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    Ida Casey

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    Thank you Amy for such a compelling and straight to the point narrative. This is also true of school districts and how they catagorize parentswhen they ask for, request and demand the best or better educational practices for their children. The parents are labeled “angry, combative, and uncooperative”, and are sometimes banded from the school – because they want the best for their children.

    Your message needs to be sent to all school districts around the US.

    Great effort!!

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    Jimmi Temple

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    I have read the story of this mother three times to help wrap my head around it. I kept thinking surely I was misreading; I had to be missing something. Surely they did not put a mother in jail because she lied to get her children into a ‘better’ school district. Is it really better?

    All I can say in response to this issue is shame on Copley-Fairlawn School District. Shame on the city of Akron. Shame on the state of Ohio for even having such a law on the books. The world is watching you and you are looking pretty bad.

    I can understand your ‘lawful’ right to not allow her children to attend your school, but imprisoning the mother, using her as an example to scare off any other parent with the same idea, absolutely reeks of days one would think were long gone by. Your actions have crossed over the lines of decency to something very scary.

    Thank you Amy, for writing your article. Job well done.

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    Kathy Boyd Fenger

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    Amy:

    Your honesty and forthright essay is so good for us to hear and for me to help me never forget what you, thomasina, Claude and others taught me and helped open my eyes to along this journey. I miis you and those critical conversations from our seminar days with Matthew. Thank you for writing this and for providing strong reminders of the ever present nonsense that still continues.

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    Jennifer Hernandez

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    Amy:

    Thank you for writing with your heart on this one. I can hear the emotion is your words. I am saddened by the hate intoxicating our public schools to the point where districts and community citizens get to decide which children are worthy of a quality education and the “other” children are suffering human rights abuse. Thank you for taking your time to write this so clearly that not one person could argue that what happened to this mother and child is just. I miss seeing and talking to you. Looking forward to talking with you soon.

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    O. L. Davis, Jr.

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    Well done, Amy! You have interpreted this awful news story with precision and intelligence. And you have reminded us of the fact that many of us know, that parents or a parent claims an address in an attendance area or in a school district in which they don’t live in order that their child(ren) can attend a school which they believe will be better for them than the one assigned to them as a consequence of their actual residence. For many of these children who live with their relatives or friends away from the home address of their parent(s), these children “live” at the residence indicated on their enrollment card. And, not only do we know that this practice is not uncommon, many of us teachers understand it for what it is: parents want the best education for their children as is possible. Black parents do. White parents do. I really believe that we can say that almost all parents want the best education for their children as is possible.

    As I have followed this sorry story in the press, I haven’t learned how Ms. Williams-Bolar’s action were discovered by legal authorities. I’m concerned about how “the word” was passed. I have teacher friends who know whom are the undocumented immigrant children in their classes. Will they rat them out to the Immigration Authorities? No. And they haven’t in the 10-20 years that they have taught in the same school. Surely, a teacher didn’t turn in this family to police authorities! one in which Ms. Williams-Bolar and her children became double victims. But this question has to with means, Amy. Your question has to do with justice. And I stand with you that this mother should not have been jailed and convicted of a crime (?) of wanting a better education for her children! A crime yet? Not in my books.

    You have done all of us a good turn by writing your analysis. Keep up the good work!

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    Diane

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    I appreciate your deep concern for the educational welfare of all children and for being a voice for the concerned parents of African American children in failing and near failing school districts. I am concerned however that to applaud a mother for lying, yes lying, and encouraging her children to lie on a daily basis is WRONG no matter what the circumstance. In documents to the school district she went as far as to lie saying that her children were with her parents because she was being deployed with the United States military! I would encourage everyone ready to jump on the Kelley Williams Bolar bandwagon to listen to the telephone exchanges she had with her family and friends while in jail in which she discusses how much money she is going to profit from the publicity and saying that she wants everyone to know she is single so she can get an “NBA player” and laughing about “Oprah calling.”

    As an African American mother of school age children who resides in a failing school district I empathize with all parents who face this dilemma but lying is never the answer!

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    Julie

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    @ Diane Really? I too am a single mother, professional, hard working, tax paying, good never been to jail Mother. If it took hook or crook to make it for my children and if I did have parents I would have done the same. Why? Not only because I know better having grown up in a middle class environment and know what to ask for, but because the amount of disparity among our childern vs theirs-yes I said versus is too great of a gap for my family too loose. That’s right if my children are not afforded the opportunity to learn, that puts generations of my family down into social economic and cultural dispare. I recognize fully the impact it has on my family and certainly identify what one mother chose to do so that it would not happen to her.

    I think the author should send a copy to Al Sharpton, so he can better communicate this point to The Dr. Phil’s of the world that less than is no longer acceptable.

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    Amy

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    @ Diane and Julie. Unfortunately, we are entering a debate over parents that feel like they and their children need to lie to get quality education. I would caution that this “whollier than thou” attitude will derail the conversation. The problem is that all children are deserving of a quality education. The racism is that land ownership dictates quality schooling. It is racist that whites have been able to acquire, transfer and have generationally profited from land ownership and systemic racism of land ownership. Parents shouldn’t have lie to gain access to quality education. But I empathize with this mother; I understand this mother and I fight for the right of all children to get quality education. This is wrong to imprison mothers for loving their children. Slaves secretly learned how to read, this is the same thing.

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