A Rhode Island mom filed a lawsuit after she says she was blocked from attending “secret” meetings where “anti-racist” CRT ideology was being pushed in an effort to change the district’s curriculum.
Nicole Solas discovered the meetings in May, being held by the school district’s taxpayer-funded Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Advisory Board.
The South Kingston BIPOC Advisory Board was formed in 2020 and is “an entity that receives public funds, is comprised in part of public officials and has regular and recurring meetings to advise the School Committee on ‘equity in education,'” the lawsuit claims.
“The goal is to get everybody to look at every decision, every action, with a lens of anti-racism and anti-discrimination,” the chairperson, Robin Wildman, said in 2021 about the committee, according to Fox News.
Since the board would be giving policy recommendations that would affect her daughter’s education, she asked to attend the meetings. The message she got back from the board was clear: No parents allowed.
Even though Rhode Island’s Open Meetings Act requires “[e]very meeting of all public bodies shall be open to the public,” the board’s chairperson denied Solas’ request and committee personnel ignored further requests from Solas to attend.
“Schools are looking for a way to implement a racist ideology into their curriculum,” Solas told Fox News. “So, what’s going on is that these schools are looking for ways to enforce their ideology, but they know it’s controversial. So they have to do it in a secret way, because there will be public outcry if this happens in public.
“They have the nerve to look at people like me in the public and say, ‘Oh, no, they’re just making recommendations. They don’t have any real power over your child’s education.’ So, this is insulting to the public.
“Really what happened was, the school secretly appointed the members of this group, and they charged them with doing official school board business. And then they wouldn’t allow members of the public, such as myself, to watch them doing the official school board business that your elected representatives should be doing.”
The Goldwater Institute filed the lawsuit Aug. 3 in Rhode Island Superior Court to defend Solas’ rights and hold the school district accountable for conducting public business in secret, in alleged violation of the state’s Open Meetings Act.
“Nicole has a right to access the public business being discussed and acted upon by the board,” Jon Riches of the Goldwater Institute told Fox News
The board was “charged with advisory power … over matters of significant public interest,” Riches continued. “The board is also publicly funded with taxpayer dollars by the School Committee, and two members of the School Committee’s subcommittee on policy sit on the board.”
Fox News reports its requests for comment from the district and the committee were not immediately responded to.
Ironically, this is not the first time Solas says the School Committee has tried to hide its activity from parents. The Goldwater Institute also stepped in to help when Solas previously requested public information about what her daughter would be learning.
The committee ignored most of Solas’ request, threatened to sue, and ultimately tried charging her $74,000 before backing off – all for her trying to access information that Rhode Island law appears to require be open to the public.