Bartomioli: Where’s the outrage?


I am asking for your vote for School Committee on or before Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Considering the challenges over the last several years, the children within our community need our attention more than ever. Social media, screen time, and fear has been their classroom for far too long. It is time we renew our focus on the basics, the power of literacy and basic everyday math skills and set aside much of the political noise our children have been forced to hear.

Parents and families are questioning where and what will our children be taught in school; will it be age appropriate and respect family values? We can all agree that lessons on kindness, compassion, acceptance, and respect should start at home, with teachers reinforcing those lessons. Teachers and administrators must respect a family’s choice on what social issues should or should not be discussed in a classroom.

In July 2019, Rhode Island passed the Right to Read act, and beginning with the 2020-21 school year, elementary school teachers (we)re required to train in the Proficiency or Awareness in the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy.

On July 2, 2022, RI legislatures changed the requirements. Reading specialists and teachers with a master’s degree will not have to undergo training. Training must take place within the school day or professional development days. The training deadline has been moved from 2023-2024 school year to 2025-2026.

Where is the outrage?

After speaking with RIDE on Monday, Oct. 24 concerning the new proposal for high school graduation requirements, I needed answers concerning the Right to Read Act. I sent an email that evening to ask how far along we were with the training. I received a reply that we have teachers that have completed training, others who have begun their training, and they continue to schedule training for the remaining teachers, and was happy to see that an email was sent to our elementary school parents on Friday, Oct. 28 informing them about the Right to Read Act.

When a new curriculum comes from the state, I will always ask the question why the change? Who is mandating these changes? How is it funded? How is it benefiting our students and their families? And I will insist that our families are made aware of these changes. Having worked in the classroom I know that teachers cannot do it alone and if a parent does not know the curriculum how can they help their child at home? Parents and families have a right to know and critique the curriculum of their children.

Teresa Bartomioli

Candidate for the North Smithfield School Committee

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  1. Mrs. Bartomioli,

    Do you denounce the libeling, slandering, and defaming the character of student’s parents nationally, but especially in our community as domestic terrorists for simple stepping forward to advocate on behalf of their children in opposition of mask and covid mandates, that has and will cause future damage to learning, as well as the hyper sexually charged grooming indoctrination and divisive rhetoric of casting some as “oppressors” and others as “oppressed” based on the color of their skin and not the content of their character in the curriculum? These matters that clearly may not comport with, and may be in direct contradiction to a student’s family, religious values along with their mental/physical well being, and a united community harmony. I thank you for your time, good luck in the election.

  2. Parents and families DO have a right to know and critique the curriculum of their children, but they do not have the right to discriminate against LGBTQ+ students, families, and community members, nor deny those people’s existence and civil rights. Mrs. Bartomioli is being vague here, but I hope she is not alluding to the “parental rights” of adults who bully school committees into changing inclusive school curricula or banning reading materials on bigoted, hateful grounds. Obviously let’s not ignore basic reading and math skills, but a kind and accepting generation of students is just as important. Navigating a diverse world with respect for demographic differences is also a life skill. In academic terms, it’s a core tenet of social studies.

    • No one bullied SC members! No one said anything against the LGBTQ. What was said it reading material should be age appropriate and there should be ZERO sexually explicit books in our schools regardless of their age. They are still considered minors after all. Teachers are there to teach basics not sexuality. When did they become experts in this subject?Elementary children should not be exposed to material they don’t understand. This should be up to the parents to discuss when THEY feel THEIR child is mature enough.

      • You do know that’s how more issues arise, right? Abstinence only was taught for a majority of years in the late 90s early 2000s, and we saw a population boom due to teen pregnancies being the leading cause. What about the teachers who sleep with students, now I agree that is taking sexual education a bit too far, which is happening in both high schools and middle schools nation wide. Is it because children aren’t taught correctly about it? Is it because parents find it weird and can’t talk about it with their children other than a brief overview of what happens? So if the parents don’t teach them, who will? Or when is the correct age to be talking to them about it, in your eyes?

  3. Thank you Terri for putting the well being of our children first, and leaving the tribal politics to those
    who only sew division and strife and are clearly incapable of objectivity. God bless you for stepping up
    to contribute positively to ALL of our community using all of your fantastic experience and judgement!

  4. There should be focus indeed on the basics….especially SPELLING! By golly there sure are a plentitude of adults who cannot differentiate between: you are, they are, there, their, they’re, your, to, too, two….if children read more, comprehension would increase, and with a bit more guidance will grow into adults mastering this. Social media being the way things are today, bad spelling has become all too obvious.
    Making sure these kiddos have good eyesight is key to better learning too! Just my two cents!

  5. Let me see… the outrage is that what I see you stating here is a right wing, Republican ‘talking point’ and trying to impose your values onto everyone else.

    In terms of teaching social values, there are categorically issues that need to be addressed especially in Social Studies and related areas. One that comes to mind is Racism. Imagine not teaching about Martin Luther King? Civil rights movement? Civil War and Reconstruction? This should NOT be left to only families to discuss around their table, because guess what… it won’t happen and possibly the same old prejudices will be taught.

    Regarding teaching of reading… perhaps the state of RI decided after much discussion that putting additional demands on teachers for training needed to be reassessed given that we are slowly emerging out of a pandemic and we need to get ourselves a nice, normal school year without too many extra demands.

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