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South Kingstown (RI) School Committee Votes NOT To Sue Mom Nicole Solas Who Sought CRT Records

South Kingstown (RI) School Committee Votes NOT To Sue Mom Nicole Solas Who Sought CRT Records

After marathon 4 hours session with contentious split public comments, the School Committee instead directed its counsel to seek mediation to try to resolve the dispute before taking any other steps.

Nicole Solas is the mother whose child is enrolled to enter kindergarten in the South Kingstown, Rhode Island, school district.

On June 1, 2021, Nicole went public in a post at Legal Insurrection about threats to possibly sue her from the South Kingstown School Committee after she filed a series of public record requests concerning Critical Race and Gender theory in public schools, I’m A Mom Seeking Records Of Critical Race and Gender Curriculum, Now The School Committee May Sue To Stop Me:

I am a mother in the South Kingstown School District in Rhode Island investigating through public records requests how critical race and gender theories are integrated into lessons, school policies, and contracts. Now the School Committee is considering suing me to stop me….

My school committee now is considering suing me because I submitted a lot of public records requests to get answers to my questions which the School District would not answer. This same school committee which told me to use a statutorily prescribed process to obtain one piece of information (curriculum) is now having a public meeting to discuss suing me for using the same statutorily prescribed process to obtain other information. The message was clear: ask too many questions about your child’s education and we will come after you….

I suspect the South Kingstown School Department is displeased that a parent has found a way to legally compel responses to difficult questions surrounding CRT and gender theory in public school. I suspect they are also displeased about my criticism of the antiracism policy and appointment and hiring policy, both of which are under review and breathtakingly racist….

This shameful retaliation against a parent who demand transparency from public schools will not be tolerated. Every parent needs to keep asking questions. Every parent needs to submit more public records requests when they do not receive answers to their questions from school leaders. Hold your elected representatives accountable and do not allow them to prevent you from protecting and advocating for your children.

If the school system starts to bully you because you are asking too many questions, then you’re winning. Don’t give up.

Nicole’s post has gained a lot of attention, including an appearance on June 2, 2021, on Fox and Friends:

The story has been covered not only by FoxNews.com, but also by GoLocalProv, which quoted the local ACLU Director:

Rhode Island ACLU Executive Director Steve Brown told GoLocal on Tuesday he believes the South Kingstown School Committee’s response is “inappropriate.”

“I can certainly understand the difficulties facing a municipal body when confronted with such a huge number of APRA requests in a short period of time,” said Brown “However, I am also hopeful that, upon consideration, the school committee will recognize that suing a resident for this activity is not an appropriate response.”

Additional outlets included The Daily Wire, The Washington Examiner, Real Clear Politics, Yahoo News, MSN, The UK Independent, and The Providence Journal, which detailed some vicious personal attacks from the school committee chairperson and local unions:

The committee’s chairwoman said Wednesday the requests were part of a national strategy of a “racist group.” ….

South Kingstown School Committee Chairwoman Emily Cummiskey described the possible suit Wednesday as a “potential injunction” to blunt “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 a statement earlier Wednesday, Cummiskey said while “information is a core value of our district, these requests are over-the-top.”

“More than 200 APRA requests have been filed by a single individual in just the last few weeks alone,” she said, “demanding more than 300 hours of our district’s time to these records requests” and distracting from “efforts to make our schools more equitable, inclusive, and empowering by eradicating any harmful practices or prejudices through equity and anti-racism teachings.”

Cummiskey said, “It’s disappointing, and extremely disheartening, to see an individual, particularly one without a child in our schools, work so hard to harm these efforts, and in turn, send a message to our students and families that anti-racism education is not valued. Racism and hate have no place in our district.”

(Solas has a young daughter who will enter kindergarten next year.)

In response to Cummiskey’s statements Solas told the Journal: “’Equity’ is CRT codeword for discriminating based on race to achieve equal outcomes. The School Committee should focus on ‘equality,’ treating students without regard to race. Why is the School Committee so obsessed with treating students based on skin color? We need answers, not lawsuits against parents.”

Timothy Ryan, lobbyist for the Rhode Island Association of School Superintendents, identified the group responsible for bombarding school officials with public records requests as Parents Defending Education.

“They want to cripple” the South Kingstown schools as officials are busy with next year’s budget and pandemic rules, he said.

“Attacking programs that promote respect for individuals of different races and backgrounds in un-American,” said Ryan. Parents Defending Education is “clearly demonstrating what they believe and who they are.”

