Former North Kingstown High School coach under investigation

The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office confirms that former North Kingstown High Basketball Coach Aaron Thomas is under investigation. According to both the Boston Globe and a former student who reached out to ABC6, the investigation involves the manner in which “fat checks” were conducted on student athletes.

Thomas resigned from the North Kingstown School Department in June. This school year, he has been working as a middle school teacher at Monsignor Clarke in Wakefield. However, the principal of Monsignor Clarke said Thomas is now on administrative leave.

In a statement provided to ABC6, Principal Arthur Lisi said there is no allegation of misconduct happening at Monsignor Clarke. Principal Lisi said Thomas was placed on administrative leave after the school was notified of a “complaint that one of our newly hired middle school teachers allegedly acted inappropriately while previously employed at a different, public school.”

The North Kingstown School Department confirmed to ABC6 that, earlier this year, they had also placed Thomas on administrative leave after the department received “an allegation regarding his job performance”. The school department said it turned the matter over to the North Kingstown Police Department. The school committee had voted to terminate Thomas at the end of the school year. However, the school department said Thomas resigned in June.

Read the statement released by the North Kingstown School Department:

“Mr. Thomas was a teacher and a coach in the North Kingstown School Department until he resigned in June 2021. Prior to his resignation the school department received an allegation regarding his job performance.
Upon receiving the information, the district immediately placed Mr. Thomas on an administrative leave, and subsequently the School Committee voted to terminate him at the conclusion of the academic year (the earliest opportunity per RI Law). The matter was turned over to the North Kingstown Police Department who conducted an investigation while the district began its own investigation. The district also notified the Rhode Island Department of Education.
Mr. Thomas resigned from the North Kingstown School Department on June 24, 2021, prior to the end of the NKSD investigation, ending any further action by the North Kingstown School Department.
The North Kingstown School Department has no other information it can legally share on this matter.”

Read the statement released by Monsignor Clarke:

Dear MCS Community,
Our school takes great pride in the quality of education and the safety of your children and we go to great lengths to ensure our school upholds these standards. The school received a complaint that one of our recently hired middle school teachers allegedly acted inappropriately while previously employed at a different, public school.
We are investigating the claim, and in keeping with our policies, Mr. Thomas was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. There is no allegation that any misconduct occurred at Monsignor Clarke and the leave is out of an abundance of caution while the investigation is completed. Prior to hiring all our teachers, we conduct thorough and legally-mandated background checks and professional references are explored as part of our efforts to hire quality, safe faculty.

As we want to ensure a continuous learning environment for our middle school students, we are currently in the process of hiring a long-term substitute teacher. We trust that this matter will be resolved soon and we will keep you apprised.

Safe environment policies for diocesan schools and programs are available on-line at Office of Compliance – Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island – Providence, RI and Diocesan Child Protection and Outreach Policy – Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island – Providence, RI and inquiries about those policies may be directed to the Diocesan Office of Compliance at 401-941-0760, or email at compliance@dioceseofprovidence.org.

Thank you.

Dr. Lisi
Principal

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island