Eye On Why

News & Analysis
Government Policies & Politics Decoded
By Thomas J. Edwards

Friday September 3, 2021

Mom SLAPPed For Asking Critical Race Theory Questions

By Thomas J. Edwards —

Nicole Solas is a Rhode Island mother who wants to know how teachers intend to indoctrinate her daughter about Critical Race Theory. Solas has filed more than 200 Freedom of Information requests for public records about CRT details such as curriculum material, internal emails, and other documents, to no avail. Teachers are just as adamant about not wanting Solas or any parent to know their brainwashing techniques.

They are so insistent about secrecy — they call it teacher right to privacy — that the Rhode Island branch of the National Education Association, the goliath teachers union, hit Solas with a SLAPP action to teach her humility and to keep her mouth shut. SLAPP, Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation,  is the strategy used by corporations and other monied social giants to intimidate and silence criticism through baseless, expensive legal proceedings. NEA has a $300 million annual budget.

Solas, with only a household budget and the aid of a pro bono law firm,  in one request wanted to know the qualifications of a music teacher who insisted on discussing race and equality with choir students. That was too much for the despotic NEA honchos.They decided to retaliate. They  asked a judge to block release of what they claim are non-public records and asked for a ruling balancing the public right-to-know against teacher privacy rights. Solas is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit, along with the South Kingstown School Committee and South Kingstown School Department.

Fear of Conservatives

“Given the circumstances of the [Solas] requests it is likely that any teachers who are identifiable and have engaged in discussions about things like critical race theory will then be the subject of teacher harassment by national conservative groups opposed to critical race theory.”

CRT is being taught in public K-12 schools throughout the state, NEA, one of the two teachers unions — the other is the American Federation of Teachers —vowed to go after parents and organizations opposed to CRT.

Solas is concerned about what is being taught that requires the school where her daughter enters kindergarten this fall to eliminate the words “boys” and “girls” from use in the school. The school uses gender-inclusive pronouns instead.The school district’s response was to send Solas a bill for $78,000 to receive the information sought in the more than 200 FOIA requests.

The clash over CRT is a microcosm of a culture war raging across the country as students prepare to head back to school this fall after more than a year of academic confusion resulting from the Wuhan virus pandemic. 

CRT is an outgrowth of the European Marxist school of critical theory, an academic discipline maintaining that society is divided along racial lines into White oppressors and Black victims, that an individual by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently privileged, racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or subconsciously. Racism is seen as an inherent part of the American civilization, privileging Whites over people of color in most areas of life, including education.

 For a copy of the lawsuit, go to: https://tinyurl.com/yj6vjnbe


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