A mother of a schoolgirl from Rhode Island told Fox & Friends on Wednesday that she could face a lawsuit after she sought information about critical race theory (CRT) in her daughter's school's curriculum.
"I wanted to speak out because I have to fight for my daughter's education and I'm in a special position. I don't have a job to lose because I'm a stay-at-home mom. My daughter is just starting out in school. So if I have to send her to private school, I will," the mother, Nicole Solas, told Fox & Friends.
According to Solas, parents must "start asking more questions", as she believes that it would be harder for schools to "retaliate against a lot of parents".
Solas said that at the time she enrolled her daughter to the school, she called the principal to learn more about whether the school teaches gender theory or anti-racism, and was reportedly told that they do not refer to "kids as boys and girls."
"I was also told that they refrain from using gendered terminology in general terms of anti-racism. I was told that kids in kindergarten are asked what could have been done differently at Thanksgiving, and this struck me as a way to shame children for their American heritage," Solas suggested.
The parent reportedly requested a copy of her daughter's curriculum, which was, according to her, a challenge, as she still has not received the copy. Solas was then reportedly advised to submit a public records request through the Access to Public Records Act (APRA), and when she received some information, she "did not see any evidence of gender theory or anti-racism" but remained assured that it was taught to students.
"I have a lot of questions. I'm asking them. I wish that my questions would have been answered without having to do it this way. But they told me to do it with their own questions. They're teaching something that they're trying to hide from you. … They're being opaque about it", she opined.
According to a report by GoLocalProv, the South Kingstown School Committee is mulling the possibility of suing the woman "to challenge filing of over 160 APRA requests.” Solas asserted that the committee would meet and discuss the possibility.
"There is no limit to submitting public record requests. Further, the APRA statute contemplates multiple requests made in a 30-day period for the purpose of cost. It states: '[M]ultiple requests from any person or entity to the same public body within a thirty (30) day time period shall be considered one request.' Accordingly, I did not submit 160 requests – I submitted one", Solas argued.
The Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) executive director, Steve Brown, told GoLocal that he believes the school'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," Brown said. "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."
Critical race theory is a movement that converges academics and activists who claim that systemic racism in the US has a decisive power in American law and the nation's societal structure, and calls for racial emancipation. CRT has prompted criticism from those who state that the social theory lacks supportive evidence and relies more on dramatic anecdotal storytelling than on evidence and reason.