If you missed the October 20th Richland 2 Candidates' Forum and want to know more about their positions, go to richland2.org/livestream and watch the replay.
You say you've already voted? Your mind is made up? You don't care?
Well, I say you'd better care.
The forum was sponsored by the Richland Two Teachers' Association and the League of Women Voters. Patrick Kelly, a Richland 2 teacher, served as Moderator. The LWV was nowhere in sight.
As I watched, I was reminded of a Presidential debate where Pres. Trump found himself facing a Democratic Party moderator. Kelly did a good job of reading the questions to each of the candidates, but I had a strong feeling that too many of the questions were teacher-based; i.e., if you are elected, what are you going to do for us?
The School Board should be composed of stewards who look fairly at all the interests to be represented. Teachers are only one slice of that pie. But they want an ever-increasing share of the money pie. Too much time last night was spent playing the tune sung by the teachers.
But, worse than that, was the tone of most of the candidates. Richland 2 is already leaning far left; i.e., in the progressive direction. One of the candidates was even quite outspoken about it. If you want a progressive candidate, vote for me.
"Culture" was mentioned many times last night. The USA has gone nuts with focus on cultural, diversity, race, sensitivity, privilege. This has got to stop. Teach the subjects that students need to learn to get ahead in the world.
Too many parents and too many voters are not paying attention to the progressive leanings of the district, of the Board, of the Administration, and of the teachers. Students should be educated, not indoctrinated.
More than one candidate mentioned the Premier 100 Men-of-Color program of the superintendent. I'll bet not one of them realizes that the Premier 100 Men-of-Color program is NOT a Richland Two Board-approved program. It is a pet project of the superintendent. Recently, the superintendent even acknowledged at a school board meeting that it is not a project on which he is evaluated. It is his project; it is not a District project.
Why does the current board let him get away with it? Because the majority on the board will let him have anything he wants.
This District's goal should be to hire the best 100 teachers it can - male, female (ignoring the other 51 genders), black, white, brown, yellow, red, who can be hired for what Richland 2 will be paying.
One candidate said the student body is 70% black. Well, the USA is 13% black. Unless all Richland 2 graduates are planning to stay in Columbia, they should learn skills that will enable them to get along in the country and in the world.
Last spring an attorney gave me some great advice. He said, "You ought to run for the school board, because you would have a larger platform for saying what is wrong with the district. But you don't want to win." And he was right!
Who was it last night who took a poke at dissenting board members? There is a Board Policy that all board members are supposed to toe the line, once a policy is approved. Right now, Richland County's own "Squad" makes the rules in Richland 2, because it has the majority. This does not bode well for Richland 2.