Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Does RCSD have a problem?

Since the brouhaha after the School Board meeting on January 22, 2019, one or more members of the Richland 2 School Board must be worried about their "safe space", because the District has hired three off-duty sheriff's deputies to be present at each board meeting.

None of us wants a Parkland School incident at a Richland 2 School Board meeting. Am I being extreme with that reference? That happens to be the exact reference given to me by a deputy, when I questioned the intense presence of security in addition to the Richland 2 security staff. I thought, "You're kidding! Parkland? Give me a break!"

And we are nowhere close to becoming another Parkland. And it is preposterous that such a comparison would even be made. Just because there was a disagreement after one board meeting between two sisters (one being a State Senator), one husband of a Board member, and one Board member does not mean we have to live in a police state.

But here is the problem. At every Board meeting a crime (violation of S.C. Code of Laws 8-13-1110(A)) has been occurring. That is a State law. Violation of that statute is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a crime. State laws are enforced by sheriff's deputies.

What is illegal? Read other articles on this blog for exact details on the participation on the Richland 2 School Board by two women who are not entitled at this point-in-time to sit on the Board.

Since the February 12th school board meeting, deputies have been present. The violation of this law has been occurring at each meeting, right in front of them. They have witnessed the crime. The deputies witnessed the crime on February 12, February 26 and March 12. And I expect they'll see it on March 26.

For there to be no violation on March 26, one of two things has to happen. Either 1. Mrs. McKie and Ms. Holmes have to take the oath of office or 2. Mrs. McKie and Ms. Holmes must not sit at the Board desks.

All right, I'll admit that the deputies' training may not have covered this law. But now they know about it. And once they know about it, isn't it their responsibility to enforce the law?

The School Board has put the Richland County Sheriff's Department in a very sticky predicament. It hired these three deputies through the Department. Does that allow these deputies to overlook the crime?

Any one of the three deputies could file a complaint and begin prosecution of the violators. They are directly observing the crime and can take action, such as citing the violators. Any legal member of the Board could file a complaint against the violators. The Superintendent could file the complaint. Parents, voters and taxpayers could file the complaint. A student could file a complaint.

What will happen tonight?

Scene of the Crime - be there!

Have you ever been at the scene of a crime, right when it was happening? What was it like? Pretty exciting?

Over the past three months you may have been at the scene of the crime and didn't even know it. There were plenty of witnesses; in fact, a whole meeting room full of them. And there were even sheriff's deputies there more recently.

But now you can plan to be at the scene of the crime, when it happens. You'll want to be at the Richland 2 School Board meeting at R2i2 on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. It will start at 5:30PM and the Board will quickly vote to go into the Executive Session. If you get there at 5:30PM, watch carefully to see who votes.

An hour later, at 6:30PM, the Board will re-convene the public session. Pay close attention to who is seated at the Board desks. Will there be only the five legal members? Or will two others be seated with them? Pay close attention to who is chairing the meeting.

If the March 26, 2019 meeting is run in the same manner as the seven Board meetings since (and including) November 13, 2018, you will be watching a crime in action.

Two of the women on the Board are there improperly and illegally. They were elected on November 6, 2018, but they were not eligible to take the oath of office when they took it on November 13. Why not? Because neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests Report with the South Carolina Ethic Commission. Read S.C. Code of Laws 8-13-1110(A). You can Google it by just searching for "8-13-1110(A)". Scroll down to Section 1110(A). Each filed her Statement on December 4. The law reads that you cannot take the oath of office and enter upon your responsibilities unless you have filed the Statement.

Each of the two women has been violating this law since November 13, 2018. Why don't they just take the oath of office now and become legal members of the Board?

Next: Does RCSD have a problem?

Educational Reform Update

Last night's public meeting at Dent Middle School was well attended. Lots of teachers and school personnel. It was sponsored by Sen. Mia McLeod, and Sen. Mike Fanning and Rep. Ivory Thigpen were at the front, too.

SC for Education was well-represented.

The program was introduced as a Listening Session, which I took to mean that the legislators would be listening to the audience.

That worked pretty well, except in 2-3 cases. One woman at the speaker's table on the right side (audience view) went on and on ad nauseum about the legislative process. Five minutes would have been enough.

The meeting should have started on time and should have ended on time. If people arrive late, then they miss out. When meetings start late, all you do is train people to be late. Starting late shows disrespect for who who arrived on time.

Ending on time is important, too. The person-in-charge should keep an eye on the time. As the end-time approaches, you indicate to speakers to wind it up.

There was a generous three- minute speaking allowance. Most kept to that. Some who rambled should have been cut off. A time-keeper with a clock and a bell, other than the chairperson of the meeting, should be introduced and asked publicly to announce when time runs out.

If you want to know what was said, you should have been there.

NEXT LOCAL MEETING: Rep. Ivory Thigpen will sponsor an educational reform information meeting on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 6:30PM at the Sandhills Library building.