It’s an understatement to say the North Kingstown school system faces challenges.  North Kingstown makes state, national, and even international news — not for the quality of the education but instead for the multiple lawsuits and investigations on how the district leadership has failed our students. Adding to this void in leadership was the sudden resignation of a committee member.

With the Chair and Vice Chair leaving and no permanent Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent in place, the district more than ever needs experienced leadership to restore trust and confidence in the town’s educational system. Filling this vacancy presented an opportunity for the town council — which itself felt compelled to commission at a considerable expense its own investigation of the school department’s handling of alleged abuse of students — to start this restoration.

Instead, the majority town council members played politics over the welfare of students. These councilors selfishly put their own party interests over the community. Presented with multiple candidates with long residency in the town as well as financial, education, and actual school board experience, the democratic majority spent time fumbling on ways to dismiss those residents because they have the wrong party affiliation.  Instead, they spent less than a minute to appoint a person who has lived in town for all of five months with no discussion of his qualifications.

The majority wouldn’t even state where the new appointee — whose main claim was his “city council experience” — was an official. Perhaps they glossed over this point because the former Mayor of Framingham — the first popularly elected African American female Mayor in Massachusetts and a fellow democrat — call him a “disappointment” as a city councilor.  While the democrats preach diversity and inclusion, they ignored the words of this historic woman who called the council that their new appointee served on as “racist” and “sexist.”

The town council could have appointed a veteran, a parent of a LGBTQ child, a parent who has navigated the special education system — but instead picked an outsider with a record of being a disappointment and serving on a racist and sexist council. Apparently all that mattered to Mancini, Page, and Anderson was this person was a fellow democratic town committee member who hopes to join them on the town council one day.

Students — well if you care about students, remember the town council members cared more about their party than students when you vote in November.

Don Thela

North Kingstown

(1) comment


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