school. She did what any good mother might at least consider doing under the same circumstances. She lied to school officials about where her daughters lived in order that they could attend a better school without having to pay the heavy tuition fees for out-of-district students.

No one appears to be very happy that a mother was thrown in jail for trying to protect her children, but as is expected, the Left and the Right point to distinctly different causes for this “justice” that amounts clearly to injustice to just about any sane person who looks at the case.

While voices on the Right, like Matt Archbold, point to unions and their leftist friends in office for locking kids into failing schools by opposing school choice, the Leftist media is focusing on the old standby: blame racism.

Time Magazine has opted to highlight the blog post of perennial race-baiter Boyce Watkins and leftist activist site Change.org’s promotion of his claims.

[I]t’s interesting how courts find it convenient to make someone into an example when they happen to be poor and black. I’d love to see how they prosecute wealthy white women who commit the same offense. Oh, I forgot: Most wealthy white women don’t have to send their kids to the schools located near the projects.[…]

[…]This case is a textbook example of everything that remains racially wrong with America’s educational, economic and criminal justice systems. Let’s start from the top: Had Ms. Williams-Bolar been white, she likely would never have been prosecuted for this crime in the first place (I’d love for them to show me a white woman in that area who’s gone to jail for the same crime). She also is statistically not as likely to be living in a housing project with the need to break an unjust law in order to create a better life for her daughters. Being black is also correlated with the fact that Williams-Bolar likely didn’t have the resources to hire the kinds of attorneys who could get her out of this mess (since the average black family’s wealth is roughly 1/10 that of white families). Finally, economic inequality is impactful here because that’s the reason that Williams-Bolar’s school district likely has fewer resources than the school she chose for her kids. In other words, black people have been historically robbed of our economic opportunities, leading to a two-tiered reality that we are then imprisoned for attempting to alleviate. That, my friends, is American Racism 101.

Next: Watkins’ claims amount to “Hating Whitey.”

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