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/ Source: TODAY & # 39; HUI
By Mary Pflum
At first glance, it does not seem that Kelley Williams-Bolar has much in common with the actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, actresses involved in the scandal of admissions to universities. The 48-year-old single mother works as a teaching assistant at a high school for disabled students in Akron, Ohio, far from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood.
However, she says, she knows what it's like to do something dishonest to give her children a better education. And she knows what it means to be arrested and appear before a judge for illegally trying to give her children a better future.
In 2011, Williams-Bolar was jailed for falsifying the home address of his daughters, so that they could go to school in a better neighborhood than the one for which they had been zoned in. the city center.
"I wanted them to get a good start in life," Williams-Bolar said. "I wanted to send them to one of the best schools. What I did was not in the best interest of my daughters. "
In 2009, Williams-Bolar used his father's address as his own so that his daughters, then aged 12 and 9, could go to school in the Copley Fairlawn School District, a an affluent and largely white school district.
His father suggested using his address, said Williams-Bolar, as he lived in the district and wanted his grandchildren to have access to better education. The mother of two said that they did not know that they were breaking the laws until she received a postcard saying that she was indicted.
The case has attracted the attention of the national media. In the end, Williams-Bolar was found guilty of robbery and falsification of evidence. He was sentenced to ten days in jail, three years probation and a fine of $ 70,000.
"It was a nightmare," Williams-Bolar said of his time behind bars. "I read the Bible every day, every day. I was afraid to be there. I fell into a deep depression. "
Williams-Bolar stated that when she had learned that Huffman and Loughlin had been charged with hiring a consultant to provide misinformation to admissions counselors, in order to bring their daughters into colleges of their choice, she had mixed feelings. Part of her was stunned by the level of alleged dishonesty, she said. "They already had so much and wanted more," she said.
But Williams-Bolar said she felt compassion.
"The socio-economic context is completely different. These are two different cases – absolutely. And they were definitely all about status. But we are all mothers. Mothers want a good education for their children. That's what we have in common. When I watched the video of them with their daughters, I could see the passion in their eyes for their children. I could see the love there. They want the best for their children. "
Williams-Bolar said that one part of it feels bad for poor actresses, another party hopes that justice will prevail and that Loughlin and Huffman will not receive a pass because of their wealth and their status.
"I think they should have some work time," she said. "I just want to know how much it will be equal. I think they will be treated differently because of their status. [Their attorneys will argue] they are primary offenders. Well, I was a delinquent for the first time, too. A lie is a lie. "
Williams-Bolar said his advice to Huffman and Loughlin was to accept responsibility for their actions – not to try to blame others.
"Honesty is the best policy, just be true to yourself and say," Yes, I did it. "You have to stick with what you've done. responsibility of what happened, that's what I did. "
Williams-Bolar said he regretted his decision to falsify the residence address of his daughters.
Today, said Williams-Bolar, she is happy with her life. She works for the Akron School District and also advocates for the equal of education. She works with the Connecticut Parents Union, an advocacy program for education that encourages states to no longer make it a punishable offense when their parents enroll their children in school districts where they do not reside. She says that no parent should be sentenced to prison for fighting for better education for their children.
Williams-Bolar said that his daughters are his pride and joy. His oldest, now 23, is a graduate and his youngest is currently studying.
"They did everything to get into college on their own," Willams-Bolar said. "They do not need any extra help."