Monday, December 30, 2019

"Forget the S.C. teacher march?"

This headline appears on today, as part of 2019 political news.

This got me to wondering what will happen on May 1, 2020. 

Why May 1st? May 1st is International Workers' Day, also known as Workers' Day, Labour Day in some countries and often referred to as May Day, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement which occurs every year on May Day  (Source:

As a student in the 1950s I learned about May Day. It wasn't ring around the May pole. It was about Red Square and Russia. 

Will the Richland 2 School Board begin planning now to head off any "strike" or work slowdown by teachers in 2020? 

May 1, 2020 will be a Friday, perfect for a three-day week-end of Red4Ed. 

May 1, 2020 will be a scheduled work day, a day of school classes.

Richland 2 should not wimp out, as it did in 2019, declaring at the last minute that schools would be  closed. I can name the 4-5 school board members (included two who aren't even legal school board members) who will support the teacher's walk-out. Care to guess?

The School Board has a responsibility to the students, to voters, to taxpayers to see that schools are open and that regular classes are held. Teachers should follow class outlines and keep their personal wishes to themselves.

There are only four months for Richland 2 School Board members and administration to grow backbones and tell the teachers to stand down on a work day. Teachers should advocate, picket, protest, march, etc. on their own time.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Silent Graduation Honors Student with Autism

Today I came across this video of the 2019 Carmel High School graduation. The first student to receive his diploma was Jack Higgins. It took him eight years, and he graduated this year.

The student body was silent during the entire presentation of Jack's diploma, because Jack has autism and is very sensitive to auditory stimulation.

Watch the respect for Jack from the entire assembly.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

First Special-Called Board Meeting of 2020

The first Special-Called Board Meeting of 2020 will be held on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, according to an announcement on the Upcoming Events section of the District's website.

The starting time of the meeting will be 5:30PM, and the agenda has not yet been published. Watch for the agenda on the District's website no later than 5:30PM on Monday, January 6, 2020 and possibly as early as January 2. If you don't know where to find the agenda on the District's website, drop a comment below and instructions will be posted.

The agenda is probably already known to the Board Chair and the Superintendent, who put their heads together to settle on topics and issues. Otherwise, why would they call a special meeting?

There may or may not be an Executive Session preceding the open, public session. Generally speaking, Public Participation is not offered in Special-Called Meetings. An exception was made in December, when the Board allowed last-minute comments on the re-zoning affecting Catawba Trail Elementary School students.

Board members and the public can suggest agenda items.

Board members can do that at board meetings. It's educational to watch what happens when a board member suggests an item for the agenda of a future meeting. Depending on who offers the item, there may be a call for a motion. If there is no second to the motion, it dies right there. If there is a second, then the gang opposing it can kill it on the spot with a Nay vote. How's that for killing discussion???

The first Regular Meeting of the board will be Tuesday, January 14, 2020.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Special Election Needed for R2?

On December 31, 2019 a special election will be held to fill the vacant seat of a departing board member of the Richland 1 School District. The man accepted employment in Nebraska and resigned his seat on the board. State law dictates when the special election has to be held, and it should have been scheduled for December 24th. That day, however, is a holiday, and the election was re-scheduled to December 31.

Now, what's the deal in Richland 2?

There are two women on the board who are usurping the public office of school board trustee. Two seats on the Richland 2 School Board are actually vacant, but the District and the Board will not declare them vacant. If they were declared vacant, a special election would be held to fill them. (I recall reading somewhere that the Richland County Council would appoint their replacements (not actually "replacements").

Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes were elected on November 6, 2018 and then took the oath of office illegally on November 13, 2018. Thus, they never became legal board members, and the Board has had two empty seats ever since.

The seats haven't actually been empty, because the five legal members of the Board have allowed McKie and Holmes to act like Board Trustees. The Board seems to be relying on legal advice that includes "interpretations" of laws. The laws themselves are clear; McKie and Holmes violated the laws.

