Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Transparency by the School Board. Really?

During last night's school board meeting, there was a perfect opportunity for transparency.

During the COVID-19 report by the superintendent, he could have mentioned the number of COVID-19 cases identified among students and staff of Richland 2.

As part of his COVID-19 report on May 26, 2020, the superintendent informed the board that no student or staff member had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

As many know, Columbia is a hotbed of new coronavirus cases.

At 4:29PM yesterday (one minute before the start of the board meeting) District 2 sent out a press release that Dr. Davis had been tested on Sunday and had received news that this test was positive.

Not a word during the meeting. He could have disclosed that during his COVID-19 report or during his superintendent comment at the end of the meeting. HIPAA protections didn't apply, because the District had already released his statement to the press.

At least one trustee (Holmes) noted that she knew he wasn't feeling well, so there was a clue that the board already knew about it. They would have been told before the start of the Zoom meeting or during Executive Session (although it wasn't on the Agenda).

Somewhere during the meeting the superintendent even used the word "transparency" among his many, very long remarks. Well, maybe it's really just a 12-letter word that sounds good during meetings of public bodies.

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