Second lawsuit filed against North Kingstown School Committee, former administrators in Aaron Thomas investigation

Aaron Thomas
Former North Kingstown basketball coach, Aaron Thomas. (WLNE)

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — A second lawsuit has been filed against members of the North Kingstown School Committee and former administrators in the district over the alleged misconduct of former basketball coach Aaron Thomas.

The lawsuit names each member of the school committee, several former administrators, including past superintendents Philip Auger and Philip Thornton. Thomas is not listed as a defendant in the case.

The suit accuses the members of the school committee and the administrators of failing to provide proper oversight and supervision of Thomas and that they were negligent in the handling of accusations against Thomas.

In this specific case, the plaintiff, who’s being named as “John Doe 23,” was a student athlete at North Kingstown High School from 2015 to 2019, though he did not participate in basketball.

According to the suit, the alleged victim was touched inappropriately by Thomas during one of the “naked fat tests” in 2017.

The suit claims Thomas used his position with the school to “sham” the boy into fat testing and when he agreed the boy removed all his clothing while Thomas’ head was 12 to 15 inches from the boy’s genitals.

The suit goes on to say Thomas then placed his hands within inches of the plaintiff’s genitals for an extended period of time.

Thomas is accused of trying to make the alleged victim to participate in more fat tests, but the boy refused.

The suit argues the school committee and former administrators were negligent in the handling of the allegations and are requesting damages, though no specific amount was named.

Attorney Tim Conlon, who is representing both plaintiffs in the filed suits, has been retained by several other former students and their families.

“We have been retained by a number of people who have such claims. I am in the process of preparing something to suggest those involved some alternatives to what otherwise would be series of such suits,” Conlon told ABC 6 News.

The second suit filed last week, comes just over a month after another former student filed a similar suit against the school committee and former administrators.

The lawsuits stem from Thomas being accused of performing naked fat tests on student athletes in North Kingstown as far back as the 1990’s

Thomas was quietly fired from the district in early 2021, but the reason was not made public until later in the year when Thomas was removed from a new teaching position he got at a Catholic School in South Kingstown.

Once the allegations were brought to light, residents and parents questioned how the school committee and school administrators handled the accusations.

Auger resigned in March, and Assistant Superintendent Denise Mancieri, who is also named in the suit, moved up her retirement date from the end of this school year to be effective immediately in March.

ABC 6 reached out to the School Committee chair and the the district’s attorney, but have not yet heard back.

Categories: News, Rhode Island