The state law is clear. South Carolina Code of Laws Section 8-13-1110 says you cannot take the oath of office unless the required document (Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI)) has been filed (with the S.C. Ethics Commission). McKie and Holmes got caught empty-handed by a local independent newspaper and then filed their SEIs on December 4, 2018 (three weeks later).

The kicker is that neither has taken the oath of office - legally - since December 4, 2018. That's now more than one year ago. On June 26, 2019 District 2 confirmed the absence of any oath since November 13, 2018, and I re-stated my request to be informed of any ceremony scheduled to administer the oath of office to them. I have received no such notice.

State law Section 8-3-10 states that is "unlawful for any person to assume the duties of any public office until he has taken the oath..." The underlying assumption must be that this mean "legally" taking the oath of office. If you take the oath of office illegally, it doesn't count.

State law Section 15-63-60 addresses those who usurp public office.

Why is Richland 2 School District allowing McKie and Holmes to act like school board trustees, participate in closed Executive Sessions, hear confidential school board and school district matters, vote on expulsion and student suspensions, participate in open sessions, get paid for doing so?

The Board seems to believe that it cannot prevent McKie and Holmes to taking their seats. Of course, it can. It's not a case of "removing" them. They don't have any right to be there in the first place!

One simple remedy is for McKie and Holmes to take their oaths of office now. They can, because they became legally "eligible" to so on December 4, 2018, after they filed their SEIs.

However, this will create a huge problem for the Board, because it will have to review every board vote since November 13, 2018 that was decided by the two votes. The votes of McKie and Holmes will have to be removed, and a fair number decisions will change from Pass to Fail, or vice versa.

And the District will be forced to recover the monies paid to McKie and Holmes for the period when they were not legal trustees. Otherwise, the District will be caught in the bind of unauthorized payments by a public body.

Richland 2 continues to call itself a "premier" school district with a "premier" board. With two people illegally on the board, it certainly is not.

Friday, December 13, 2019

School Safety Zones

During the closing comments of the l-o-n-g December 10, 2019 Regular Meeting, Supt. Davis spoke about the importance of safe driving in the school safety zones and on school grounds.

He reminded me of the afternoon I was stopped in a line of traffic in front of Summit Parkway Middle School. The Richland 2 employee was doing an excellent job of shepherding students across the street safely and watching both directions of traffic.

A minivan pulled off the school grounds and turned left toward Clemson Road. To my surprise and that of the crossing guard, the right-rear door of the minivan was open. This, of course, endangered passengers in the seat by the open door. There was no way for the crossing guard to signal the driver to close the door or stop the van.

I was behind the first car in the line of traffic and could not get close enough to the minivan to get the driver's attention. The driver should have noticed the open door and refused to move the vehicle until the door was closed. While the minivan was stopped at the red light at Clemson Road, someone finally closed the rear door.

Some states have laws with increased penalties for distracted driving in school zones, such as prohibited use of handheld cell phones. South Carolina does not, but should.

McKie interrupts vote AGAIN

At the December 10 Regular Board Meeting, at 1:25:37 Mrs. Agostini made a motion to pull Policies JIAA and JICH from the mass vote requested by James Shadd. After discussion the Chair called for the votes at 1:33:16.

Once again, Trustee-elect McKie interrupted the vote and began speaking without being recognized by the Chair! This occurred at 1:33:28.

McKie should be reminded of the rules. The discussion period between the Second of the motion and the vote is the time for discussion. Once the vote is called for, discussion is over. If she can't think of her question quickly enough, then she loses the opportunity to ask it.

The Chair should remind her of this - that she is to be recognized before she speaks further. And, if she interrupts the voting, she should be reminded that the discussion has closed and it is time to vote.

It is clear that Mrs. Agostini and Dr. Elkins-Johnson are carefully reading and considering policy revisions before meetings.

The vote on Mrs. Agostini's motion passed 7-0.

Forbid private conversations during meetings

The School Board should not engage in private conversations during board meetings. The public is entitled to hear everything that is said by a board member during an open meeting.

During the discussion of Item 11.5, Board Policy JEB - Entrance Age, McKie and Holmes leaned toward one another while Supt. Davis was answering McKie's question.

