Friday, November 29, 2019

Board Policy JICDA Code of Conduct

On December 3, 2019, the Richland 2 School Board will consider a major re-write to Board Policy JICDA Code of Conduct. The title should be more fully listed as Code of Conduct and Discipline, as stated within the policy in Paragraph 3, although not capitalized.

Is this all boiler-plate from the South Carolina School Boards Association?

The part of the Code of Conduct and Discipline that may concern parents is JICDA-R, referred to an administrative rule.

After reading Andrew Pollack's Why Meadow Died, I began wondering how Richland 2 distinguishes between categories of conduct in its schools. Was there any way that Richland 2 policies might mirror those at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (MSD) in Parkland, Florida? Could the administration of policies here be similar to that at MSD?

Are we plagued with guilt here over the "school-to-prison" pipeline (theory)? For me, it's black-and-white. Don't do crime; don't do the time. Do offenders get to "skate by" from one grade to the next, if offenses of a prior year are written off and forgotten, after a school year ends?

Watch for follow-up articles on Levels I, II and III of school disciplinary offenses.

If you can't wait, go to Board Policies and begin reading JICDA-R.

To find it, go to
Click on EXPLORE
Click on School Board
Click on Policy JICDA
Click on Policy JICDA-R

Dec. 3 Special Meeting - 30 Policy Revisions!!!

The Agenda for Tuesday's Special Called Board Meeting alerts board members to fasten their seat belts and prepare for a lengthy meeting. There are thirty (30!!!) Board Policies on the Agenda for examination, review, discussion and revision.



Apparently, the previous superintendent made some kind of deal with the South Carolina School Boards Association about policies. The SCSBA may have a set of "standard" policies that it would like to stuff down the throats of all the school districts in the state.

Does Richland 2 have the guts to stand up the SCSBA and "Just Say No"?

You've probably heard the phrase "one size fits all". That's well-known in Special Education circles.

Well, one size does NOT fit all. Schools have different needs. Students have different needs. Communities have different needs. There are liberal communities and districts; there are conservative ones. There are rural school districts; there are districts in metropolitan areas.

How can a Board make a reasonable study of 30 policies in one setting? Why do the Board Chair and the Superintendent agree on an Agenda that includes 30 policies for revision? Why don't all the other board members shout, "Whoa, Nellie!!! Slow this wagon down."

How many hours are required by each board member to study carefully the proposed revisions? Does each board member diligently study the revisions and consider all the pros and cons to the proposed revisions?

Here we go - Read JICI proposed revision

OK, folks. Here we go...

The Richland 2 School Board is tampering with Board Policy JICI - Weapons in School.

There will be a first reading on the proposed revision at the Special Called Board Meeting on December 3, 2019. Note that the Agenda does not allow Public Participation. Then board is likely to vote on the revision at its Regular Meeting on December 10, where Public Participation is allowed. By that time they will likely have their minds made up.

How is JICI being changed? Read it on the December 3 Agenda and click on the attachment for that item (Item 4.23).

At a previous meeting Trustee James Shadd made a reference to Federal law about knives in schools, which limits blade length to 2".

This is being incorporated in District Policy. If your kid forgets to leave his pocket knife at home, he risks a felony charge, not just a "leave it in the office until after school" lecture. A pocket knife is a tool. It's only a weapon if it is used as such. But the worry warts on the school board have decided that a knife with a blade more than two inches poses "a severe threat of serious harm or injury to students and staff". Baloney!

More ominous is the proposed deletion of the language in the existing policy that applies to weapons in cars parked on school grounds. South Carolina law allows a holder of a concealed carry license/permit to store his firearm securely in his vehicle. The Administration is proposing to strike that State authority from the Board Policy JICI. Why is Richland 2 considering abridging the right to be subject only to State law?

What the State giveth, the School Board taketh away. Oh, really?

The first time a student (or employee) finds himself in hot water for storing his firearm in his car on school grounds will probably generate an expensive lawsuit for Richland 2.

Does JICI apply only to students in possession of a vehicle, such as driving himself/herself to school? Or does JICI apply to employees, teachers, administrators, parents and visitors?

JICI  does not need to refer to "felony offense, punishable by a fine fo $1,000 or imprisonment for five years, or both..." That's state law.

The only "offense" Richland 2 can be concerned about is a violation of Board Policy.

December 3 Agenda Published

The Agenda for the December 3, 2019 Special Called Board Meeting is now available on the District's website. The meeting will start at 5:30PM at Jackson Creek Elementary School. Thanks to the Richland 2 staff member who worked Wednesday night or Thursday to post the Agenda, after the website was restored to use.

There is no Executive Session on the Agenda.

There is no Public Participation on the Agenda.

On the Agenda is the Approval for the rezoning of Jacob's Creek and Forest Creek communities.

What does this mean to you, if you are a parent of a student at Catawba Trail Elementary School who does not want your child to change schools?

It means that you had better get busy this week-end and contact your school board members by phone, email and in person.

Most of them are going to do what the Administration is asking. Some may not. If you don't do anything, then don't complain afterwards.

I don't have a dog in this fight. I don't have a child at Catawba Trail. I don't have any child or grandchild in a Richland 2 school.

Was the timetable too short for a major decision? Do the parents of the approximately-240 students who will be affected all know what's going on? Were all the options explored? Are you satisfied with the communication from and with Richland 2?

The only reason to show up Tuesday night is to monitor the action by the school board and to hold them accountable. At some point you might want to ask the board to explain why

  1. it made the decision at a Special Called meeting, not at a Regular meeting
  2. it scheduled the decision at a school far from your neighborhood
  3. it did not include Public Participation

I predict this vote on Tuesday night: 6-0-0-1 (For, Against, Abstain, Absent)

Two of those six are not legal board members. If only four legal board members are present, then the board does not have a quorum and cannot vote. But vote they will, and that means the vote will be invalid. But they will call it a valid vote and, when the day of reckoning arrives, the board will have to go all the way back to November 13, 2018 and correct all the decisions that were affected by the votes of the two illegitimate "members".

Resistance (At All Costs). Seriously?

Are Richland 2 students being educated in the conservative or liberal tradition? Or are they being indoctrinated?

Are they being taught to explore the several sides to issues? Or are they being spoon-fed a point-of-view and expected to believe it? Are discussion and debate ("argument") encouraged? Do they understand that to "argue" a point-of-view doesn't mean to ball up their fists, shout curses, threaten, display weapons?

I happen to believe that the vast majority of today's teachers and administrators are left-leaning in their political views and that they do not park their views at the curb on school days. And it has been that way for years, which is why the younger generations do not fear Socialism.

Look at the current reaction of the school board to a discussion of weapons. Look what happens when "gun" or "firearm" is mentioned. By the way, guns are not the focus of this book.

I encourage you to read Resistance (At All Costs) - How Trump Haters Are Breaking America, by Kimberley Strassel. You can buy it or you can borrow it through the Richland Library system. The library was very responsive to my request to acquire the book and ordered it without delay.

Author Strassel is on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. She summarizes very well the atmosphere that exists during the presidency of Donald Trump.

Rather than make up your mind about what you think she says, read her book. Understand what "the Resistance" is doing to America. Take a stand. Is this the future you want for yourself, your children, your grandchildren?