Subpoenas against the North Kingstown School Department and Coach Aaron Thomas


The subpoenas, which were filed in court on Wednesday, precede a hearing Friday on a civil complaint and motion for writ of replevin against Thomas before Washington County Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter.

Thomas, who received a subpoena at his family’s home in North Kingstown, denied having records, according to court documents filed Wednesday morning. Through his new civil attorney, Timothy Dodd of Providence, Thomas is asking for the suit to be dismissed.

Thomas, 54, is under criminal investigation by the attorney general’s office after former athletes dating back to the mid-1990s alleged he performed ‘body fat’ tests on them while they were naked and alone with him, in a closet or a small room adjoining his office. Some said he used skinfold calipers to explore their groin and buttocks, measured their bodies and gave them naked stretches. One told the Globe that fat testing started when he was 14.

Thomas had been a high school teacher since 1990, assistant football coach, summer sports camp manager and longtime basketball coach until his resignation in June. The school board voted unanimously in February to fire him after hearing complaints that he had performed private ‘body fat tests’ on naked teenagers.

However, this was not the first time school officials had received complaints about Thomas. Superintendent Phil Auger admitted a former student told him in 2018 on fat testing, though Auger said there was no mention of nudity. Although Auger said Thomas was told to quit, a mother told the Globe on Monday her sons said the trainer was still doing the private fat tests when they graduated in 2019 and 2021.

Since the charges became public at the end of October, Thomas was fired from his new job as a teacher at Monsignor Clarke School, a Catholic school in South Kingstown, the school committee reopened an external investigationand the city council has hired a retired judge to review surveys.

Providence criminal attorney John E. MacDonald, who represented Thomas, told The Globe two weeks ago that Thomas had consent forms signed by teenage male athletes and their parents allowing Thomas to perform tests. of body composition.

The “weight test agreement” signed by parents and students does not specify how the tests were to be carried out or that the students would be naked.

MacDonald said Thomas performed fat tests on naked teenagers, because “it was just quicker to do with underwear that didn’t get in the way. However, the director of the Center for Nutrition at Boston Children’s Hospital told the Globe that such bare body fat testing is “too intrusive and inappropriate” and there was no reason for nudity.

MacDonald said Thomas took over “300 signed consent forms over 10 years” when he cleaned out his desk earlier this year. “I’m glad he did. He thought he might need it because he was under investigation,” MacDonald said at the time.

Conlon alleges the consent forms are considered school records under the Education Rights and Family Privacy Act and should not have been removed from the school . MacDonald said he has since returned the forms to the school department, at the request of the department’s attorney.

Conlon is also seeking copies of all communications between the school department and Thomas, or his attorney, regarding the obtaining or return of these materials, as well as an inventory of everything Thomas took and what the school recovered.

Conlon’s requests for records related to Athletic IQ have reignited an old scandal in the athletic department at North Kingstown High School.

Athletic IQ refers to a company in Guangzhou, Masse., founded in 2006 by a former NFL scout, who tested the physical skills of high school athletes, to market them for college scholarships.

The company’s intention was to create a comprehensive computer database of athletes across the country, using standardized tests of their body fat, speed, agility, flexibility, strength and their hand-eye coordination, according to a 2009 article in The Providence Journal.

Keith Kenyon, a former athletic director at North Kingstown High School who was also Thomas’ boss, took time off from high school in 2006 to work as Vice President of Athletic IQ. Thomas was placed on a schedule for athletic IQ testing of athletes.

Kenyon had written to a sports official that he had been testing players at North Kingstown since 1991, according to the Journal.

Kenyon returned to the school a year later, although he continued to work as a consultant at other companies, and resigned in August 2009, as the school administration received preliminary results. an audit of alleged spending abuses.

Kenyon is now principal of Nauset Regional Middle School in Orleans, Mass.

Amanda Milkovits can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.

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