Does McKie have super-special hearing and mental capabilities, so that she could hear Supt. Davis' response simultaneously during her conversation with Holmes?

Tuesday night was not an exception. Board members often have side conversations.

The Chair should put a stop to them or allow the public to raise a Point-of-Order and request that those side conversations be spoken into the microphones, so that all can hear everything said during a public meeting.

Aside, of course, from the point that it was quite rude to ask a question and then ignore the answer.

McKie interrupts vote on Motion

At the December 10, 2019 Regular Board Meeting Item 9.3 was a grievance considered during Executive Session. When it was time on the Agenda to vote on matters from the Executive Session, after the student matters were decided, Dr. Elkins-Johnson made a motion (59:14 on the video-recording) to hear the grievance from the former employee. Mrs. Agostini seconded it.

The Chair called for discussion. After a pause, hearing none, he called for the vote.

THEN McKie spoke up (59:44) without being recognized by the Chair, and she said that the grievance matter involved a volunteer employee with a stipend.

I wonder what parts of "volunteer" and "employee" McKie does not understand. A volunteer is not paid. A volunteer would not be an employee. An employee would not be a volunteer. Maybe that's why she failed to list her W-2 employment with the District in the bond document last spring. Does she think she is a volunteer for the $900/month or so that she receives for showing up twice a month at board meetings?

That was completely unnecessary, except to hear her own voice and perhaps for some future political reason, because the full Board knew exactly what the grievance was about. It had, no doubt, been fully discussed in Executive Session.

The Chair is overly polite when McKie pulls these stunts, and the Chair should address her interruptions. McKie acts like she is still the Board Chair; she is not.

Then Dr. Elkins was recognized to speak. She stated that an employee ought to have the right to be heard.

Then Trustee-elect Teresa Holmes made a "point of clarity for my own edification..."  What's that? The dysfunction on this board needs correction!

The motion to hear the grievance failed on a vote of 2-5. The Yes votes were Dr. Elkins-Johnson and Mrs. Agostini. The No votes were Manning, Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, and Shadd.

REQUEST TO EMPLOYEE WHO FILED THE GRIEVANCE. IF YOU WANT TO BE HEARD PUBLICLY, PLEASE CONTACT ME BY PHONE OR EMAIL. Do not allow yourself to be silenced. I will publish as much or as little as you wish. Confidentiality is assured, if you don't want your name used.

How dysfunctional is Richland 2 School Board?

Last week's Regular Meeting (December 10, 2019) was 2 hours 55 minutes long!

I slugged my way through the first hour of the video-recording yesterday and, before I continue, I will go back over the 26-minute "Legislative Update" that was Item 8.1.

But first ... when Board Chair James Manning re-convened the Board at 6:30PM after the Executive Session, he asked for a Motion. It took a whole 14 seconds for the Board Secretary (or any Board member) to respond. And then she forgot to turn on her microphone. Hello????

At 25.28 into the meeting Mr. Manning recognized Amelia McKie to present the Legislative Update.

The South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) held a conference last week-end. I was immediately confused as McKie began her comments, because she mentioned, "This week-end we are coming from Friday until Sunday we have the 2019 delegate assembly and legislative conference." So I was prepared to hear about an upcoming meeting.

McKie is a Region 8 director of the SCSBA.

For almost a year I had questioned McKie's legitimacy on the Richland 2 School Board. To my knowledge she has never taken the oath of office legally since December 4, 2018, when she filed her required Statement of Economic Interests Report. To me, and to lawyers I have consulted, this means she is NOT a legal Board member. Because she is not, she should not have been seated at the board since November 13, 2018. She should not have served as Board Chair from November 13, 2018 until June 30, 2019. She should not have signed bond documents in the Spring of 2019. She should not be on the Board now. She should not be the Region 8 director of the SCSBA for Richland 2.

The School Board says this is not a Board matter. Who are they kidding? Can anyone then just sit at the board, attend executive sessions, vote on Board matters, receive monthly compensation for doing so, have their dues and expenses to the SCSBA paid?

