The question on everyone's mind is if/how this is unfair, but the real money is in another question: why now?
We can all agree: if they wanted to handle this quietly, they could have. Prosecutors could have easily turned this into a misdemeanor, let her plea bargain.
The district hired a private investigator, who shot video showing Williams-Bolar driving her children into the district. The school officials asked her to pay $30,000 in back tuition. Williams-Bolar refused and was indicted and convicted of falsifying her residency records.
Re-read those three sentences, but put the word "Then" in front of the second and third. Oh, so that's how it is.
The wrong way to understand this story is to think it is racial (which it probably is), or that she deliberately manipulated two systems-- public housing in Akron and schooling in Copley-Fairlawn (she did.)
The important points not in the news: she had been pursued by the school district for years about this, as had other parents gaming the system. So the question is why they indicted her in November 2009. Not why her; why then.
Here's the first hint that this "news story" has nothing to do with conveying information to you. Look who gets a quote: prosecutors, superintendents, judges. Look whose name is completely absent: her lawyer's. In fact, that she even had a lawyer is not mentioned once. I'm sure she had one, but what he had to say isn't important to the story... is it?
The missing part of the story is that in November 2009, the district was about to lose $467087 due to Ohio's inability to balance their budget. On August 3, 2010, the Copley-Fairlawn district was the only one of 7 districts that managed to pass a school tax hike of 23%.
The board chose to pursue this woman-- apparently, the first one so prosecuted in the state's history-- for the specific reason that it can. It is a display of power, a show of force: we will protect your interests. If you're asking why her, you're missing the point, it could have been her for a million tiny reasons: race, she had been antagonistic with the board in the past, she was left handed, who knows? This wasn't an assassination, it was a bomb blast. She just happened to be in the building.
Why are you hearing about this story, in this way: "oh my god, those bastards won't even cut a break to a poor black woman?" Because that story simultaneously delivers the government's message: "we don't squander taxpayer resources; we'll fight to protect every dime we can get." The symbiosis between media and politics: the media gets their readers, and the government gets their message relayed to the public. There's no news here, this is propaganda.
"But why would the school district want to portray themselves as racist meanies?" Do you think they care what you think of them? Dolla dolla bill, y'all. They owe their allegiance to the voters of Copley-Fairlawn.
"But what's wrong with the Board protecting taxpayer money?" That's just the point, they're not protecting it, they are pretending to protect it. $30k for two years and two kids? If you think the cost of public education in Akron is $7500 a year, you are completely and utterly insane and need to be disintegrated with acid. The University of Akron, which is only slightly worse than any high school in Akron, charges $8k. Granted, their teachers have PhDs but,... wait a second...
$30 million budget? For what? As long as you assume they're racists, as long as you think they are way too strict in their pursuit of fraudsters, then never will it occur to you to ask what exactly you're getting for your money. That's what the media is for. Oh, look, Idol is on tonight.
Anyone on the outside should be able to see this for what it is: a mafia style protection racket. Pay us. If you pay us, we will protect you from those who... don't pay us.