Summons against 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 requisition motion against Thomas before Judge Sarah Taft-Carter of the Washington County Superior Court.

Thomas, who received a subpoena at his family’s home in North Kingstown, denied having any records, according to court documents filed Wednesday morning. Through his new lawyer, Timothy Dodd of Providence, Thomas requests that the complaint be dismissed.

Thomas, 54, is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s office after former athletes dating back to the mid-1990s alleged he tested them for “body fat” while they were naked and alone with him, in a closet or a small room adjoining his office. Some said he used calipers to explore their groin and buttocks, measured their bodies, and had them do nude stretches. One of them told The Globe that the fat tests started at the age of 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 committee voted unanimously in February to fire him after hearing complaints that he had performed private “body fat tests” on naked teens.

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

Since the charges became public at the end of October, Thomas has been fired from his new teaching post at Monsignor Clarke School, a Catholic school in South Kingstown, the school committee has reopened an external investigation and city council hired a retired judge. to review surveys.

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

The “weight testing agreement” signed by parents and students did not specify how the tests were to be performed or that the students would be naked.

MacDonald said Thomas performed fat tests on naked teens because “it was just faster to do it 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 naked body fat tests were “too invasive and inappropriate,” and that there was no reason for the nudity.

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

Conlon alleges that the consent forms are considered school records under the Family Educational Rights and 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 also requests copies of all communications between the school department and Thomas, or his lawyer, regarding obtaining or returning these documents, as well as an inventory of everything Thomas took and the school. recovered.

Conlon’s demands for Athletic IQ-related cases have reignited an old scandal in the sports department at North Kingstown High School.

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

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

Keith Kenyon, a former athletic director of 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 on a schedule for athletic IQ tests.

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

Kenyon returned to school a year later, although he continued to work as a consultant in 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 amanda.milkovits@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMilkovits.



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