Rhode Island Mom Involved In Critical Race Public Records Fight And Targeted By NEA Gets High-Powered Legal Help
Nicole Solas “Gets Legal Firepower from Goldwater Institute”
Nicole Solas is the South Kingstown, Rhode Island, mother of a child entering kindergarten in the fall who has been targeted by the School District, School Committee, and Rhode Island School Superintendents Association, after she filed a large number of public records requests regarding Critical Race and Gender teaching in the elementary school.
Solas first told her story in an op-ed at Legal Insurrection, and her story went national with multiple media appearances, including on Fox and Friends, and Tucker Carlson. Here are our posts about her story:
- I’m A Mom Seeking Records Of Critical Race and Gender Curriculum, Now The School Committee May Sue To Stop Me
- South Kingstown (RI) School Committee Votes NOT To Sue Mom Nicole Solas Who Sought CRT Records
- South Kingstown Mom Nicole Solas: “They smear people who ask them questions, who disagree with them”
- Update: Smear of Mom Nicole Solas Was Prepared By Public Relations Firm Hired By South Kingstown (RI) School Committee
- RI School Superintendents Group: “We all know many of our citizens live in a separate news reality with Fox, Newsmax and their ilk”
- CRT Battlefront: Rhode Island School Superintendents’ Plan To Limit Public Records Requests Runs Into Possible ACLU Roadblock
- “Parents Will Prevail” – Rhode Island Mom Nicole Solas Reacts To Resignation of Pro-Critical Race School Board Member Who Smeared Her
Not only did the full weight of the public educational establishment come down on her, but so did the South Kingstown chapter of the National Education Association, according to documents Solas obtained and posted on Facebook, showing she was the subject of an emergency union meeting, including the slides below allegedly showed on a screen during a union meeting:
The teachers union, NEASK (National Education Association – South Kingstown), held an emergency meeting on June 8 to target and bully me – a parent. These are the leaked slides presented to 250 teachers who didn’t bat an eyelash at formally organizing to target a parent who made public record requests at the direction of the school.
Now Solas has some high-powered legal help. The Goldwater Institute, which has a very strong litigation wing, will be representing Solas according to a press release issued today by Goldwater, Mom in Classroom Fight Gets Legal Firepower from Goldwater Institute:
Nationwide, parents are increasingly alarmed about what their children are being taught in their schools, including controversial lessons about race, gender, and the very founding of our country. Yet across the country, it’s far more difficult than it should be for parents to find out what, exactly, is being taught in the classroom. Today, the Goldwater Institute is taking action on behalf of one conscientious parent who just wants to know what her daughter is learning.
When Nicole Solas’ daughter was starting kindergarten, she sought information from Rhode Island’s South Kingstown School Department about what was going to be taught in her daughter’s classroom. Nicole was especially concerned that some controversial materials, including some on racially charged topics and gender theory, would be presented to her young child.
She submitted an official request under her state’s public records law, which was created in order to make public information available to the public so citizens can know what their government is up to.
Yet despite her repeated requests, Nicole could get no answers from the Department. Several of her requests were denied outright. In other instances, the Department sought to charge Nicole onerous fees. And although the Department itself had instructed Nicole to submit formal records requests—rather than simply answering the questions of a concerned parent—the Department threatened to sue her to prevent her from accessing public information.
That is not the way the law should work. The purpose of public records laws are to open government operations to the public, and the presumption is that all public information will be disclosed. Citizens should never be threatened or punished for seeking public information in good faith.
After nearly three months of delay and gamesmanship, the Department has still not provided Nicole much of the information she is seeking regarding classroom instruction. So the Goldwater Institute is stepping in. On Nicole’s behalf, we have submitted a new public records request to ensure that she can access the information she is entitled to about how her daughter is educated. The Institute will hold the Department accountable if it seeks to evade the law or shield information from disclosure.
Sadly, this is not the first time school officials have tried to penalize parents for requesting information they’re entitled to. Goldwater Institute attorneys previously defended parents who were also sued by a school district in Arizona that did not want to turn over public information about their children’s education. (The Institute prevailed in both the trial court and the court of appeals, where the district’s baseless action against the parents was dismissed.)
Our children’s education should not be a government secret. And school officials should never abuse the law to intimidate parents or keep them in the dark. Nicole and other parents like her have a legal and moral right to know what their children will be taught this fall—and it should not take a lawyer to get that information.
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