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Rhode Island Mom Asked For Information About Critical Race Theory In Curriculum, Now Faces Potential Lawsuit From School Committee

"I will not stop asking questions."
stack of books wrapped by chain with padlock isolated on white background - stock photo stack of books wrapped by chain with padlock isolated on white background asadykov via Getty Images
asadykov via Getty Images

A Rhode Island mom could face a potential lawsuit after requesting information from an elementary school regarding concerns over its possible inclusion of critical race theory in its curriculum. 

Nicole Solas told “Fox and Friends” that she “wanted to speak out because I have to fight for my daughter’s education and I’m in a special position. I don’t have a job to lose because I’m a stay-at-home mom. My daughter is just starting out in school. So, you know, if I have to send her to private school, I will.”

“And I think it’s really important for parents to start asking more questions, because the more parents that ask more questions, the harder it will be for schools to retaliate against a lot of parents,” she said. 

As Solas enrolled her daughter, she asked the school if they were including anything with gender theory or anti-racism at the school.

Solas said that she called the principal and was informed that they don’t reference “kids as boys and girls.”

“I was also told that they refrain from using gendered terminology in general. In terms of anti-racism, I was told that kids in kindergarten are asked what could have been done differently at Thanksgiving, and this struck me as a way to shame children for their American heritage,” Solas said.

Solas decided to attempt to see a copy of the curriculum for herself and was eventually told by the school committee and principal to put in a public records request through the Access to Public Records Act (APRA). She said that she requested to get a tour of the school, as well, and did not receive one.

After she got the curriculum, Solas said she “didn’t see any evidence of gender theory or anti-racism in it but I knew that they were still teaching it somehow in schools.”

She started using the APRA request process to get more answers to her queries.

“I have a lot of questions. I’m asking them. I wish that my questions could have been answered without having to do it this way. But they told me to do it this way,” she said. 

A local outlet reported that a Rhode Island school committee is now threatening to sue her over what they have described as 160 separate public records requests.

Go Local Prov reported, “The Town of South Kingstown initially demanded a nearly $10,000 bill for records retrieval related to her request for information about the school district’s implementation of  ‘critical race and gender curriculum.’”

On Wednesday night, the committee is scheduled to meet, and one of the items listed on the agenda is reportedly “Discussion/Action: filing lawsuit against Solas to challenge filing of over 160 APRA requests.”

Solas explained her side of the story in a post on the Legal Insurrection website, stating that she “amended my request to narrow the scope of requested emails to six months and requested digital copies instead of hard copies. That $9,570 estimate dropped to $79.50.”

“No one in the school department ever told me it was a problem while I was in constant contact with them to request and purchase information. I purchased over $300 worth of public information and shared it to a private Facebook group to raise awareness about indoctrination in Rhode Island schools,” she added. “I developed a growing network of likeminded teachers, parents, and community members who gave me information about CRT and gender theory infiltrating Rhode Island school districts.”

After she had already gathered some information, Solas saw that the school district was planning to discuss filling litigation against her because of her requests for information. 

Solas wrote that the “numerous attorneys with whom I’ve consulted cannot figure out the basis of a claim against me.  There is no limit to submitting public record requests. Further, the APRA statute contemplates multiple requests made in a 30-day period for the purpose of cost. It states: ‘[M]ultiple requests from any person or entity to the same public body within a thirty (30) day time period shall be considered one request.’ Accordingly, I did not submit 160 requests – I submitted ONE.”

“…I will not stop asking questions,” she added, concluding, “If the school system starts to bully you because you are asking too many questions, then you’re winning. Don’t give up.”

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