By Reagan Reese, featuring Nicole Solas, senior fellow at IWF’s Education Freedom Center
A Rhode Island mom is suing her school district’s Black Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Advisory Committee for allegedly blocking her from attending the group’s meetings, which push anti-racism, according to the lawsuit.
The Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nicole Solas, who is white, against the South Kingstown BIPOC Advisory Committee of South Kingstown School District, in Wakefield, Rhode Island, who allegedly denied Solas access to the board’s meetings, according to the Aug. 3 lawsuit. Rhode Island state law requires any school committee who has “advisory power” to be open to the public.
“I wanted to go to their meeting. When I asked to go, the superintendent told me well this is not a subcommittee that would be subject to Open Meeting Laws, this is an advisory committee, meaning it’s up to them if they want to have a closed-door meeting,” Solas told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I had to contact the committee instead of the school and when I contacted the facilitator or leader, and I said I’d like to come, she said ‘well we are a private vendor and we’re having closed-door meeting.’”
Before filing the lawsuit, however, Solas filed a complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha who dismissed the complaint stating the committee was not a public body, according to documents obtained by the DCNF.
“This is happening across the country, school district and state Department of Educations are creating what they’re calling advisory committees and they’re doing that in order to circumvent Open Meeting Laws and have the public not see the work that these committees are producing, and then give it to school districts, pretending like the school district isn’t already going to take every recommendation that they provide to them,” Solas told the DCNF.
The South Kingstown School District and South Kingstown BIPOC Advisory Committee did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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