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Earlier this year, an Akron Ohio Mom (Kelly William-Bolar) was ordered to jail for allegedly “falsifying documents” that permitted her daughters to attend a school in the next district over. Not fined, jailed! She used her father’s address for residency purposes because she did not want her daughters attending a presumably dangerous school which, according to a CNN report, had “only met 4 of the 26 standards of the Ohio Department of Education Report Card.” She wanted her daughters to receive a quality education in a safe environment, and knew that would not happen in the school located closest to her home.

There are so many thing wrong with this decision, I don’t know where to begin.

1. According to the school’s superintendent, Brain Poe, “If you’re paying taxes on a home here… those dollars need to stay home with our students.” What if you are not paying taxes on a home, what if you live in an apartment in his district? Does that mean apartment dwellers are ineligible to attend his schools? Does it mean that if you do not have school-age children you do not have to pay the portion fo the property taxes attributable to the schools in your district? Seriously Poe?

2. The Mom was alleged to have “defrauded” the school district out of $30,000. If the schools are equal throughout the state, why would this one cost $30,000 more than the one that her daughters were to attend by law? This doesn’t make any sense.

3. Why are school districts who claim to be so desperate for money hiring private investigators to torment private citizens? Is there no right of privacy left in the United States? This school, a governmental agency, was spying on a private citizen. Didn’t the Judge in this case even remember that this Mom has a Constitutional right to privacy and certainly not to be spied on by the government. Doesn’t the School District have liability here for a warrantless search and privacy violations?  

4. The Supreme Court of Ohio has declared the way public schools there are financed is unconstitutional FOUR times. Does this case not prove that schools in poor neighborhoods are NOT equal to those in wealthier districts? How is this equal treatment under the law?

5. Finally, I can’t believe how obtuse this Judge was. First the Honorable Patricia Cosgrove indicates that SHE must follow the law as written and send this woman to jail for violating the law and then sends a letter to the State Department of Education indicating that William-Bolar’s teaching certificate should not be pulled. In other words, don’t uphold the law like I did. She actually has the nerve to tell another branch of government to break the law because of extenuating circumstances. If Cosgrove had been thinking when she handed down the sentence, she would have followed the intent of the law and taking into consideration the equities of the case.

Did she not see the irony of sending that letter? Worse yet, did she forget the Constitutional rights of this Mom?

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