NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I (WPRI) — The former North Kingstown athletic director recently named as a defendant in a lawsuit tied to the ongoing naked “fat test” scandal has resigned from his job at a Cape Cod middle school.
Keith Kenyon, who was hired in 2010 and most recently served as principal of Nauset Regional Middle School, resigned this week, Superintendent Brooke Clenchy confirmed in an email.
Clenchy said Kenyon resigned for “personal reasons,” and the resignation was effective immediately on Wednesday.
“At his request, the school district entered amicable negotiations and arrived at a separation agreement for Mr. Kenyon to leave the district’s employ,” Clenchy said.
Kenyon was recently named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by former North Kingstown students, who are not identified in the suit.
The students allege they were inappropriately subjected to a fat testing program while naked behind closed doors alone with former high school boys basketball coach Aaron Thomas. And they allege other school leaders — including Kenyon — failed to protect them.
Kenyon served as North Kingstown’s athletic director prior to being hired at Nauset. At the time, he ran a for-profit business called Athletic IQ, which the lawsuit alleges incorporated and promoted the fat-testing program.
“Kenyon promoted Thomas as a ‘Testing Station Operator’ and promoted Thomas’ performing body fat testing on the students of North Kingstown High School,” the former students allege in the lawsuit filed last month in R.I. Superior Court.
Kenyon could not be immediately reached for comment, but he defended himself in a Cape Cod Chronicle article this week, saying “in the end, I believe I will be vindicated.”
“In no way did I facilitate Mr. Thomas’s actions, and the allegations in the complaint regarding the relationship between Athletic IQ and North Kingstown High School are inaccurate,” he told the newspaper.
The naked fat test scandal, first reported last year by Target 12, has sent shockwaves through the North Kingstown community. R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha has launched a criminal investigation into Thomas, who has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.
Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha’s office, meanwhile, is currently investigating whether the school district violated any civil rights by failing to respond appropriately. Retired Superior Court Judge Susan McGuirl is heading a separate review on behalf of the North Kingstown Town Council, and private attorney Tim Conlon is representing former students in multiple civil proceedings, including the lawsuit naming Kenyon.
The scandal has also resulted in the resignations of multiple high-ranking school officials, including former Superintendent Phil Auger and Assistant Superintendent Denise Mancieri.
Kenyon, who left North Kingstown in 2009, told the Chronicle he wasn’t aware of Thomas’s inappropriate behavior, and otherwise would have moved to stop it immediately.
“While I am very sorry about, and horrified by, what the plaintiffs experienced when they were high school athletes, I was not aware of, and had never heard a single whisper about, Aaron Thomas conducting ‘fat tests’ on students in any inappropriate way,” Kenyon told the paper. “And to date, no one has offered any facts to the contrary.”