Parents Defending Education describes itself on its website as “a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas.”

The Providence Journal appears to be referring, at least in part, to a Facebook post (archive) by Cummiskey “To our South Kingstown School families,” attacking Solas. Based on comments by one of the audience members at the public hearing (see below), it appears that some version of that statement (maybe the statement itself) was emailed to town residents.

Parents Defending Education is the national group run by Nikki Neily and Asra Nomani, each of whom has been on Legal Insurrection Foundation webinar panels about CRT in education. Not that it should matter, but neither one is “white.” To call Parents Defending Education “racist” is nothing short of outrageous.

The School Committed met tonight, including on the agenda item about whether to sue Nicole.

After opening the meeting, the Committee went into Executive Session for over almost an hour. When they returned, a statement similar to Cummiskey’s Facebook post and statements in the Providence Journal were read out loud (I think by Cummiskey, but it was hard to tell from the live feed who was speaking). The person specifically called Parents Defending Education racist in the open meeting. One of the speakers (I think the Superintendent, not sure) said legal told them there wasn’t any real way to stop it, other than perhaps a lawsuit.

They indicated there were 251 requests since April 25, about 50 of which were not from Nicole.

There were numerous disruptions from people in attendance, but the live feed did not permit seeing or hearing what they were saying or who was disruptions.

Slides were shown breaking down the types of requests:

They also brought up requests from Parents Defending Education.

The committee, in response to a question from one of the committee members (it’s hard to tell who is speaking), indicated there had been no attempt to resolve this with Nicole prior to putting it on the meeting agenda.

Nicole was the first person to speak during public comment. Her statement was a short version of her prior statements, and that the entire point of singling her out for a public meeting was to try to humiliate her, but it didn’t work. Listen below:

(Video added)

There were many other public comments, some supportive but many what you would expect from supporters of CRT. I’d say the in-person comments were evenly split, the zoom comments were mostly against Nicole. The public comment period went on for over two hours.

The committee’s lawyer said if there is a legal action, it would seek an injunction.

There was a motion by one of the committee members NOT to sue, and to direct counsel to seek mediation. The motion passed unanimously.

[You can watch the entire livestream at this link [good only until the next meeting], jump ahead to the 57 minute mark for where the open session started.]

(Added) Here is a video of the entire open session. The public comments start at about th 1 hr. mark.

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Comments

Amazing how when your stupid decision goes international, small bits of sanity begin to leak in.

healthguyfsu | June 3, 2021 at 12:46 am

This whole thing is ridiculous on its face. “We are too busy doing stuff to give you information to which you are lawfully entitled” is about the worst excuse I’ve ever heard.

Maybe if the school had promptly replied with the requested curriculum that could be reviewed, none of this would have happened. But they kept stonewalling the woman. That sort of action tends to make people believe the school is hiding something from them. And that led to more requests for information. Requests the school didn’t want to comply with. After what has happened in Loudon County Va., you would think people on these school boards would have a clue. Apparently not.

healthguyfsu | June 3, 2021 at 12:48 am

Also, there’s a quick solution to this oh so burdensome workload. Be more transparent and less underhanded in the first place.

If you are doing such great work, why don’t you brag about the details of it publicly and transparently instead of putting out contrived platitude speeches?

    Dusty Pitts in reply to healthguyfsu. | June 3, 2021 at 8:11 am

    Also, there’s a quick solution to this oh so burdensome workload. Be more transparent and less underhanded in the first place.

    MADNESS!

    SeiteiSouther in reply to healthguyfsu. | June 3, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Common sense – So rare, it’s a %#&!* superpower.

    fscarn in reply to healthguyfsu. | June 3, 2021 at 11:15 am

    “If you are doing such great work, why don’t you brag about the details of it publicly and transparently”

    Comes from the same file drawer that said Obama was the smartest person ever to be president. Yet we never saw his scores/grades from the SAT, LSAT, high school, college, law school which would, if the assertion were true, all bear witness to that assertion.

Alinsky’s Rule for Radicals:
“Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

If you are taking (this much) flack, you are over the target.

The lawsuit that should be getting filed is one by Nicole Solas and / or PDE for defamation over these remarks.

“Cummiskey’s Facebook post and statements in the Providence Journal were read out loud (I think by Cummiskey, but it was hard to tell from the live feed who was speaking). The person specifically called Parents Defending Education racist in the open meeting. “

EdisonCarter | June 3, 2021 at 7:21 am

So the school committed is pursuing “mediation” about what? About citizens lawful requests for information? Or posting of this public information on social media?

