Group plans petition drive for Kelley Williams-Bolar

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A group of activist organizations plan to deliver more than 165,000 petitions to Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday in an effort to get the governor to issue a pardon on behalf of Kelley Williams-Bolar.

Williams-Bolar, a mother from Akron, gained notoriety after she went to trial when the Copley School District accused her of falsifying her address in order to send her children to Copley schools, even though her family’s residence was in Akron. Williams-Bolar was eventually convicted of tampering with records and spent a number of days in jail.

The petitions, collected by ColorOfChange.org, Change.org and MomsRising.org, will be presented on Monday, Feb. 7 at 12:30 p.m. at the Scarlet and Gray Room in the Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel in Columbus.

Petition organizers said that their efforts are following public statement issued by Gov. Kasich, in which he expressed his concern for the issue. Members of these activist organizations are urging Kasich to take stronger action in the case in an effort to free Williams-Bolar from her convicted charges, which they say could cause her to lose her job. Williams-Bolar currently works as a teacher’s aide for the Akron Public Schools.

The Akron Public Schools issued the following statement on Jan. 28:

“As required by law, APS immediately reported Williams-Bolar's conviction to the Ohio Department of Education's Office for Professional Conduct.

Ms. Williams-Bolar has been employed fulltime in good standing with Akron Public Schools since 2008, and this conviction is not an absolute bar to employment. The decision to revoke or suspend her educational assistant certificate belongs to the Ohio Department of Education.

"Although we understand that this is a difficult issue, Ms. Williams-Bolar served her time," said Superintendent David W. James. "Barring any further action by the ODE or court system, she will be returning to work in the near future."

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