Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Remember when SEL was for SpecEd kids?

Social Emotional Learning - SEL

I remember the non-too-distant past when SEL was for special education students who were struggling with how to be included. 

And now? It's the indoctrination being jammed down kids' throats. Kids as young as kindergarten. Do parents even know what it happening in schools?

Thanks to the internet and parent action groups all over the country, parents are waking up and becoming informed. And the school districts hate it.

Witness the "statement" being read by the Richland Two (acting) board chair, trustee-elect Teresa Holmes, before each public participation segment of a board meeting. Remember the kinder, gentler introducation of public participation when Craig Plank was board chair? Nobody felt threatened when he made very brief statements about how public participation would be conducted.

Now?

OK, boys and girls. You'd better be nice and follow the rules or you will be gaveled into submission.

Be sure to notice at each board meeting how (un)evenly the "rules" are applied. At least she stopped drumming her fingers on her desk as the clock ran out on a speaker. No one commented on just how rude that was.

Thanks to whoever ordered and installed a timer on the podium so that the speaker could see the time remaining.

Back to SEL. Read this article from School Reform News titled "Schools Spending Billions to Indoctrinate Kids with 'Social Emotional Learning'. Parents in West Hartford, Conn. are up in arms. Just like parents should be all over this country, including right here in Richland Two.

Step out of the "smoke" being blown at you. When Helen Grant and Teresa Holmes say, "We don't teach Critical Race Theory in Richland 2", they are right. "Theory" is not being taught. Now break it down into its elements. They don't talk about that. In fact, Helen Grant couldn't even define Critical Race Theory (CRT) for the board at a recent meeting. Imagine that. The chief of diversity, inclusion and equity couldn't even define CRT. And yet, the topic of her presentation was the Difference between CRT and culturally relevant teaching (crt). If you can't define something, how can you compare it with something else?

Why didn't seven board members stand up and cry out, "WHAT?" I know why four of them didn't. The other three were being polite.

Friday, November 26, 2021

True?

Borrowed from Vic Zoe Warren's Facebook page:


Not always true, but sometimes very true.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

ICYMI: Where is the Nov. 16th video?

Have you tried to view the November 16th video-recording of the board meeting? Would you normally look for it at livestream.com/richland2?

Here's what you'll find there:


Now what do you do?

You might look next on the District's website. In fact, not only is the video-recording not there, the agenda is not shown on the page of meeting recordings and notes.

Then, if you are like I am, you write to the Richland 2 office and ask where it is. Imagine if 28,000 students write or 25,000 parents write. That would create a huge workload on someone, wouldn't it?

Here's the reply to my inquiry on Monday:

"Below is an explanation for why that video is password protection [sic]. This explanation is posted on the live stream page on the district's website:

*A note about the recording of the November 16, 2021 Board Meeting: While the investigation involving the minor has been concluded with no charges being filed, the availability of the livestream video from the meeting will remain restricted. A recording of the meeting with an approximately three minute portion of Public Participation removed is posted on the district's YouTube channel. Click here to access that recording. The livestream video is restricted and the version on YouTube is edited as the District is generally prohibited from releasing personally identifiable information about students pursuant to a federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA")."

And here's my question to you. Would you ever have found that page on your own? Would you even know to begin looking for it?

If the wizards at Richland 2 put themselves in your shoes, wouldn't they put that message on the "Password Protected" page? Or wouldn't they put at least a link on that page that you could click and then see the "note".

Personally, I believe that Richland 2 is violating the FOIA law by restricting the original video of the meeting and failing to publish it in its entirety. The District is hiding behind FERPA, when it doesn't apply. FERPA would apply if I tried to get personal information about a student from the District. 

The recording of the public meeting is just that - a recording of a public meeting. Whatever was said at that meeting, by anyone at that meeting, was said in public. 

The father's name was announced by the board chair as the next speaker. He would have known that the public meeting was recorded. The entire recording should be published, not an edited version. 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Spotlight: S.C. Ethics Commission

What's that old saying? "I've got some good news for you and some bad news."

Today's Post and Courtier newspaper takes a hard look at the South Carolina Ethics Commission - again. Read the article here.

If Amelia McKie reads that article, she'll be relieved. The bad news is that this is a long article about a State agency that should be keeping publicofficials on the straight and narrow. The good news is that her name is not in it.

The last article took a big swipe at Amelia McKie, trustee- elect (since November 6, 2018) of the Richland 2 School Board. She owes $57,100 in fines and penalties to the Ethics Commission, which filed a judgment in the Richland County Common Pleas Court in July 2019.

Notable sentences in the article:

"The State Ethics Commission is an understaffed government watchdog enforcing a toothless ethics law."

