Nicole Solas reportedly filed close to 200 public records requests after her South Kingstown, RI school district refused to answer her questions about how gender and race will be taught in the classroom. She almost faced a lawsuit because of it.
The Blaze reports that Solas enrolled her daughter in kindergarten. Her daughter would start in the 2021-2022 academic year in the South Kingstown school district. The principal was sure to tell Solas that children would not be referred to as “boys and girls.” Only gender-neutral pronouns would be used.
Solas grew concerned about the curriculum. She said, “I was also told that they refrain from using gendered terminology in general terms of anti-racism. I was told that kids in kindergarten are asked what could have been done differently at Thanksgiving, and this struck me as a way to shame children for their American heritage.”
See more: Watch the Fox News interview with Nicole Solas.
Solas started asking questions about the school’s curriculum, but she was not getting answers. On the recommendation of a school committee member, she began filing the Access to Public Records Act (ARPA) requests. Eventually, she filed 200 requests.
The department met with her requests in a timely fashion but charged her close to $10,000 because of the time it took them to process the information. After some pushback from Solas and condensing the requests into a digital format, they agreed to lower the price to $79.50, as The Providence Journal shares.
The South Kingstown School Committee considered suing Solas because of all the requests.
WPRI 12, a local news station in Rhode Island, shared some statements from South Kingstown School Committee Chairwoman Emily Cummiskey. She said, “Each request pulls staff hours away from our school priorities, on top of requiring expensive hourly legal fees for each review. This is an overwhelming burden that is unsustainable for our district, and an irresponsible spend of taxpayer dollars.”
Cummiskey added, “It’s disappointing, and extremely disheartening, to see an individual, particularly one without a child in our schools, work so hard to harm these efforts, and in turn, send a message to our students and families that anti-racism education is not valued. Racism and hate have no place in our district.”
The district did not file a lawsuit and decided mediation was the best way to handle the situation. Yet, Solas, whose daughter is set to attend the school in the fall, was called “racist” because of her requests. In response, Solas said the claim was “false” and “defamatory.” She called for the immediate resignation of the chair of the school committee.
In defense of her stance, Solas told The Providence Journal that “‘Equity’ is CRT codeword for discriminating based on race to achieve equal outcomes. The School Committee should focus on ‘equality,’ treating students without regard to race. Why is the School Committee so obsessed with treating students based on skin color? We need answers, not lawsuits against parents.”
Solas said it is the duty of parents to find out what is being taught in the classroom.
At NWEF, we value your opinion. How do you think the topics of race and gender should be discussed in the classroom? Should parents have access to any school information they want?
Checks and balances are necessary and built in to our political system for the safety of the citizenry. They should also be built into the educational system. Teachers and school administrators are academically prepared to teach children, but the universities tend to promote the latest liberal trends and ideas that lack practicality and moral virtue. Because children are naturally placed (born) in a family setting that assumes responsibility for providing sustenance and protection for them, it seems very logical that parents are the best candidates to create the balancing factor to the educational system. In addition to being the “natural” guardian of the child and their education, parents are also the supporters or consumers of the educational system. They provide the finances and the pupils, without which the educational system is able to continue. In my opinion, for a school administrator or teacher to ignore a parent’s inquiry or concerns about school curriculum or teaching methods is to practice intellectual snobbery. Parents have a right and legitimate voice in the education of their children and should exercise that right. School boards are elected positions and parents have the right and obligation to support candidates that share their views and oppose those who don’t.
Thank you for that thoughtful reply, John! Yes, history shows us what happens when one group is given absolute power without checks and balances. At NWEF, we want to support teachers, administrators, and policy-makers by holding them accountable (as parents and tax-payers) and by working hand-in-hand with them. Parents are the consumers of education, and you’re right——it is crazy to think that school administrators might look down their noses at concerned parents!
Thanks so much for reading and for speaking up about the much-needed improvements in our system. It’s people like you who make change happen!
I think it is amazing how some people think that learning the Truth, Facts and treating your fellow human beings and American citizens with equality is liberal and radical. Worse still is the fact that these same people consider themselves to be Christians. Christ did not promote the ideals these people push. I think this is basic psychology. These people are projecting, because they know that their ancestors did horrible things and think that Karma is coming for them. They think that they will become the new slaves or the victims of genocide. The sad truth is, they are the only ones who think this way or would treat others badly. Children need to learn the truth and facts so that history will not repeat itself.
Thank you for your comment, Henry. People see inequality of outcomes as proof that something in our nation is broken. And certainly—when minority children suffer, something is at fault. Where the disagreement lies is WHERE that inequality stems from. Is it baked into the system or does it come from a more complex blend of cultural and socioeconomic decisions?
You are right that schools must teach truth and factually-correct history, not caving to either side of political involvement, whether that be the “woke” movement or those who deny the full evils of slavery.