Controversy follows passage of new anti-racism policy in South Kingstown schools

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) – Controversy follows approval of the new anti-racism policy for South Kingstown schools.

The Anti-Racism, Anti-Discrimination, and Anti-Harassment Policy, passed by the town’s school committee earlier in December, encourages “any member of South Kingstown” to report any possible actions that go against the new policy.

“Now they’ve created a policy where anyone in your town can make an allegation against you, and then rope you into this separate jurisdiction made up of a school committee or a principal or a superintendent that will then act as sole judge or jury over whether you are a racist or whether you did something racist,” South Kingstown parent, Nicole Solas, said.

But another South Kingstown parent, Becci Davis, who helped draft the new policy, says no one in town should be discouraged from reporting possible wrongdoing.

“Let’s say, for example, my son was still in the school district and someone witnesses something that happened to my son at the hands of someone who worked within the school district or another student,” Davis said. “Of course, I would want them to have the ability to report that.”

School committee members unanimously approved the new policy after about six months of no action, which Davis partly blamed on Solas, for taking up the school district’s time responding to hundreds of Solas’ public records requests.

Solas tells ABC6 News she was told to submit the requests, by school officials, after asking too many questions about her child’s curriculum.

“Perhaps it’s anecdotal,” Davis said. “But, none of the policies that we were working on at the time got any traction.”

But, Solas says her requests submitted to the school district’s superintendent have nothing to do with new policy passed, in December, by the school committee.

“So, it’s really not clear to me how her allegations against me saying that I am to blame for any delayed progress on an anti-racism policy,” Solas said. “I can’t logically connect those dots that she’s making, and it really just sounds like an unsubstantiated allegation against me, really just to further target, harass, and scapegoat me.”

ABC6 News reached out to the school district’s interim superintendent, who would only say: “I am the interim superintendent and I was not here for the development of said policy.”

The chair of the school committee didn’t want to make a comment for this article.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island