Monday, January 24, 2022

What IS Critical Race Theory?

If you really want to know what Critical Race Theory (CRT) is, this one-hour, fifty-minute video is one to watch.
https://rumble.com/vt13zi-opposing-views-is-critical-race-theory-solving-anything-james-lindsay-and-v.html

"Critical Race Theory is calling everything 'racist' - until you control it." This is the opening comment by James Lindsay. He explains his background at the beginning of the interview.

I'm only 21 minutes into the interview. I urge you to watch it.

It's too bad he wasn't at a recent Richland 2 School Board meeting, when Helen Grant couldn't answer Trustee Lindsay Graham's question about what CRT is. Mnning mentions Richard Delgado. Grant mentioned Delgado, too; only she pronounced his name "Degaldo". If you don't know what CRT is, how can you talk about the differences between CRT and culturally-relevant teaching (pedagogy).

Be prepared to listen "fast". Lindsay could give a 2-hour talk in 20 minutes!

Meeting Announcements - longer, longer, longer

Remembder, back in the good, ol' days when board meetings were announced with "The next board meeting will be (     (date)_   )?

Now, it's 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2022

 

 RICHLAND TWO BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO MEET TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Richland School District Two Board of Trustees will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.

The board meeting will be called to order at 5:30 p.m. and the board will immediately adjourn into executive session. Public session will resume at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the R2i2 Conference Center located at 763 Fashion Drive, Columbia, 29229. At the board meeting, visitors will be required to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Click the following link to view the agenda for the January 25 Board Meeting: http://go.boarddocs.com/sc/rsd2/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=C2WNES5AC3BE

Public Participation is on the agenda for the January 25 meeting. Comments may be received from any Richland Two student, parent/legal guardian, resident, property owner, business owner, or Richland County elected official. All persons who wish to comment during Public Participation will fill out the appropriate form and sign-up sheet at the meeting before the public session of the meeting begins.

In order to allow for social distancing due to COVID-19, a safe distance between the public and the board, and to ensure adequate access for emergency personnel, capacity for the members of the public who wish to attend the meeting in-person is limited to 50. In case that capacity is reached and to provide members of the public the ability to watch the board meeting from the safety of their home, the meeting will also be streamed live at www.richland2.org/livestream.

As the lobby closes to the public at 5 p.m., citizens attending the board meeting will not be allowed to linger in the lobby. Citizens attending the board meeting will be directed to the meeting space upon arriving at R2i2.

The public will not be allowed to protest or loiter in front of the main entrance. This is for safety reasons to allow emergency access into the building and for others who have other business to enter the building.

In an effort to effectively maintain a safe environment, any person attending the meeting who is out of order, loud, disruptive, making inappropriate comments, and/or a safety concern will be asked to be seated or leave by a security officer. If the person does not comply, a Richland County Sheriff Deputy will escort them off the property.

No signage or other objects will be allowed into the facility that could either be a distraction or used as a weapon.

UPCOMING BOARD MEETING: Board Winter Retreat on February 4, 2022


Don't miss the implied threats, if you look at the wrong person cross-eyed. Don't use your public property R2i2 property). Don't complain about infringement on your Constitutional Rights. 

Don't protest or linger; where's the line between that and "peaceable assembly"? Don't they realize that the public is smart enough to get out of the way, if the paramedics, police or fire show up?

Who determines whether someone is "out of order, loud, disreptive, making inappropriate comments"? Who is going to eject Teresa Holmes next time she pulls any (or all) of those prohibited stunts - IN a board meeting?

Who decides whether a sign or "object" could be a distraction or used as a weapon? Is my tape recorder or phone a "weapon"? A distraction? In whose judgment???

The Board Winter Retreat will include a Robert's Rules of Order (RONR) training. That ought to be "interesting". It's a board meeting and open to the public. Want to hear what they hear about RONR? How often will the trainer say, "You can't do what you've been doing!"

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Could McKie get caught under both S. 203 and S. 188?

The S.C. House of Representatives Education and Public Works Committee reported S 203 favorably out of Committee on Thursday, January 20. Now it's up to the full House to approve it and send it to the Governor for signng.

What can you do? Email your State Representative and the full House to pass S. 203 now.

What is S. 203? 

 A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-19-60 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE REMOVAL OF
 SCHOOL DISTRICT TRUSTEES AND FILLING VACANCIES, TO PROVIDE THAT DISTRICT
 TRUSTEES GUILTY OF MALFEASANCE, MISFEASANCE, INCOMPETENCY, ABSENTEEISM,
 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, MISCONDUCT, PERSISTENT NEGLECT OF DUTY IN OFFICE, OR
 INCAPACITY SHALL BE SUBJECT TO REMOVAL FROM OFFICE BY THE GOVERNOR

Is there any way this might apply to Amelia McKie as a consequence of failing to take the oath-of-office after filing her Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission on December 4, 2018?

That SEI was filed three years ago. On that date (12/4/2018) McKie first became eligible to take the oath-of-office.

The only date when she did take an oath-of-office was November 13, 2018, and that was three weeks before she became eligible to take it. (The same is true of Teresa Holmes.) When you take an oath-of-office before you are eligible to do so, it has no legal merit.

Coming along in the S.C. Senate is S. 188. If it can get through the Senate and the House and past the Governor, that'll sink McKie's ship, for sure. It prohibits a person from running for school board, among other offices, if she owes money to the Ethics Commission.