Then McKie proceeded to describe the conference that had been held last week-end! On Friday night, before the conference started, she said there was a meeting of the South Carolina Caucus of Black School Board members. She made a point of saying that the Caucus is open to all members of the SCSBA. I wonder how many non-black members attended.

There was quite a catfight at Tuesday's Board meeting. There had been a vote by delegates at the SCSBA meeting about an issue pertaining to an SCSBA recommendation on the State's interest in taking over certain school districts. Some Board members felt they were speaking for Richland 2 School District when they voted. Others felt they were voting their own nterest.

In order to avoid violating State FOIA rules, Board members need to be very careful about expressing positions on behalf of Richland 2. They can't just put their heads together at a conference (or elsewhere) and decide how they are going to vote on an SCSBA issue. There is a Board policy about "representing the Board", not just the FOIA rules. If they are going to speak "for the board", then the Board should convene in public session beforehand, consider a position, vote on it, and authorize who will speak publicly for the board (or vote) on it.

There is a serious fracture on the board. At least two members felt attacked in the 25-minute segment.

It would be a shame if they bailed on the Board, because they are two of the three reasonable heads on the board.

Eventually the two illegally-seated persons (McKie and Holmes) on the board will be removed. They could avoid removal by simply taking the oath of office now

Why won't they? One reason may be because the Board then would have to review all votes by the Board all the way back to November 13, 2018 and change decisions that were swayed by the votes of those two people. The longer they wait to take the oath, the farther back the Board will have to review.

McKie and Holmes illegally took the oath of office on November 13, 2018. Twice, earlier this year, I requested the District to inform me if McKie and Holmes are scheduled to take the oath of office legally, and the District has never informed me of a ceremony to swear them in. It is my understanding that they have taken the oath (illegally) only on November 13, 2018.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Administration pulling a fast one?

At the December 3rd Special Called Board Meeting, Board Chair James Manning sent Policy JICI - Weapons In Schools back to staff for more work.

The proposed revision to JICI was discussed during a first reading on December 3rd. Since it was sent back to staff for more work, the normal procedure would be for the staff to re-work the policy revision in accordance with the Board's discussion and guidance, and then present the further-revised Policy JICI for a second reading, not for a vote.

BUT ... attached to the Agenda for tonight's meeting, December 10th, is an unchanged JICI and it is on the agenda for a vote as Item 11.22 "Old Business - Action Requested".

The proposed revision to Board Policy JICI is exactly the same (Draft 19) that was attached to last week's agenda.

In other words, Richland 2 Administration made NO changes whatsoever and will try to float the same old boat past the Board tonight.

The Board should get to the bottom of this tonight and demand to be told exactly how this happened.

The version of JICI being presented attempts to criminalize legal actions and also places adult students at risk of expulsion, even though they are not violating state law. All because of a groundless fear of guns by too many on this district's board.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Is Pepper Spray a Weapon?

At the December 3rd Special Called Board Meeting, a fair amount of time was spent discussing revisions to Board Policy JICI - Weapons.

If you are interested, watch the video-recording on the District's website (and on YouTube). Find the recording and advance to Item 5.23 at (31:43) on the video counter for the beginning of the discussion on JICI.

Clearly, the Board is afraid of guns on school grounds. That's why they already disarmed two employees of the Emergency Services Department.

The question of pepper spray came up. Is it a weapon? Or is it a defensive tool?

Or is it a tool that can be used as a "weapon" (in the eyes of some)?

One board member (well, sort of) is vehemently against guns but doesn't want to cause a student to feel unprotected off campus, if she or he carries pepper spray; for example, when walking home after leaving a school bus.

This is where the line needs to be clear. A gun is a weapon. Pepper spray is not a weapon.

If you catch a dose of pepper spray in your face, your skin will be irritated and your eyes will be irritated for, perhaps, 45 minutes, and, yes, it'll hurt. But you won't be injured, unless you fall down and hit your head or stumble out in front of a vehicle.

