(CRANSTON, R.I. AUGUST 4, 2021) - The National Education Association Rhode Island (NEARI) and NEA South Kingstown (NEASK) filed a complaint in Rhode Island Superior Court on Monday seeking relief concerning the appropriate treatment of various records requests made to the South Kingstown School Department via the Access to Public Records Act (APRA). This action seeks to temporarily restrain the School Department from releasing any information related to these APRA requests. NEARI believes many of these documents are not public records as defined under APRA and/or fall under APRA’s exclusions and therefore are not subject to disclosure. This includes but is not limited to personal emails, labor relations materials, personnel records, disciplinary records, evaluations, and other records that do not concern the official business of the School Department. “We are asking the Court to conduct a balancing test to determine whether our members’ privacy rights outweigh the public interest,” said NEARI Deputy Executive Director Jennifer Azevedo. “We believe they do, and those records should either not be disclosed or should be redacted accordingly. “Multiple APRA requests were made in recent months to the South Kingstown School Department demanding detailed information about specific educators and members in general of NEA South Kingstown, our local NEARI educator affiliate. While NEARI and NEASK support access to public information, the organizations firmly believe in protecting the rights, safety, and privacy of its members and will continue to advocate strongly on their behalf. We look forward to the Court’s declaratory judgement.” Verified Complaint Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C *UPDATE* - Read NEARI's statement regarding the successful outcome at the TRO hearing.