Attorney, parents voice year-long frustrations with North Kingstown School Committee

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — While the district continues to search for both temporary and permanent superintendents, the community voiced the continuing frustrations with the North Kingstown School Committee.

Former interim superintendent Dr. Judith Paolucci resigned effective immediately Monday, citing a lack of partnership and flexibility by the committee during her two months.

The committee said Paolucci refused to follow district financial policies.

Attorney Timothy Conlon represents multiple students who claim the committee acted inadequately to their allegations of naked fat tests by former basketball coach Aaron Thomas. While a different circumstance, Conlon believes this situation echoes similar frustrations by parents towards the committee.

“A lot of people that are unhappy, and not a lot of straight forward answers,” said Conlon. “Dr. Paolucci in essence cited them for not responding to problems that she had. That really was an echo of what you’ve seen from public comment during these meetings for over a year now.”

Aaron Thomas faces charges of sexual assault and child molestation. He also is accused of performing naked fat tests regularly for roughly 20 years.

Over the past year, the committee has fielded criticism for how they handled the allegations.

Conlon continued, “What you have over a year later is continued breakdown and frustration because the questions people were mad about a year ago still aren’t answered.”

The school committee during a meeting Tuesday said they are currently searching for an interim superintendent. They hope to have a permanent superintendent by July 1st.

Former assistant interim superintendent Katherine Sipala will temporarily step in for Paolucci.

During public comment, parents continued to voice concerns about district policy, transparency, and communication with the town.

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