During discussion, a student was mentioned who had sprayed other student-passengers on a school bus. That was not a defensive use of pepper spray, unless s/he was being bullied or assaulted.

Revising JICI is like trying to get Jello to stick to a wall. The harder you try, the bigger mess you make.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Seattle's Drug & Homeless Problem

Why is this Seattle TV station's hour-long documentary important?

Because it could spread here. Maybe it's already here.

Watch this KOMO-TV program. The title is "Seattle is dying?"

Yes, it's an hour long. Gather your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and spend one hour together. Then get busy and actually do something about saving your neighborhood, your town, your city, your state, your country.

The problem is not solved by looking the other way. It's not solved by assigning fancy names. It is solved by Decision, Commitment and Action.

Every family, student, teacher, administrator, parent, voter, community member should watch this and find out how to DO something about this nationwide problem. It's not just Seattle. Or San Francisco. Or Los Angeles. It's everywhere.

Hold your elected representatives accountable. If they won't fix the problem, vote them out!

Stick with the documentary and learn what is happening in the tiny state of Rhode Island.

The answers? Enforcement and Intervention.

Watch the documentary. Then post your reaction below in the Comments.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Board Policy JICDA-R Level II

Richland 2 School Board Policy JICDA-R Level II identifies the misconduct of students that can lead to a Level II disciplinary action.

You can read the entire list on the district's website. Need the instructions to find that Policy? Look back on this blog or email me.

Level II is Disruptive Conduct. That's more serious than the Behavioral Misconduct of Level I. See the recent article here about Level I, just a few days ago.

According to the Board, Level II offenses have "... consequences of which tend to endanger the health or safety of themselves of others..."

Look at the list. "Tend to"???

Review the list of Level I offenses. A four-time repeat offender of Level I behavioral conduct "may" have his misconduct re-classified as Level II Disruptive Conduct. Not "will" or "shall"; the word used is "may". Lots of discretion there.

This carries Richland 2 right into the problem at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that resulted in 17 dead and 17 injured on February 14, 2018. When students get away with bad behavior, it can get worse.

Level II misconduct may justify both "administrative consequences and court proceedings".

Notice how the word "consequences" has crept into use over the years. Kids are not penalized or punished these days; now they suffer "consequences". (How many times did I hear in the business world - we don't have "problems" here; we have "opportunities". I was always popular, when I said, "No, we have problems.")

Look at some (not all) of the examples of Level II misconduct:

  • use of an intoxicant (on school grounds)
  • fighting
  • harassment
  • stealing
  • threats against others
  • abusive language to staff
  • simple assault
  • unlawful assembly
  • use of forged notes or excused

People are screaming about the school-to-prison pipeline. Well, maybe if kids learned to obey laws and not commit crimes, they wouldn't worry about being arrested and going to prison.

When crimes are minimized and dealt with an offenses, rather than as criminal acts, my guess is that many kids do not learn.

Level II offenses are dealt with by an administrator. He (or she) calls Mommy for a conference.

The administrator "may" refer to the SRO "only when the conduct rises to the level of criminality or the conduct presents an immediate safety risk." Look at the list again. See all those criminal acts? Again, "may" is used. So there could be internal district pressure to keep down the number of referrals to law enforcement.

Next: Level III - Criminal Conduct

What is special about December 4?

December 4, 2019 marks the one-year anniversary of the date when Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes first became eligible to take the oath of office as Richland 2 School Board members.

December 4, 2018 was the first date when they could legally take the oath of office and assume their official responsibilities.

Prior to December 4, 2018 they were "qualified" to serve as school board members, but they were not eligible to do so. That's because they had not filed their Statement of Economic Interests Reports (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

They did take the oath of office on November 13, 2018, but they did so in violation of South Carolina Code of Laws Section 8-13-1110(A).

Taking the oath of office illegally is the same as not taking it at all.

The law is clear. First, you file the SEI. Then you take the oath.

Until they take the oath of office legally, they are not Board Members.