There just victims of their own bad choices.

    stevewhitemd in reply to EdisonCarter. | June 3, 2021 at 8:40 am

    From what little was written, I suspect the school district counsel is being directed to find a way to either a) comply with the FOIA requests without giving away anything important and/or b) force those pesky prolés to give up and go away.

    Ms. Solas and the other prolés need to have excellent counsel working with them to counter this. There are all sorts of legal landmines in the FOIA law and regulations. As they do this, they need to keep up showing the light in the kitchen, so as to force the roaches to continue to scatter.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to stevewhitemd. | June 3, 2021 at 9:21 am

      Help is available on a list server named FOI-L.

      FOI ListServ – National Freedom of Information Coalition

      https://www.nfoic.org

      FOI ListServ. The FOI-L listserv is a national Internet mailing list discussion board managed by NFOIC and based at the University of …

I don’t see how that will take hundreds of hours to compile.

The only one that may take time is the facebook one. Maybe the list of sexual/title IX complaints? Pretty much all of that should be digitally searchable.

Every school system should have a general curriculum guide for every grade/class offered in the school. Every teacher should have 180 lesson plans that meet the requirements of the curriculum guide. The curriculum guides should be on the school’s website. A brand new teacher might not have a whole year’s lesson plans prepared, but after his/her first year of teaching a grade/class, the lesson plans should be available. They are subject to revision over time, of course, but any parent should be at least able to ask for last year’s. Most teachers work on computers these days so attaching the files to an email should take but a few minutes. If the teacher is a luddite, then one trip to a copy machine to copy a few hundred pages should do it. You put the stack of papers on the machine, get yourself a cup of coffee, and come back for them. The only excuse a school has for not being transparent is they don’t want to be.

    stevewhitemd in reply to elliesmom. | June 3, 2021 at 8:45 am

    An excellent point. Indeed, to teach ‘CRT’ or anything similar, the teachers need a curriculum guide, syllabus, and educational materials for the classroom. That includes the books, AV material, testing guides, worksheets and who knows what else. The teachers aren’t exactly experts in CRT so they need help, and the board has to buy that help and those materials.

    So in addition to everything you’re requesting, I’d FOIA all the purchase orders for this stuff in the last year. Who are the vendors? What do they charge for the materials? Who are the trainers? What do they charge? Do they come to the school or is it all done by zoom? What are their materials and curriculum? Do these vendors and trainers have an on-going relationship with the school? A contract?

    And so on. Make the school board understand that you’re going to paint the entire picture.

    Dathurtz in reply to elliesmom. | June 3, 2021 at 8:50 am

    I could easily give you last year’s lesson plans. I can’t give you this year’s though as I make them weekly depending on what the class specifically needs.

    However, I would bet most of my net worth (ha) that this school pays for a canned curriculum and tracks teachers by the day.

    Morning Sunshine in reply to elliesmom. | June 3, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    My mom’s last year of teaching 1st grade, she was not allowed to make her own lesson plans. Every 1st grade class in the school was to be teaching the EXACT same thing on the EXACT same day. A class really getting excited about a topic? Too bad – they had to move on instead of explore it further; a class struggling with a topic? Too bad – they had to move on instead of seeking understanding. It may have been more than her school, it may have been the district, as I recall her complaining about her inability to teach HER students had district observers as well to make sure she followed the schedule. So, at least in her school and her district, she did not get to make her own lesson plans. In her case, it would have had to come from the school if not the district, if a parent wanted the lesson plans in advance.

      Dathurtz in reply to Morning Sunshine. | June 3, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      Big money in buying curricula. Way less work on the teacher, but a massively inferior way of teaching when compared to a moderately competent teacher.

      Using a canned curriculum is okay for a 1st year teacher, but really shouldn’t happen after that. It is phenomenally successful at driving away good teachers.

That school committee is tone deaf beyond belief. They are basing their position on the assumption that they had no responsibility to involve the parents in the process before rolling out such a radical and insidious program. Now they are complaining that providing information to one parent is an unreasonable burden? What were they thinking?

Throw it all out and start over from square one! Let’s see if this Marxist crap makes it past square one! Make sure everyone is on board before you commit to sending other people’s children to Mars!

