Tuesday, October 22, 2019

How's your math?

Better yet, how is your arithmetic?

Most of us learned to add, subtract, multiply and divide somewhere along the way. I'm not so sure about the more recent students in our schools who learned New Math and other newfangled ways to find the sum of two or more numbers. If you are a parent, you've seen the homework that your kids have brought home.

Can they add 347 + 521 without using three sheets of paper or a calculator?

How about $17.50 + $5,058.28?

OK, take your best shot here, readers. Should I run a little contest?

Is the answer $5,525.78?

If you think it is, you'll be in good company. A person sitting on the Richland 2 School Board thinks that is one of the answers. And the S.C. Ethics Commission must think so, because it accepted Campaign Disclosure Reports for three quarters (Filing Dates 5/8/19, 7/18/19 and 10/10/19) with incorrect sums. 

Under Expenditures:
On the Report due 1/10/19 the sum of $17.50 + $5,028.28 is correct as $5,045.78.
On the Report due 4/10/19 the sum of $17.50 + $5,058.28* is incorrect as $5525.78.
On the Report due 7/10/19 the sum of $17.50 + $5,208.28** is incorrect as $5725.78.
On the Report due 10/10/19 the sum of $17.50 + $5,208.28 is incorrect as $5725.78.

* $5,058.28 also was incorrect, because no expenditures were reported for that quarter.
** $5,208.28 also was incorrect, because no expenditures were reported for that quarter.

These reports are really simple to complete and file, especially when you don't have any change in expenditures.

Keep in mind that this person is one of seven making decisions affecting one Billion dollars in assets and money and thousands of employees and students. 

And the person may not even be a legal member of the school board.

Role of the SRO

Just what is the role of the School Resource Officer (SRO)?

Is he there as a "friend" of students and staff? Or is he (or she) there first as a law-enforcement officer.

Board Policy KLGA addresses the SRO's role. Read the Policy, and then consider my request to the Richland 2 School Board. Here is my email to the Board, sent today:

Members of the Richland 2 School Board and trustees-elect McKie and Holmes,

Board Policy KLGA was adopted in April 2019 and is in need of revision. May I ask your attention to the following?

Please state specifically where on the District's website Level III and Level II offenses can be found. I have found them and will be addressing them. If you haven't read Why Meadow Died, I urge you to begin reading it. You'll see how disciplinary handling of criminal offenses led to the 2/14/2018 shooting in Parkland, Fla.


Page 2. "The school resource officer is granted statewide jurisdiction to arrest any persons committing crimes in connection with a school activity or school-sponsored event,"

The School District lacks the authority to grant statewide jurisdiction to SROs. It is the Sheriff's Dept. (their employer) that grants authority to its deputies, who are the SROs. I suggest the appropriate rewording of that sentence.

Under Roles and Responsibilities, this wording appears: 

" ● Establish and maintain a close partnership with the school administration and staff to maintain a safe and constructive learning environment." 

It is not the responsibility of the SRO to establish and maintain a constructive learning environment. I suggest removing "and constructive".

" ● Serve as a resource to administrators and staff concerning law enforcement and child welfare issues."

I suggest deleting "and child welfare". The deputy is a cop and will be less knowledgeable than those assigned to Child Welfare in the County and State.

"Develop educational programs and activities on topics such as crime prevention that will increase a student’s knowledge of and respect for the law and the function of law enforcement agency programs."

The deputy is a cop, not an educator. The School Board must be involved in, and approve, curricula involving "educational programs and activities". Parents must play a part in this, too, as should interested community members.

Memorandum of Understanding

Any deal made between District and the Sheriff's Department MUST be known to, and approved by, the School Board, not just by District Administration.