McKie made the front page of the print edition of The Voice of Blythewood and Fairfield County this week. Pick up a copy of the paper at your favorite newstand.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Another Ethics Bill - S.188 - The Amelia McKie Bill

There is another ethics bill in the South Carolina Senate. This one is S. 188 and is aimed directly at Amelia McKie. If the Senators get busy and pass this bill, McKie will not be able to file to run for re-election. Let's call this one The Amelia McKie Bill.

S. 188 will prohibit a person from filing to run for office, if the person owes outstanding fines to the S.C. Ethics Commission. 

At last report McKie owes $57,100 in fines and fees to the S.C. Ethics Commission. That's up from the $51,700 judgment filed on 7/10/2019 in the Richland County Common Pleas Court. 
Case No. 2019CP4003809

S.188 was filed in the Senate on December 9, 2020. On January 12, 2021 it was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. And there it has sat, gathering dust. Why???

A good friend of McKie, S.C. Sen. Mia McLeod, is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Wouldn't her sworn duty to the People of South Carolina require her to move her feet and kick S.188 to a discussion and vote. Or are her feet stuck in the swamp because of friendship?

I have written to Sen. McLeod several times (I'm a constituent in her District), asking her to address McKie's debt with her. I don't even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement (other than the formatted auto-reply) or a response.

Write to Sen. McLeod and ask her to move S.188 to a vote and ask her to vote in favor of it. And then check to see how she voted. And remember that the next time she is up for re-election.

On the State Legislative website, you can send an email to all members of the Judiciary Committee, as a whole, and to all Senators. Today I emailed the Judiciary Committee members and all Senators.

Go to www.scstatehouse.gov
Click on Senate
Click on Email (second line)
Click on All Senate Members

Write "Dear Judiciary Committee Members and all Senators"

Then tell them what you want them to do.

You can track S.188 by going from the Legislative homepage to S.188 by entering S 188 in the Quick Search box. Look down for S 188 and click on it.

Bye-bye, Amelia.

Was the Supt. at work on Friday, Jan. 14?

If you remember, it was on Tuesday, January 11th that the Regular Board Meeting was adjourned early, after the superintendent suffered a health event and was transported to an emergency room.

Many well-wishers prayed and sent Get Well messages to him, and he thanked all on Tuesday, Jan. 18 in a message to staff and parents. He wrote in his message that he was looking forward "to fully returning to my regular schedule..."

In other words, he hadn't yet (Jan. 18) returned to his regular, full-time schedule. Does anyone else read it that way?

How ill was he?"

Not so ill that he couldn't keep a speaking engagement in Charleston on Friday morning, January 14, when he was scheduled to deliver a talk titled "Reimagining Education" at the 2022 Winter Conference of SCABSE.

What is SCABSE? It's the South Carolina Alliance of Black School Educators.

Supt. Davis was scheduled to speak from 9:10-9:45AM. Who was in charge of Richland 2, when he was away from the District that day?

The Assistant Superintendent is Marshalynn Franklin. Was she at work that Friday, keeping the District running smoothly?

Franklin was at the SCABSE Conference and scheduled to conduct the Welcome on Saturday morning at 8:00-8:03AM

Did Franklin drive to Charleston Friday after work or really early on Saturday morning? Or was she at the conference on Friday, too? If she was, who was on duty at Richland Two, if both the superintendent and assistant superintendent were out of town?

The program for the Winter Conference identifies Supt. Davis as not only Superintendent of Richland Two, but also as "President, SCABSE @ SC Superintendents".

With all his extracurricular activities and side-gigs, how does Richland 2 get his full-time services for the annual salary of $244,000?

Next Board Meeting: Jan. 25

Be sure to attend the board meeting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 6:30PM at R2i2. If you don't wish to attend in person, connect via livestream.com/richland2

If you want to speak at the meeting, you must sign up by 6:15PM. Sign-up begins at 5:30PM.

Speakers address the board usually in the order of signing up, but not always. I was #9 at a recent meeting but was the last (#15) to address the board, thanks to the chair's control of speaking order. 

There are two forms. You must sign on one form and fill out the second.

Now, there is no good reason for the second form. Why do they require it? Because they can. It's kind of like the Golden Rule. The one with the gold rules. It's called "control".

By the time of Public Participation in Tuesday's meeting, the chair should have a better understanding of when a member of the public can mention a board member's name without encountering the chair's objection. During the executive session (5:31-6:30PM) the board is scheduled to receive legal advice on Board Policy BEDH - Public Participation.

Policy BEDH reads that you can't "complain" about a board member (who is a person connected with the school system). If you don't complain about a board member, there should be no reason for the chair to shut down a speaker.

We'll see how this works out on Tuesday.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Open Letter to the R2 School Board

The following email has been sent to the Richland 2 School Board:

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

On the agenda for your 1/25/2022 Executive Session is Item 2.4 Receipt of Legal Advice, including Policy BEDH - Public Participation.

Will you please ask the attorney, specifically, why members of the public cannot mention a board member by name?

I believe Chair Holmes is applying the Policy incorrectly, when she admonishes members of the public not to mention a name of a board member.

Policy BEDH, under Open Forum, reads, in part, "The board will not permit in public session any expression of personal complaints [emphasis added] about individual school personnel or any other person connected with the school system."

It does not state that a board member's name cannot be mentioned. It does not prohibit a comment about a board member's position on an issue. It does not forbid a compliment about a board member. It does not prohibit a statement in defense of a board member.

Please clarify for the Chair that she cannot make up her own rules for Public Participation. She can only apply BEDH as it is written. If she is going to quote Board Policy, please ask her to quote it accurately and not "interpret" or expand it.

Thank you.

Gus Philpott