That is why it takes 6,000-page constitutions with 8,000 page codexes for Marxists to replace our simple 2-page US Constitution. Once in place, it becomes a brutal dictatorship by necessity.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 3, 2021 at 8:40 am

Government schools were created to teach students HOW to think. Not WHAT to think. They were never intended to be indoctrination factories.

It’s mostly the responsibility of parents to instill values in their children, not government employees.

    daniel_ream in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | June 3, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Well, no, public schooling was instituted to ensure that children entering the newly industrialized workforce would have the basic skills necessary to operate and maintain complex machinery rather than simple farm tools. The basic premise hasn’t changed much since. It certainly wasn’t anything to do with teaching them “how to think”. That was the province of private schools for the aristocracy.

    Public schooling has been obsolete for about 50 years now; it needed overhauling to become something more relevant to current society. The problem is that that’s exactly what happened, it’s just the cultural Marxists who did it.

    On the contrary, government schools were designed from the very beginning to be indoctrination factories. They were copied from Prussia, where their purpose was to turn free-spirited children into obedient soldiers.

      gibbie in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2021 at 4:38 pm

      Those who downvoted Milhouse are profoundly ignorant. He is precisely correct.

      • Until about 1840, schools were run by small local communities.
      • Horace Mann led the movement to create a universal standard for state
      education.
      • He held that schools should be “non-sectarian”. At the time, this meant Protestant, but not adhering to any particular Protestant “sect”.
      • Tax-paying Catholics objected to having their religion excluded from the
      schools which they paid for and which their children attended. This was the
      motivation for the creation of the Catholic parochial school system.
      • Over time, the term “sectarian” changed its meaning to “bigoted”, “nonsectarian” changed its meaning to “secular”, and “secular” came to be
      thought of as “religiously neutral”.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | June 3, 2021 at 8:44 am

Government schools were created to teach students HOW to think. Not WHAT to think. They were never intended to be indoctrination factories.

It’s not the responsibility of government employees to instill values in students. That is the responsibility of parents.

    henrybowman in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | June 3, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    I agree with your second para, but not your first. They may have claimed they were there to tell you how to think, and many of the better teachers may have taken that as one of their job requirements, but the bottom line was that it officially, was always a deceptive marketing slogan, not a binding responsibility — the same way that “to protect and serve” appears on police cars. Even if your first paragraph were 100% true, it means no more than the usual failure of a unicorn-dust-powered government program that liberals will insist you judge by its intentions instead of by its results.

    Modern forced schooling started in Prussia in 1819 with a clear vision of what centralized schools could deliver:

    1) Obedient soldiers to the Army.
    2) Obedient workers to the mines.
    3) Well subordinated civil servants to government.
    4) Well subordinated clerks to industry.
    5) Citizens who thought alike about major issues.

    You need to know this because over the first 50 years of our school institution Prussian purpose — which was to create a form of state socialism — gradually forced out traditional American purpose, which in most minds was to prepare the individual to be self-reliant. The Prussian purpose was collective, the American purpose, as it had come down from history, was singular. In Prussia the purpose of the Volksschule, which educated 92% of the children, was not intellectual development at all, but socialization in obedience and subordination. Thinking was left to the Real Schulen, in which 8% of the kids participated. But for the great mass, intellectual development was regarded with managerial horror, as something that caused armies to lose battles.

    The above is an excerpt from a keynote speech by John Taylor Gatto, three-time NYS Teacher of the Year, who (during his third “term” as TOTY) quit teaching, explaining in a WSJ op-ed that he was “no longer willing to hurt children.” It’s titled “Bootie Zimmer’s Choice,” and makes excellent light reading.

    By 1840 [more than a decade before the opening of the first tax-funded government schools on the modern model, in Massachusetts) “the incidence of complex literacy in the United States was between 93 and 100 percent. … In Connecticut only one citizen out of every 579 was illiterate and you probably don’t want to know, not really, what people in those days considered literate; it’s too embarrassing. Popular novels of the period give a clue: ‘Last of the Mohicans,’ published in 1818, sold so well a contemporary equivalent would have to move 10 million copies to match it. If you pick up an uncut version you find yourself in a dense thicket of philosophy, history, culture, politics, geography, astute analysis of human motives and actions, all conveyed in data-rich periodic sentences so formidable only a determined and well-educated reader can handle it nowadays. Yet in 1818 we were a small-farm nation without colleges or universities to speak of. Could those simple folk have had more complex minds than our own?

      gibbie in reply to henrybowman. | June 3, 2021 at 5:07 pm

      henrybowman, Thank you! Well done!

