I’m old enough to remember when Kelley Williams-Bolar of Akron, Ohio, was sent to jail for falsely registering her two kids so they could attend a better school.
In 2011, Williams-Bolar illegally used her father’s address to gain access to Copley-Fairlawn public schools rather than send them to Akron Public Schools.
For her crime, Williams-Bolar spent nine days in jail. Later, Gov. John Kasich used clemency to reduce her two felonies to misdemeanors.
What Williams-Bolar did was wrong, even if was for the right reasons, so it will it be interesting to see what happens to the dozens of wealthy parents who were charged criminally last week, all because they don’t want to accept the fact their kids are average.
The adults are accused of paying $6.5 million in bribes to buoy the lie their kids were scholars and athletes, thereby gaining admission into elite college and universities. These actions go far above and beyond fraud-by-address.
The scandal makes a mockery of Americans’ foundational belief in meritocracy and confirms what we really already knew: Money equals power, and power equals access and privilege.
After all, it isn’t plumbers and bartenders who are sitting at courtside.
This latest case rudely reminds us that rich people rigging the system is as old as the scriptures, even in a country built on the proposition of equal treatment under the law.
There’s a whole, different America where the rules of consequence and gravity don’t apply.
You could almost call this scandal the stuff that movies are made of, except that in the movies, the honest and upright tend to win in the end.
Among those charged is TV actress Lori Laughlin, whose daughter Olivia Giannulli, a student at the University of Southern California, has admitted she’s not even interested in attending college other than for game days and parties.
In this week’s episode of “Things You Can’t Make Up,” young Miss Giannulli found out about the charges against her mother while spending spring break on a yacht owned by the chairman of USC’s board of trustees.
Because it’s 2019 and everyone is fighting about everything, there are accusations the people being charged are nothing more than Hollywood elites and limousine-liberal hypocrites, but gaming the system is no respecter of politics.
Conservatives finagle their underachievers into good colleges, too. Former President George W. Bush readily admits he earned “Gentleman’s C’s” at Yale, where he was a “legacy” admission. Had he been born George Walker, the bus driver’s kid, he would have been lucky to land at Trump University.
Meanwhile, legacy admission Malia Obama has been caught acting normal while at Harvard, so it remains to be seen if she’s burning up her parents’ money.
If the accused parents are found guilty, we already know they won’t serve time like Williams-Bolar, though what they did was far worse because they have unlimited options. They wanted the prestige, bragging rights and connections that come with having a kid at an Ivy, USC or Georgetown.
Real estate developer Charles Kushner, for instance, didn’t donate $2.5 million to Harvard out of the goodness of his heart. It was to get his son Jared admitted, even though he wasn’t qualified, according to his teachers.
Weird how the only people who are told they need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps are the same ones who can’t afford to pay for boots and tuition at the same time.
And who got bumped out of Harvard because of that Kushner check?
This scandal forever puts to rest the argument that undeserving minorities have an unfair advantage, when it has been the wealthy and connected all along who are hiding in plain sight.
Reach Charita M. Goshay at 330-580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.