In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe’s character explains that just like a rich person, she too wants to land a man of substance so she can be taken care of financially.
Talk about the original gold digger.
This scene and the meaning cane to mind when I learned of Kelly Williams-Bolar, the Ohio mother of two who was jailed for ten days, placed on two years probation, and given two felony charges of theft.
What Williams-Bolar did was what people have done for years. She worked the system to her advantage. She used her dad’s address so that her children could go to a better school, and get a better education.
Black Twitter is blowing up! There is a rally planned for her, petitions for her release, and cries of racism. Even Al Sharpton has been mentioned as a celebrity who is chapioning for her exoneration.
Hold the phone.
While two felonies on her record now places future employment options as slim to none, this woman committed a crime.
Legally, she was punished as the law allows. Her crime was the theft of service and the sentence handed down was the punishment. Any one with a free afternoon knows this from a half hour of Judge Judy.
Morally, alas, is another issue. Who doesn’t want the best for their kids? If I lived in a sub par school district and I could use an address to allow the Teen and the Boy to get a better education, I think I might have taken the chance.
When we stop glorifying what Williams-Bolar did, we see the bigger picture. Yes, she only wanted the best for her kids, but what about the people living in the area paying taxes? They too want the best for their kids. The Upper Darby school district is rampant with parents who sneak their kids in from Philadelphia so their children can get a leg up. While I understand and appreciate the risk, what about the fact that these kids take away from the kids, my kids, who belong in this district? These kids come to school and go home. Since they aren’t part of the community, they give nothing back to the community.
I ask why not turn the anger and outrage to the ‘why’ of her crime? Turn the tables and demand that our lower income children have the same educational rights that the privileged children have. Instead of posting about racist sentences and unfair practice, attend school board meetings and make your voice heard for your child’s future. Stop defending bad behavior and demand that this chasm of opportunity is closed.
Open up a book and read with your kids. Visit the library. Take advantage of museum discounts to expose your child to other avenues in life.
The anger and outrage collectively displayed should go towards the unequal yoke that is the current education system.
What are we really teaching our youth?