      “The Myth of the Common School” dates the beginning at the end of the French Revolution.

      Here’s another relevant quotation:

      I’ve always required my students to read the Federalist Papers and they tell me it makes stimulating reading. But they say it’s the most difficult thing they’ve ever had to read in their entire academic careers. I can’t resist the Opportunity to comment on that a little bit. I usually tell them that there’s a reason they find it difficult.

      The Federalist Papers were written for a very elite audience—the farmers of 18th century New York—to encourage them to support the Constitution I tell my students: “You can’t expect to equal the farmers of 18th century New York because you’ve had twelve years of schooling here and some of you have been stunted still further by four years in a university. But if you really pull yourselves up by the boot straps, you might be able to remotely approach the level of academic sophistication of the farmers of 18th century New York.” Some of my students come close.

      John Eidsmoe, Professor of Constitutional Law

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2041235/posts

    Your second paragraph is also problematic. It assumes that education can be “value free”. This is referred to by philosophers as “the fact/value dichotomy”.

    The short refutation of this is Michael Polanyi’s statement that “all data are value-laden”.

    “Values” determine what questions are asked, and how they are asked, and which questions are not asked. They determine which subjects are taught and the curricula used to teach them.

    Government employees (teachers and curriculum designers) cannot not instill values in students. The only question is “whose values?”.

    The responsibility of parents is to chose what kind of education their children will be subjected to. Many parents are more than willing to delegate that responsibility to government employees. Then they complain about the results.

So, in sum, the school district:
1. didn’t turn over the requested data
2. chose to attack the motives of those asking for data
3. choose to attempt ‘mediation’ v initiating a suit
4. labeled an organization as ‘racist’ without evidence
5. complained that this distracted from other activities
6. denigrated the taxpayer asking for data because they don’t currently have a child in the district

Hmmm. Not sure that is a recipe for future success by the district. Though I am sure the tin pot dictator routine was self satisfying to them.

    Dathurtz in reply to CommoChief. | June 3, 2021 at 9:49 am

    School admin does wrong stuff all the time and counts on the kids to be too scared of authority to stand up to it. It doesn’t work as well with adults. It is one reason a lot of districts can’t keep teachers.

    henrybowman in reply to CommoChief. | June 3, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Yeah, my first thought when they proposed mediation was, with who? Nicole isn’t a party subject to arbitration. She’s a citizen exercising a citizen’s rights under state and federal law. The school has exactly one legal choice, which is to shut up and deliver what she asks.

      txvet2 in reply to henrybowman. | June 3, 2021 at 5:38 pm

      “”my first thought when they proposed mediation was, with who?””

      More than likely the semi-literates on the board confused “mediation” with “negotiation”, IOW how do we satisfy this bitch enough so that she goes away and stops bothering us?

      Milhouse in reply to henrybowman. | June 3, 2021 at 6:24 pm

      The school district is delivering what she asks. It doesn’t want to, but its lawyers told it it has to, so it’s doing it. But nothing says it has to shut up, so it isn’t.

      You say she’s not a party subject to arbitration. That’s true, but the district can still seek mediation with her. It’s up to her whether to participate. She can tell them to get lost; or she can choose to see whether they can find common ground. Maybe she can get what she wants from them without upsetting them so much. It costs nothing to see what they want from her before saying no.

JusticeDelivered | June 3, 2021 at 9:43 am

I used FOIA a great deal about 20 years ago. At that time and with a specific Federal agency, I discovered that the agency was required to post any documents which were requested more than 6 times. I was running a national advocacy organization, and got members to file FOIA requests covering numerous topics, all of which were embarrassing for the entity. In the end they had to publish all that material on their web site.

They figured out that I was behind those requests, and they were mad that we forced them to triple the number of people to handle them.

I don’t know what the current regulations are, but that might be a way to force the district to publish everything so that every parent has easy access.

baileyyankee | June 3, 2021 at 10:01 am

Cumminsky and Ryan are true believers. CRT is their religion. You can tell by their responses that they can’t even comprehend that any sane person would disagree with them. Heretics must be cast from the public square, branded as the enemy–in this case racists.

At the same time, however, somehwere deep down they know that their CRT scripture cannot be fully exposed to sunlight. Thus, they resort to catechism, “…bringing equity and anti-racism curriculum to our schools.” You’d think that unless they are insane they would have to see that teaching children to hate themselves and others because they are white is exactly racism. But perhaps they are insane; or more PC, merely brainwashed.

