NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Still reeling from previous controversy, the North Kingstown school committee addressed further issues that first broke earlier in the month.
Outraged parents took aim at the committee Tuesday night, as the town’s school department deals with a growing list of employees placed on leave for allegations of inappropriate conduct.
Three school employees, two of whom are coaches, have been placed on leave for the alleged misconduct. One of the coaches is accused of stalking a student beginning when she was just 12-years-old.
“You knew about it all and you did nothing,” said North Kingstown resident Tiffany MacLeod who addressed the school committee.
The school committee chairman, Gregory Blasbalg, said the school department is “facing a challenging time,” and said that parents and the committee must rely on facts as opposed to rumor and conjecture.
The new allegations come as the town continues to deal with the ongoing scandal of former coach, Aaron Thomas, who was accused of submitting former students to so-called “fat tests”. He would have the students completely undress alone behind closed doors.
While the allegations against comments sparked an investigation by the Rhode Island Attorney General, Thomas has not been criminally charged and denies any wrongdoing.
At Tuesday night’s meeting, North Kingstown’s interim superintendent and athletic director described new guidelines for athletic staff and coaches to follow, as was outlined by the interscholastic league. This included the implementation of an app for coaches to communicate with their athletes.
“If you see a conversation happening between a coach and your child and it’s not through the app or it’s not through an NKSD email, I want you to ask your child but I also want you to let us know,” said Interim Superintendent Michael Waterman.
At this time, the North Kingstown School Department has chosen to not publically name the faculty members on leave. According to chairman Blasbalg, the school committee and interim superintendent Waterman will make a public comment when it is permitted by law.