Hearing held in teachers union suit against concerned mom
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A superior court judge heard both sides of the lawsuit against a South Kingstown mom, fighting to find out what’s taught in her district’s schools, on Wednesday.
The Rhode Island teachers union suit against the South Kingstown School Committee and parent Nicole Solas moved ahead in Providence Superior Court during a virtual hearing.
The school committee’s attorney was all but silent, while Solas’ attorney argued that the case should be dismissed, and the court needs to look into Solas’ claim that the union is trying to intimidate and silence her.
“I do believe that the school district is using this to harass me and to send a message to all other parents that if you ask too many questions about your child’s education that they’ll punish you and they’ll retaliate against you, and I want this case to show that they’re not going to get away with that,“ Solas said.
Solas is being sued after filing more than 200 public records requests after a school official refused to answer questions about how race and gender were being talked about in the classroom.
ABC6 News reached out to the National Education Association of Rhode Island and NEA South Kingstown, suing Solas and the school committee; with no response.
Several months ago, ABC6 News did receive this statement from a union spokesperson, which reads in part:
“NEARI believes many of these documents are not public records as defined under APRA and/or fall under APRA‘s exclusions and therefore are not subject to disclosure.”
An attorney for the union argued in court, on Wednesday, that the suit is meant to protect personal information of the teachers.
“The school is perfectly capable and has unfettered authority to apply exemptions from the APRA and to make perfectly legal sound decisions on which records to release,“ Solas said.
The judge, on Wednesday, said they expected to make a decision on the case by Dec. 20.