"The State Ethics Commission should be one of South Carolina’s most powerful anti-corruption tools."

"What’s more, state prosecutors say the agency has traditionally not forwarded criminal cases to them for prosecution."

Why isn't the Ethics Commission pounding on the South Carolina Department of Revenue (SCFOR) to collect that $57,100 for it? 

Rumor has it that the SCDOR doesn't go after people who can't pay.

McKie can't pay? Doesn't she receive almost $10,000/year from the Richland 2 School District?

Well, maybe not, since she didn't report any income for 2020 from Richland 2 on her Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) filed with the Ethics Commission on January 12, 2021. But why wouldn't she have been paid a stipend of $800 monthly, as were all the other trustees?

She also did not report any Family Members' Income. Was she married in any part of 2020?

McKie reports only private personal income in 2020 from NLLC (whatever that is). It is not required that she disclose the amount of any private personal income.

Her SEI is a public record and was examined today.

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Degaldo or Delgado?



When you refer to someone in a meeting, how important is it to know who that person is/was and how to pronounce his name?

During Tuesday night's presentation on Critical Race Theory, Mrs. Grant referred to Richard "Degaldo". Only it's Delgado, not Degaldo. He was listed on Slide 11 as a legal scholar.

The second paragraph of Slide 11 read, "The basic tenets of critical race theory, or CRT, emerged out of a framework for legal analysis in the late 1970s and early 1980s created by legal scholars Derrick Bell, KimberlĂ© Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado, among others." 

Did Mrs. Grant just lift that paragraph and the preceding one on Slide 11 from Education Week, as cited, without really knowing who the scholars were? Is that why she mispronounced Delgado's name?

I recognized the mispronunciation because I had read through that presentation two-three times before the meeting? When I heard "Degaldo" during the meeting, I knew I hadn't seen that name. How many of the board members studied the presentation before the meeting?

Want to know more about Richard Delgado (1939 - )? Check this out (and get ready for a laugh)   https://www.seattleu.edu/research/law/richard-delgado/

That page is in Seattle University's "Scholarly Excellence" section. His name appears above University Professor as "Richard Delgad0". I wonder how long it has been like that!

Board Policy BID - smoke & mirrors

At the November 16 regular board meeting, trustees and the two trustees-elect heard Richland Two's in-house General Counsel Karla Hawkins present a draft revision to Board Policy BID - Board Member Compensation and Expenses. The proposal is to change the monthly stipend ($800/month) to a per diem for each meeting. The discussion starts at 1:26:15 in the altered version of the board member recording on YouTube at https://youtu.be/56lks0GbCfs

If approved at the December 14, 2021 meeting, she said it would not go into effect until January 1, 2022.

Like that is supposed to be important? Anyone concerned? December 14th is the only board meeting before January 1, 2022. Should board members be permitted to change their compensation during their term-of-office? Many in the public will say a loud and resounding NO.

Mrs. Agostini asked a question about whether a board member could spend more than her equal amount of expense money.

There is a huge problems with the proposed change.

No one asked for a comparison of the stipend costs versus anticipated per diem costs. Remember all those extra meetings in September. The scheduled Regular Meetings in September were September 14 and September 28. Then Teresa called two Special Meetings: September 22 and September 24.

If trustees were paid a per diem of $400/meeting, September's costs would have jumped from $800 to $1600.

If a Special-Called Meeting (workshop) is held, would that mean three (3) meetings paid by per diem in that month? $1200 vs. $800.

Is the board acting like the Federal Government? Just spend money without feasibility studies or  a cost/benefit analysis?

Is this a case of the fox watching the henhouse?

Friday, November 19, 2021

RCSD Press Release

The following press release was received from the Richland County Sheriff's Department.


Sent: Fri, Nov 19, 2021 6:31 pm
Subject: Re: Press Release - Richland 2

Sheriff Leon Lott announces that no charges will be filed against the Richland Two school administrator who was accused of sexual misconduct.
 
After an intense investigation which included interviewing multiple witnesses and the individuals involved, as well as reviewing surveillance video from school cameras, investigators determined that the incident did not occur as described by the child and that the administrator did not do anything improper. 
 
The Richland County Sheriff’s Department began investigating on Monday, after the parent of a Richland Two elementary student raised concerns about an incident involving an administrator.
 
On Tuesday night, that parent spoke about the allegations during the public participation portion of the school board meeting.
 
“As parents, we want to believe that our kids are always truthful with us, but sometimes it turns out that’s not the case,” Sheriff Lott said. “However, we have a duty to make sure that any allegations are fully and completely investigated so that appropriate action can be taken when warranted.”
 
Richland Two and the elementary school involved cooperated fully throughout the investigation and have been notified of the findings.