A mom who cared

America’s system of compulsory public schools is based on the premise that “professional educators” (people with degrees not in science or literature but in “education”) can do a better job schooling the nation’s children than if that job were left up to their parents, as it was before the Civil War, when Alexis de Tocqueville found this the most literate nation on earth.

Then, ironically, asked to explain why the public schools often do such a poor job despite their massive funding, apologists often blame the very parents from whom the responsibility for schooling has been taken away.

“How can we succeed in a mere six hour at school,” they whine, “when parents don’t care enough to reinforce our efforts, emphasizing the value of education at home?”

An Ohio woman, Kelley Willams-Bolar, cared enough to go to great lengths to get her two kids out of the poorly performing school to which her residence in the low-income “projects” of Akron wold have condemned them. Registering them by using her father’s address in a nearby affluent suburb, Ms. Wiliams-Bolar, while working as a teacher’s aide specializing in helping “children with special needs”, managed to send her kids to a better, less violent, suburban public school from 2006 to 2008.

Did local officials honor her for caring so much and working so hard to get her kids a better education – even driving them to school since she was outside the delivery range of the tax-funded school buses?

Actually, they threw her in jail.

Earlier this month, an Ohio jury found Williams-Bolar, 40, guilty on two counts of tampering with records — essentially, lying about where her children lived.

She was also facing one count of grand theft — for supposedly “stealing” $30,000 worth of schooling for her daughters — though Judge Patricia Cosgrove declared a mistrial on that charge after the jury failed to reach a verdict.

A private investigator shot video of Williams-Bolar driving her children into the district. School officials hired the investigator due to suspicions the family lived elsewhere.

What led them to this suspicion? Surely not the fact that she was poor and black. Why, if Ms. Williams-Bolar was “profiled” in that manner, how many millions of dollars is the Copley-Fairlawn School District now spending on private detectives attempting to discern whether other families sending children to their schools should instead be using schools in their own home districts … in Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Sonora, Chiapas, or El Salvador?

After all, it’s all about “everyone having to obey the laws,” isn’t it?

Would everything have been all right if Ms. Williams-Bolar had merely moved herself and her children into a packing crate inside district lines?

The defendant was sentenced to two concurrent five-year prison terms, but most of that time was suspended — she ended up serving just nine days in jail to “set an example” to others who may attempt to similarly “steal” a tax-paid education for their children.

“I felt that some punishment or deterrent was needed for other individuals who might think to defraud the various school systems,” Judge Patricia Cosgrove told a local television channel after the sentencing.

Copley-Fairlawn does not have open enrollment; out-of-district tuition is about $800 per month.

So a black woman on public assistance is jailed for sending her kids to a nearby, rich, mostly white school.

Yes, what she did was against the law — thanks to state legislators, beholden to union educrats, who fight vouchers, school choice, and open enrollment as hills to die for … even as these same lawmakers claim to allocate billions “for the children.”

Meantime, how many other American families — possessed of a bit more in the way of wealth, sophistication, and family connections — pull off similar shifts of “residency” across district lines, with the full complicity of school officials, so that a promising young athlete can qualify to play on a championship athletic team?

Mind you, I think ANY parent who uses the tax man to loot others and force them to fund their children’s day care in the youth illiteracy camps needs to reexamine their moral premises. But Judge Cosgrove isn’t jailing the taxmen who gather such loot under threat of seizing the homes of childless or home-schooled local residents … is she?

Badges or not, surely those guys have purloined more than $30,000 in the past couple of years, haven’t they?

Why does Ohio have “bad, predominantly black public schools” and “good, predominantly white public schools,” at all? Isn’t that an admission of massive failure, 55 years after the Supreme Court ordered an end to racially segregated schools precisely because “separate” was found NOT to be “equal”?

Will the Williams-Bolar children now be forced to return to schools of downtown Akron, which their mother considers to be violent, dangerous, and underperforming? What if one of them is eventually injured or killed, there? What if they are merely trapped in a cycle of multi-generational poverty by their inability to get a decent education, there? Who will Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentence to jail to “set an example,” if that happens?

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