‘If this is true, we need to know about it’: North Kingstown allegations spark unrest
NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — Town Councilwoman Mary Brimer said has been fielding allegations that students who identify as cats have been given litter boxes in the bathroom.
Interim Superintendent Michael Waterman explained in a statement to ABC 6 News: “Unequivocally false. Honestly, it’s shameful that someone would start a rumor to disparage the students and staff of the North Kingstown School Department.”
Parents and Brimer explained these reports must be investigated, and must not be pushed aside.
“If your child is coming home talking about the cat in the classroom or the litterbox in the bathroom, you need to take that seriously,” said Brimer.
Brimer cited parents of multiple schools in the district as sources for these allegations.
She continued, “They tell me that one has been hissing at other students, and they say there is a litter box. I said I need a picture.”
Brimer cited reports of Aaron Thomas’ alleged “naked fat checks” as reason to act quickly on the allegations.
“If this is true, we need to know about it,” said Brimer. “North Kingstown has a very ugly secret that went on for nearly 20 years with people not asking the right questions.”
Karen Kuzminsky, a parent in the district, echoed Brimer’s message to the district, saying, “They haven’t earned my trust. It’s something that’s earned, and it’s been broken with all of this. They haven’t done anything to earn it back.”
North Kingstown School Committee member, Jennifer Lima, said in a statement: “The NKSD is not providing litter boxes in the bathrooms. As to the reports that there are students in the district who identify as cats, I cannot and will not comment on that. We have almost 4,000 students in our district. How they choose to identify is a personal decision and is not for me, or anyone else, to disclose. Whether they identify as a he, a she, a they, or anything else, all students are part of the NK community and deserve to be treated with respect.”
Brimer concluded, “There might be some unaddressed mental health resources that need to be allocated. You know, it never would have occurred to me to ask my child if she had gotten naked in a closet with a teacher at any point in her education — because you would never expect that to happen. And yet, it went on here for over 20 years.”