Demand justice for Kelley Williams-Bolar

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Kelley Williams-Bolar tried to give her kids a better life by sending her children to the nearby majority-White school district where her father lives -- and she went to jail for it.  Now her career as a teacher is in jeopardy.

Real justice requires that the punishment fit the crime; what Williams-Bolar is facing is clearly over the top.  Call on Ohio Governor John Kasich to publicly denounce her punishment and also do all he can to right this wrong.

Below is the message that will be delivered to Ohio Governor John Kasich on your behalf:

Dear Governor John Kasich,

I’m writing to ask you to intervene to correct a grave injustice in the case of Kelley Williams-Bolar, a single mother who recently received a draconian sentence after sending her children to a school they weren’t entitled to attend for two years.

Williams-Bolar was simply trying to send her kids to a good school. While it appears that she broke the law by enrolling her kids in the school district where her father lived, clearly her intent was to provide a good education and bright future for her children with limited resources — in the context of an educational system that does not provide equal opportunity to all, regardless of race or economic status. Ironically, Williams-Bolar was studying to be a teacher and working as a teaching assistant, demonstrating her commitment not only to her own children, but to providing a better future for many other children through education as well.

Williams-Bolar was targeted by a prosecutor who refused to negotiate any kind of plea deal, instead pushing for the maximum punishment possible under the law. Luckily she only served 10 days in jail, instead of the 5 years she originally faced, because the judge saw the sentence as an injustice. However, her own education and career may now be in serious jeopardy as a result of her felony conviction. While Williams-Bolar made a mistake, the punishment in her case is vastly disproportionate to the crime she committed.

I urge you to take a public stand in this case and push for a more just outcome, and that you commit to granting Williams-Bolar a pardon should a request come across your desk. And I’m asking that you do everything you can to ensure that Williams-Bolar has the opportunity to continue her education and teach in Ohio.


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