That alone explains why, instead of talking about the elephant in the room– CRT = Racism –like all acolytes shaky in their beliefs, they instinctively spout slogans and complain about the workload. To face the truth would be too big a threat to their psyches.

So as I predicted, this was never a serious threat of a lawsuit but merely a discussion on the topic. Clearly the board wants to sue Ms Solas, but can’t think of any grounds for one. It was hoping the discussion would produce some idea that the lawyers thought might have a chance, but it didn’t. I’m sure the lawyers told them this in advance. But you can’t blame people for considering their options.

    henrybowman in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    You can when they are public employees and the only legal option is to obey the law as written.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    Again, bullshite. And Solas didn’t need to be there to justify her public document requests. The Board had one job to complete under state public records access law, to produce the documents that Solas requested. Period. They School Board had no right to drag her into an interrogation to go on a fishing expedition hoping she’d say something that they could sue her for. It was simply harassment and threatening behavior on the part of the School Board stating, “If anyone else pisses us off by requesting public documents be prepared to be interrogated and possibly sued.” So don’t do it!” The whole school board should resign in shame for their unneeded, unwanted and illegal actions.

    And yes, I can blame people for “considering their options” when here is no need to consider options. They had one job to do under state public records access law, and they failed miserably at upholding the law.

      The board didn’t drag her into an interrogation. She chose to be there, and she could have changed her mind at any moment and walked out.

      And the board is absolutely entitled to consider its options. There is never a situation where a person is not entitled to that. They may have no options, but that’s the result of consideration. If you don’t consider your options you can’t know whether you have any.

      There is nothing illegal in what the board did, so it has no need to resign. It is, reluctantly, obeying the law. It’s fulfilling every request she makes. It’s entitled to bitch and moan about it if that makes its members feel better.

      Henry, board member are not employees. They’re elected public officials, and their job is to consider questions of policy and make decisions. They are entitled to consider what options they have, in addition to obeying the law. As it turns out, they probably have none. If it took four hours of discussion to bring that home to them, so be it.

        Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2021 at 11:02 pm

        Yes, the Board required and demanded her presence the minute they posted that they were having an open meeting with the topic of, “Are we going to sue this bitch for having the temerity to make 160 public records requests or not.” What was she expected to do. Just ignore the whole thing? No, she had to be there and make a statement explaining why she wanted the records. She couldn’t just ignore the whole thing and hope it went away.

        And the board had two options. Two. The first was to release the public documents Solas requested and be done with it. The second option was to refuse the request outright and give an explanation in writing detailing the reasons for the refusal. There were no other options. The law is clear, two choices only. Hand over the documents detailed in the open access public document request or refuse to do so. if the board were too stupid to realize that then the board needs to resign and be replaced with more intelligent people.

        They may be entitled to bitch and moan about the document requests but they certainly aren’t allowed to threaten a citizen simply because they made inconvenient public document requests that may put them in a bad light. Which is what they did when they put that line item in the agenda for the meeting. They had two options, give Solas the public documents she requested or refuse to give her the documents. Those are the only two choices. Period.

        And as elected officials the school board has the obligation to uphold the law. In this case, the public access laws. They must follow the law, And in this case they only had two options. Release the documents or refuse to release the documents. There is no third, fourth or fifth option. There are only those two options. There was no reason to schedule meeting time to consider a lawsuit. There was nothing for them to sue over.

          No, the board did not require or demand her presence. She was free to stay away. It was her decision to appear and defend herself. The board can’t be held liable for that.

          And everyone is always entitled to explore their legal options. Everyone is always entitled to seek legal advice, and to discuss whether something they want to do is feasible. The Cornell board is free to consider whether it can fire Prof J (answer: it can’t) and Prof J is free to consider whether he can sue it if it does (answer: he can).

          That suing Ms Solas is not an option for the school board is a result of that discussion. You can’t use it to claim that it had no right to have the discussion in the first place.

Well it helps that she has a good appearance to make her case. If she was some wack job looking freak like Dr. Rachel Levine, HHS deputy, it might be a little harder.

That said, I would immediately file a law suite and request that all emails including personal emails be saves for discovery. I bet they would all jump like rats on a sinking ship.

I think the opportunity for mediation is lost (even though it never is).