Yet they are permitted to sit on the Board, attend Executive Sessions, hear confidential student matters, vote on Motions, get professional memberships and travel paid for and receive a monthly pay check.All illegally.

Once they do take the oath of office legally, then the Board will have to review all decisions that were swayed by the votes of McKie and Holmes. For example, when the Board voted on the Resolution to allow removing a Board officer, the motion failed on a vote of 3-4, with McKie and Holmes voting against it. When their votes are removed, the decision becomes 3-2, and it passes.

The Board and the District have never explained to voters why it considers McKie and Holmes as legal board members. According to South Carolina law, they are not. According to the Ethics laws (part of S.C. law), they are not. The District is apparently relying on "interpretations" of the laws.

If so, the District should be willing to say what those "interpretatoins" are.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Embarrassing Pause at Board Meeting

At tonight's Special Called Board Meeting there was one voting item on the Agenda.

After the Public Participation segment, at which a Ms. Parker (if I heard her name correctly) spoke on the re-zning issue, it was time for the board to consider the next item on the agenda.

But first ... Ms. Parker was the only parent to address the board on the re-zoning of two neighborhoods, so that their students would be transferred from Catawba Trail Elementary to Bookman Road Elementary. She said she had spoken with a number of other parents, and they weren't coming to this meeting because they thought it was a done deal; that the board intended to vote to approve.

At the meeting I counted five Board members present: Manning, Agostini, McKie, Caution-Parker, and Shadd. Elkins-Johnson and Holmes were not there.

There was some conversation at the front of the room that was not spoken into the microphones, After the vote on the re-zoning, Mrs. Agostini left. That left four - not a quorum.

There had been a comment made during the board's discussion on the re-zoning issue, I looked around to see who was speaking. It was a woman's voice, and I couldn't find anyone in the room who seemed to be speaking.

After Mrs. Agostini left, I realized that Dr. Elkins-Johnson was attending by telephone. Surprise! Maybe Ms. Holmes also attended by telephone. I'll read the Minutes to find out.

When the Agenda item for the re-zoning was up, Board Chair James Manning asked for a Motion. There was an inordinately long delay. I mean, L-O-N-G. No one spoke up. NO Trustee was willing to make the motion. I believe Mr. Manning asked a second time. After another, but shorter and still embarrassing, pause, Mrs. Agostini made the motion.

What was wrong with the Trustees? Why did they all sit there like bumps on a log, unwilling to make the Motion?

Mrs. Agostini deserves NO criticism for stepping up to the plate and doing her duty. But the others?

Most of the discussion could not be heard. Mrs. Agostini did speak into her microphone.

Mrs. McKie did not, plus she turned away from the microphone to look at other board members while she was speaking. She has said before that she has a soft voice; she knows she cannot be heard. So the board should buy her some voice lessons and tell her to lean forward and speak directly into the microphone.

James Shadd asked questions and made comments. He too could not be heard. He speaks softly, does not project his voice and speaks down below the microphone.

Caution-Parker had virtually nothing to say. At least she chewed her gum with her mouth closed.

It was very difficult to hear everything that Dr. Elkins said. The microphone that was positioned near the speaker did not amplify her voice well.

When the board heard from an expert on Robert's Rules of Order recently, they must have heard the speaker say that they had the right to hear and be heard. Does that apply to the audience and staff, too? 

Board Policy DEBM requires that Board Members are able to hear and be heard AND it requires that telephonic comments be "audible or otherwise discernable to the public in attendance at the meeting's location." THIS BOARD POLICY WAS VIOLATED TONIGHT.

And, if telephonic communications must be audible and discernable to the public in attendance at a meeting's location, then the comments from Board Members also should be audible and discernable!

The vote on the re-zoning was 7-0, if I heard Mr. Manning correctly. When I looked at the board seated there, there were only five, so I thought the vote was 5-0-0-0 (Yes-No-Abstain-Not Voting). Supt. Davis does not vote. I didn't see any hands raised. How did they vote? The count was too fast for electronic voting.

