Hey everybody, I’m dying to get your take on a story that’s been getting quite a lot of play this week. Kelly Williams-Bolar is an Ohio woman who was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years probation for defrauding an area school district. But many are now arguing the judge was far too harsh in this case…

Kelly is a mother of two girls, ages 16 and 12. She lives in public housing but was convicted of falsifying records so that her children could attend better schools in another district (she told the officials that her girls were living with her father in a nearby township, when in fact they were with her).

The single mother was convicted on two counts of tampering with records and must begin serving her ten-day sentence immediately. But the felony conviction will have lasting repercussions beyond mere jail time.  Williams-Bolar worked as a teaching assistant at a school for children with special needs while she earned credits toward her teaching degree. Now, even though she’s just a few hours short of that goal, she will not be able to get her degree because of the felony conviction.

School district officials are typically able to resolve issues of residency without going to court but for some reason couldn’t do that in this case. The judge said she felt some jail time was appropriate to make others think twice before trying to defraud the school district. But ultimately here is a woman who was trying to get the best education she could for her kids. Now, not only is she going to jail, her future livelihood is threatened…

So today’s GEM debate question is:

Should this single mom have been convicted of a felony? Was the judge’s sentence too harsh – or do we all have a duty to obey the law… And have you ever broken the law for the sake or your children or family?

Comment away everyone!