Josh Mello Saga w/ Cranston Schools Continues; RIDE Turns Down Appeal for Help

EDITOR’S NOTE: It is the opinion of The Ocean State Current’s staff that the the Cranston School School Committee, its School Department, and certain of its employees and members continue to ignore and purposefully exacerbate its ongoing disputes with a parent of one of its students. 

The Current has documented much of Josh Mello’s contentious history with Cranston schools, beginning in 2019 … which now, apparently, continues. It should be noted that Mello’s personal history, demeanor, and aggressive behavior, while not illegal, has obviously been a significant factor in having his complaints ignored and deemed unworthy of investigation or intervention. However, these narrow-minded school officials could not be more wrong … as there is nothing more sacrosanct as parental rights when it comes to the education and health of their children. An investigation into Mello’s serious allegations is all that is being asked.

As background to the letter below, sent by Mello’s wife, to RIDE and to the state Attorney General’s office, it is her contention that Josh Mello’s request to “opt out” his daughter from a school survey, was improperly (and potentially illegally) denied and proactively circumvented by the principle of his daughter’s school. 


—— Original Message ——
From “Joshua Mello” <>
Date 12/5/2022 8:36:18 PM
Subject Filing a complaint with RIDE
Commissioner Infante-Green,
I find it very discouraging to even be reaching out as we filed a complaint in August of this year and still have never received an email from Attorney Cottone that it was received. Due to the lack of communication on RIDE’s part, we went down to speak with him in person. When we finally spoke with him, he told us he had bigger issues and that our complaint was not that important. Here we are in December and we have never heard back from one person from RIDE. That is not acceptable. We followed what was told to us and it has gotten us nowhere. Now I have to reach out to the same organization to file another complaint, hoping that something will be done as our parental rights are being violated. Through the negligence of RIDE not stepping in previously we have continued to have our rights violated. We have gone as far as to put a preliminary injunction on the Principle Mr.Vesey but being as we are not lawyers, we missed a few steps and were denied. Now we are here again. As was stated in our trial at Superior Court in RI General Laws there is a statue 16-39-1 Appeal of matters of dispute to the commissioner. We are asking for a hearing.
No we will not be going to the local level for complaints. The Cranston School Department is our problem and you as the Commissioner are supposed to be here to help. We need intervention. You have the ability to do so.
Our current complaint involves Josh, my husband, being denied the ability to opt-out his daughter from surveys and programs such as the Social Institute, Xello, and Satchel Pulse. He has every right to do so and is being denied by the Principal Tim Vesey of Western Hills Middle School. He went out of his way to inform the mother that Josh was opting his daughter out of these programs and surveys. It is important that you understand that the mother did not reach out to Mr.Vesey. No instead Mr.Vesey went out of his way to contact Tonya. Since she decided to say anything that would be the opposite of what Josh has asked, in turn Mr. Vesey said that since she wants their daughter to participate that Josh needs a family court order to opt her out. It is not the place of the principal to insert himself into a family situation. Tonya is not an active parent nor does she have any understanding of what these programs do. The principal is taking sides and doing so maliciously. Last year Josh was able to opt her out without the school notifying the mother and yet this year the principal goes out of his way to do so. This is not right nor should this behavior be tolerated by a school employee.
I look forward to hearing back from you Commissioner InfanteGreen. This needs to be addressed. This is not acceptable nor should you condone such behavior from a local principal.
A Very Unhappy Parent,
Rachel Ware

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