The largest teachers’ union in the country has filed a lawsuit against a Rhode Island mom to block her numerous requests for public records regarding her school district and Critical Race Theory, prompting her to fire back, “I just got served with a lawsuit from the teacher union NEARI. Throwing down the gauntlet, are we? Game on.”
I just got served with a lawsuit from the teacher union NEARI. Throwing down the gauntlet, are we? Game on. pic.twitter.com/9WSpEO14Zy
— Nicole Solas (@Nicoletta0602) August 4, 2021
Nicole Salas, who started her odyssey in challenging the school district back in April, continued by writing, “Today the teacher union NEA filed ANOTHER lawsuit against me —this time a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. Will teacher unions bullying moms be an everyday thing now?”
Today the teacher union NEA filed ANOTHER lawsuit against me – this time a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction. Will teacher unions bullying moms be an everyday thing now? pic.twitter.com/6WxQ8KTAFD
— Nicole Solas (@Nicoletta0602) August 5, 2021
The Goldwater Institute’s In Defense of Liberty blog explained:
In April, Nicole emailed the principal of her school in the South Kingstown School District asking for the kindergarten curriculum—and whether it would include teaching children politically charged materials, including those influenced by Critical Race Theory and gender theory, holding them out to be true. She immediately faced stonewalling from the school, and even a threat of legal action for asking too many questions. Ultimately, Nicole received a bill for $74,000 to fulfill a public records request filed by the Goldwater Institute on her behalf in July.
Solas stated, “The NEA is so determined to push its political agenda that they are willing to expose themselves in a court of law for who they really are: an association of bullies eager to challenge a stay-at-home mom who simply wanted to know what her daughter would be taught. This lawsuit won’t deter me from asking questions, and I encourage all parents to do the same, so that they are empowered to make informed decisions regarding their children’s education.”
Attorney Jon Riches, Director of National Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, who represents Solas, asserted, “This brazen and unprecedented act of intimidation by the NEA will not stand. Nicole Solas is entitled to know what her daughter’s school is teaching in the classroom. She’s entitled to ask questions. And she does not deserve to face legal action just for asking questions any concerned parent would ask.”
On Thursday, the NEA-RI (National Education Association Rhode Island) filed for emergency injunctive relief, seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. William A Jacobson of Legal Insurrection, who has been assiduously covering the Solas story and whose series of articles illuminating the story can be found here, commented:
The entire premise of the purported emergency is that if the court doesn’t act now, private records not subject to disclosure will be produced. On what basis is that assertion made? Who told the unions that would happen? Are the unions in touch with either the District, School Committee, or their attorneys? If so, one would expect an affidavit either attesting to a conversation or attaching emails. The Complaint is Verified, but the evidence is lacking in the complaint.
Among the numerous requests made by Solas was Request No. 164, “which calls for all emails between Linda Savastano (the former Superintendent) and Robin Wildman for a period of two years,” Jacobson pointed out, adding, “Who is Robin Wildman that they don’t want her emails with the superintendent revealed? She’s a CRT activist who is at the center of a complaint Solas filed with the RI Attorney General’s office.”
Wildman was the founder of Nonviolent Schools Rhode Island; she said in an interview with The Collective:
I approached the superintendent with an idea to form a BIPOC group that would look at policies and practices and make recommendations to create a more inclusive, antiracist district.… I believe in working for justice, and not equal rights. The difference is, in reality, while you may be offered the same opportunities, you can easily be denied access due to your race because the vast majority of those that control all of the systems in our country are white, due to racism. Justice means breaking down the oppressive systems that prevent BIPOC from accessing opportunities in your community that white people have. … I feel that as a white woman of privilege it is up to me to create change.
In early June, the Providence Journal reported that the South Kingstown School Committee was considering suing Solas; School Committee Chairwoman Emily Cummiskey smeared Solas, saying the suit could be a “potential injunction” to block “a nationally-organized, racist group [attempting] to create chaos and intimidate our district. …This is their MO nation-wide and I anticipate other districts in our state will soon experience the same unfortunate influx we have.”
Cummiskey did not name the group in her remarks, but later admitted it was Parents Defending Education.
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