It is time for us to hold the schools accountable. We pushed back on the sex ed classes for our 8th grader and he was excused. The BS that they get away with teaching is amazing. My parents never checked when I was in school. I bet my mother would have had a fit if she know what they were teaching.

The schools keep taking more liberties. It is time to put them in check.

Sounds like another School Administration Group upset by learning they really aren’t in control of students. Parents are and it’s time they have a say in what’s being taught their children. I hope parents rise up across the country and take back control of schools.

harleycowboy | June 3, 2021 at 11:11 am

Sue them for mental anguish of being threatened to take her to court.

    Milhouse in reply to harleycowboy. | June 3, 2021 at 6:43 pm

    She can’t. For a court to entertain such a suit would violate the first amendment.

    A person or group of people, including a government decision-making body such as a school board, is entitled to consider any course of action, whether legal or not. It cannot be sued for doing so. Of course if it decides to take illegal action, and then does so, then it can be sued.

      Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Milhouse. | June 3, 2021 at 11:09 pm

      The school board only had two options under the state public document open access law. One, give Solas the public documents that she requested and be done with it. Two, refuse to release the documents but have to supply a written statement explaining their exact rational for the refusal. They had no other choices. Period. There was no reason to discuss any possible lawsuit over these requests. They were perfectly legal under the law. The only reason they put it on the agenda was a warning to others they might be sued if they have the temerity to do what Solas did.

        Wrong. They have a third option, which is what they were considering: To continue fulfilling her requests as they had been doing, but sue her in a separate process. But to do that they need something to sue her for, and that’s why they called the meeting, to see if anyone could think up some excuse for a lawsuit. The result was that nobody could.

KulakBoomer | June 3, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Need more brave citizens like this to shine the light. In my county, citizens showed up at a BOE meeting and INSISTED that CRT/1619 not be included in curriculum, as had been planned by the Superintendent of Schools and his team. During that meeting a BOE member put forward a prepared resolution to that effect. Of 7 members, 4 voted for the resolution, 1 voted against (arguing that it was not strong enough in its language), and 2 abstained. In summary, the resolution was carried and BOE indicated they would instruct the Superintendent not to try to proceed with plans to include this stuff. People can make a difference.

    Dathurtz in reply to KulakBoomer. | June 3, 2021 at 12:41 pm

    This. So much this. School board/admin are mostly made up of spineless people with no real clue about education. They haven’t given any real thought to the needs of students or the role of a school in a community. They often need to be told/reminded.

    A lot of times the only real job of the board is to rubber-stamp what a superintendent wants. After all, that person is experienced and knowledgeable, right?

KulakBoomer | June 3, 2021 at 12:33 pm

One other thing, seems to me that being called “racist” by an elected official can bring negative impacts economically, socially, professionally and could even place someone in jeopardy for property damage or worse. Maybe this brave Mom should sue the BOE for slander?

    Milhouse in reply to KulakBoomer. | June 3, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    “Racist” is not a statement of fact; it’s a conclusion, which is a kind of opinion, and therefore cannot be slander. Now saying that someone is a racist may imply that one is in possession of unstated facts that support such a conclusion; if so, that implication is slander. But if it’s clear that the conclusion is not based on facts that would justify it, then it is not slander.

    For example, if I say “John Smith killed someone” and he didn’t, that’s slander. It’s a statement of fact and it’s untrue. But if I say “John Smith is a filthy murderer” it depends whether a reasonable person would understand me to be implying that I have factual evidence that he literally killed someone, in which case that implication is slander, or whether I’m just speculating or speaking figuratively in both of which cases it’s not slander. If I say why I think he’s a murderer, e.g. if I say “Look at his face, that is the face of a murderer, sure enough”, then no hidden facts are implied and it’s not slander.

“The committee’s chairwoman said Wednesday the requests were part of a national strategy of a “racist group.” ”

Because for the adherents of CRT – if you are not a New-Racist – you are a racist. You have to be brainwashed to believe the best way to fight racism is with more racism. otherwise they consider you a racist.

    n.n in reply to Ben Kent. | June 3, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    Yes, the CRTs sincerely believe that progressive prejudice (e.g. racism, sexism, ageism, genderphobia), can be resolved through denying individual dignity, individual conscience, intrinsic value, and normalizing color blocs (e.g. the racist designation “people of color”), color quotas, and affirmative discrimination. It’s Pro-Choice dogma spread in our schools, corporations, and public venues by the diversity racket incorporated under the oversight of the Progressive Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Chamber, Agency, Corporation, Clinic, etc. Not quite their wicked solution, but rather a forward-looking social contagion with “benefits”.

