Is the South Kingstown School Committee retaliating against a resident for seeking information about indoctrination in the schools?
Nicole Solas describes her experience as a concerned mother with the schools in South Kingstown, on Legal Insurrection:
These initial high estimates of public records requests are common barriers to parents obtaining information about their children’s school district. A parent in another Rhode Island school district received an estimate of $17,295.75 to obtain public information related to the cost of an athletic field. Access to public information is not cheap. Or equitable.
I continued to submit small and numerous public record requests to investigate my school district. The school department continued to respond in the statutory time period of ten days. A school committee member even made a snarky reference to my APRA requests in an email. Evidently my APRA requests were not problematic if they were the subject of sarcasm from a school committee member.
No one in the school department ever told me it was a problem while I was in constant contact with them to request and purchase information. I purchased over $300 worth of public information and shared it to a private Facebook group to raise awareness about indoctrination in Rhode Island schools. I developed a growing network of likeminded teachers, parents, and community members who gave me information about CRT and gender theory infiltrating Rhode Island school districts.
Then, on Friday, May 28, the school committee set an agenda item for a public meeting to discuss “filing litigation against Nicole Solas to challenge the filing of over 160 APRA requests.”
Games with Access to Public Records Request (APRA) responses and abusive use of their taxpayer-funded lawyers are too common, in Rhode Island. A while back, I asked the Tiverton school department for a few years of their line-item budgets so I could analyze them. This should have been a quick reply with a spreadsheet with which I could work on the computer. Instead it was an all-but-useless twelve-inch stack of printed paper. They don’t want people watching them closely.
That was with a dry budget matter, but Ms. Solas is digging into a contentious issue of ideological indoctrination.
Generally, people tend to think that our school committees are sort of like Parent Teacher Organizations of well-meaning residents organizing bake sales and that sort of thing, but that’s an absolutely incorrect impression. They control tens of millions of dollars in even the smallest districts, negotiate lucrative contracts with special interests, and make decisions about what sort of education children receive.
In South Kingstown, the school committee includes someone like Sarah Markey, who herself is an organizer for the teachers union and recently took sides against the alleged victim in a racially tinged rape case.
The committee will be discussing its potential lawsuit tonight. Links to watch and/or participate in the meeting via Zoom are available on the public agenda.