ColorLines is reporting that on Monday, grand-theft charges were dismissed against Kelley Williams-Bolar and her father, Edward Williams, in the school residency case that has outraged the nation. But both still face felony counts of tampering with records, and the case continues to be a key part of the national debate over education reform. The 40-year-old single mother sent her daughters to another school system after criminal incidents, including a home invasion, in her Akron housing project. Williams-Bolar's father lives in the mostly white school district where the girls enrolled.
Williams-Bolar maintains that they stayed with their grandfather. The school system maintains that they did not but used the address so that they could go to a better school. Prosecutors say that Williams-Bolar tampered with documents to make it happen, convicting her of a felony. Even if Williams-Bolar lied to provide a better education for her daughters, should she be a convicted felon? There's making an example out of someone or sending a message — a misdemeanor with a sentence of community service would send the same message.
Why are prosecutors going after this student-teacher — who works with special-needs children and is finishing her college degree this semester — so hard? Some say it's because she's black. Others say it's because the prosecutors are standing on principle. We say the whole matter is silly. What say you?
Read more at ColorLines.
In other news: Foreclosure Crisis: Low-Income Renters Latest Victims.