Amazing what a little exposure to sunlight can do to would-be tyrants, isn’t it?

She accused Ms. Solas of being part of a “racist group” right? Shouldn’t that be good for a defamation suit? Make her defend and justify her statement. As an individual, she may enjoy First Amendment protection, but when she’s speaking as a government official, such as Chairperson of an Education Committee, the First Amendment cannot be used as a shield for just making up allegations like that, can it? And, didn’t making that statement in her official capacity open up the district and the city for liability, too?

    n.n in reply to Idonttweet. | June 3, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Allegations of diversity (e.g. racism, sexism) have been made, normalized, really, by public officials as a matter of course over a multidecadal period. These implied and explicit allegations of diversitist thought, intent, and action have been present in government, corporations ,and schools with every course, advertisement, publication, social platform, steering engine offered to a captive or purchased (e.g. free services, public smoothing function/welfare) audience, with a clear and progressive trajectory.

    Presumed guilty until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt in the dated manner of witch hunts and warlock trials, and, with social progress, planned parent/hood (i.e. no voice, no arms, no appeal).

    Milhouse in reply to Idonttweet. | June 3, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    As an individual, she may enjoy First Amendment protection, but when she’s speaking as a government official, such as Chairperson of an Education Committee, the First Amendment cannot be used as a shield for just making up allegations like that, can it?

    Yes, it can.

    And, didn’t making that statement in her official capacity open up the district and the city for liability, too?

    If she had exposed herself to liability, then yes, the district would also be exposed.

While bias is intrinsic, prejudice is progressive. Children should not be taught, but warned about Critical Racists’ Theory that presumes diversity [dogma] (i.e. color judgment), not limited to racism, sexism, ageism, genderphobia, etc. Lose your Pro-Choice religion, your wicked solution. Baby Lives Matter

As I’ve said before, I think Nicole Solas is wasting her time, energy, and money fighting with the government school. She is also unnecessarily antagonizing people.

When a school is run via the institution of (lowercase) democratic control, you ARE NOT entitled to get what you want – you are entitled only to try. If you fail, then you don’t get what you want. If you succeed, someone else doesn’t get what they want – you have replaced one totalitarian with another: yourself.

The institution of democratic control works well most of the time for some things, like road repair, law enforcement, the DMV. It most assuredly does not work well for education.

We should work hard for school choice, and then work hard to prevent the funding bureaucracy from imposing leftist indoctrination on private schools. While working for school choice, we should make the welfare of our children our top priority and remove them from government schools. We should also do what we can to help others who are less fortunate to do likewise.

If you disagree, please explain why.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant

texansamurai | June 3, 2021 at 6:20 pm

She is also unnecessarily antagonizing people.
______________________________________

disagree with this–if people are charged with the duties of a position(whether they’re paid/elected/appointed)then they are fundamentally accountable for their performance vis a vis the responsibilities of that position

If you succeed, someone else doesn’t get what they want – you have replaced one totalitarian with another: yourself.
___________________________________________________________________

disagree with this as well–apparently you’ve overlooked the alternative of concensus, agreement between the parties to do the best for the students and to do so publicly, out in the open, for all parties to observe and assist/criticize prn

    gibbie in reply to texansamurai. | June 3, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks for your reply.

    Please explain how a government school official can be accountable to those who want CRT at the same time as to those who do not want CRT. To atheists, Christians, Jews, and Moslems. To those who want “tracking” and to those who do not want “tracking”. To those who want “equitable math”, and to those who do not.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to texansamurai. | June 3, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    This, CRT is totally outside the charter of public schools. That is the issue. I, for one do not give a shit about what they want, because what they want is not what public schools were created to do.

    The truth is that public school outcome has steadily declined, there is a competent problem. There is also a parenting problem.

      Milhouse in reply to JusticeDelivered. | June 6, 2021 at 10:22 am

      If the public who elected the school board want it, then it’s in the charter. And don’t bring up what the public schools were originally created to do, not only because it’s not relevant but also because they were in fact created by the original “Progressives” to do pretty much exactly this. Not in this exact form, but the same idea.

If the school committee is embarrassed about questions about their curriculum, then they deserve to be embarrassed!
Programs that advance socialism and discriminate while allegedly fighting discrimination have no place in schools funded by taxpayers.

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