Mom Exits Prison as School Choice Week Ends

Earlier this week I reported on the hero-mom who went to jail for trying to get her children a decent education.  In short, Kelley Williams-Bolar was convicted of a felony for hauling her daughters across a school district boundary.   She committed this crime in order to enroll them in a school with decent standards, one that would provide them the kind of opportunity you would want your own children to have.  Today she was released from prison.  The Heritage Foundation reports this courageous woman’s ordeal in more detail, and puts the whole event in context But the bottom line is this.  The politicians and teachers unions in Akron, Ohio believe that mothers like Williams-Bolar pose a very serious threat to society.

How is it that the Left, which purports to care so much for children and is always preaching equality of both opportunity and outcome, remains so strongly opposed to school choice?  As this incident exposes, liberal double standards are not flaws in an otherwise sincere world view.  They are the visible aura of a lust for power that is routinely disguised as concern for the common man. 

In this case, as in many school districts around the country, that power consists in a corrupt alliance between teachers unions and the politicians they fund.  The resulting political machine feeds off the cynical exploitation of our children while at the same time utterly disregarding the educational needs of those same children.  This machine is fueled by tax dollars, and oiled with the good intentions of uninformed voters who have genuine concerns about education but no understanding of the scam. 

Otherwise, why is it that the same liberals who support open borders and sanctuary cities prove so willing to imprison an inner city mother for no other crime than taking her children across an arbitrary districting line?  If this same woman had been an illegal alien, and had brought her children across our national border to provide them the identical educational opportunity, liberals would be celebrating her.  They would be lining the streets in protest, and insisting that her children be allowed to remain in our schools.  “Why should the children be punished,” they would insist?  “They didn’t violate any laws.” 

In point of fact, liberals already demand in-state college tuition for the children of illegal aliens, along with affirmative action benefits which amount to special advancement ahead of the children of legal residents—ahead, for instance, of the children of the American mother who was released from prison today.  A recent bill before Congress sought to grant effective amnesty to the children of those who have illegally entered our country.  But in the case of American born Williams-Bolar, liberals proved eager to send men with guns to lock her behind bars and to remove her children from the school they had been enrolled in for two years.  According to the judge, it was important to make an example of her.

So why this stark and brutal contrast in liberal sensibilities?  Why do liberals welcome illegal aliens with every form of booty and special consideration they can squeeze out of the taxpayers while at the same time vigorously enforcing the relatively insignificant boundaries of a public school district?  Why do they insist upon putting a poor American mother in jail for crossing a trivial line not shown on most maps, while at the same time insisting upon amnesty and public largesse for those who illegally cross our national borders?

Power is the only answer that accounts for this inconsistency.  Liberals see illegal aliens as a potential voting bloc, which they intend to demagogue and then manipulate as they have the black vote.  African Americans vote 90% Democrat.  Why is that?  In large part because Democrats have consistently promised them “benefits” and government “programs.”   Yet the plight of black families in America is worse than when these programs began.  Black education, in particular, has suffered spectacularly.  It is a sad irony that this poor woman—a black woman, by the way–who was released from prison today probably voted for the straight Democratic ticket.  Liberals intend to seduce Hispanic immigrants in this same way.  They do not see the illegal immigrant as an individual human being with personal dreams and hopes for achievement.  They see a tribe that can be seduced into dependency upon government and then conscripted for political warfare.

When it comes to school choice, the power dynamics are very similar.  For years the teachers unions have lobbied for laws that guarantee them forced dues, job security and a closed shop.  In return, these unions have funded the politicians who support their agenda.  The currency that lubricates this perpetual influence machine is taxpayer funding, which is metered out on the basis of student attendance days.  Since in many cases the public schools are doing a very poor job, a fact which both unions and politicians evidently understand all too well, concerned parents quite naturally wish to find better alternatives. 

But what if even one parent is allowed to withdraw her children from the assigned school?  Of course a mass exodus would follow.  Funding for the rejected school would soon collapse.  Teachers would be laid off, with the bad ones unable to find new jobs.  Campaign funding for the politicians supported by the teachers unions in such districts would dry up as well.  In order to prevent this, the education oligarchy, in collaboration with legislators and judges, has shown that it is quite willing to send mothers to jail.         

For the education establishment today, and that means unions, administrators and politicians, our children are often little more than a commodity to be exploited.  To get decent public education, we must cut the money supply that feeds this trade in young and vulnerable human lives.  We must allow families to choose their own schools, so that the effective schools can grow while the bad ones are eliminated.  Until we do that, we are collaborating in the destruction of our own children. 

Jim Wagner

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