An important item needs to added to the meeting agenda. At every meeting, the Chair should tell the Secretary to "call the roll". Ascertain who is there and who is not there. If someone is attending by telephone, that should be acknowledged and recorded.

If anyone, including a telephone attendee, leaves the meeting, that should be acknowledged verbally and recorded.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Public Participation added to 12/3/19 Agenda

A revised Agenda was published today for tomorrow's Special Called Board Meeting on the re-zoning issue, and a Public Participation session has been added.

The meeting will start on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 5:30PM.

Note the location: Jackson Creek Elementary School, 7150 Trenholm Road Extension (29223).

Following the Public Participation segment, the next item on the agenda is "Item 4.1 Approval: Rezoning Jacobs Creek and Forest Creek."

And following that, the Board will wade through 30 proposed revisions to board policies.

It will be important for all five legal board members to be present at the December 3rd meeting, so that the board has a quorum. Trustees-Elect McKie and Holmes have yet to take the oath of office legally and become official board members. The District continues to consider them as official members and will do so until a successful challenge corrects the situation that has existed since November 13, 2018.

The five legal members are Trustees Manning, Agostini, Elkins-Johnson, Shadd, and Caution-Parker.

If one of them is absent, legally there will not be a quorum, and the expected vote to pass the motion to rezone Jacobs Creek and Forest Creek can be challenged.

Board Policy JICDA-R Level I

In his book Why Meadow Died, Andrew Pollack explained the policies of the Broward County (Fla.) School District that contributed to the school shooting in Parkland on February 14, 2018. In its decision to slow down the "school-to-prison pipeline", administrators down-graded violations and dealt with them administratively, rather than asking the Broward County Sheriff's Department to deal with them. Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (and other schools in that district) were able to rack up disciplinary actions that should have been dealt with more firmly, but instead they ended up with a "pass".

If they didn't get too many disciplinary punishments, they stayed in school. At the end of the school year, the slate was wiped clean and the count started all over at the beginning of the next year.

Students looked like they had clean records. Result? Seventeen died; seventeen were injured.

Now take a hard look at Board Policy JICDA-R. Go the the District's website; click on EXPLORE; click on School Board; then on BOARD POLICIES; then on the left side click on J-STUDENTS; then on JICDA Code of Conduct. JICDA-R is just under that.

Read carefully the list of offenses and the required or recommended dispositions. Offenses can even include conduct off school grounds. Did you know that?

There are three levels of offenses:
  1. Level I - Behavioral Misconduct
  2. Level II - Disruptive Conduct
  3. Level III - Criminal Conduct
This blogpost deals with Level I. Consider the responsibility that falls on the "staff member" who observes, or is notified of, a Level I infraction. The staff member (ex., teacher) is expected to "handle" it.

The teacher is not only expected to teach; the teacher becomes the disciplinarian.

Let's say s/he is trying to deal with a student who has lied, cheated, used abusive language toward another student, etc. The teacher is expected to maintain a record of the misconduct and the action taken. The Policy does not call for "counting" the number of offenses. A student could violate one today, another tomorrow, another next week, etc.

How does a teacher deal with the student who is a constant problem?

The Policy does not require the teacher to report or submit a record to anyone. So the misconduct does not follow a student from grade to grade.

Next up? Level II - Disruptive Conduct

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ring doorbell - Got one? Getting one?

Worried about what the kiddies will be doing when they are not in school later this month? Have they completed training as Porch Pirates? Are they following the Amazon Prime trucks around Richland County?

Got a Ring doorbell? Have you heard all the promotion about the Neighbors app and how you can send your video to the Richland County detectives? Is your video also going to Ukraine? Maybe along with your WiFi passwords?

Read this article:

By the way, before you register your guns on whatever that program is that the Richland County Sheriff's Department is recommending (in case they are stolen), think about the confiscation risk, if one of those big-mouth Democrat presidential candidates gets elected and decides to make your guns illegal. Then RCSD will know just what guns you have and where they are. When the SWAT team rolls up, it'll be too late.

Just store your guns securely and know where your list of make/model/serial number is.