Sunday, March 29, 2020

District 2 is lying to the public

On Richland 2's website is this message. It's not all that easy to  find, but it's there.


The Richland Two Board of Trustees will hold a regularly scheduled meeting on March 31, 2020. Executive session will begin at 5:30 p.m and public session will resume at 6 p.m. Due to the restrictions on public gatherings related to the coronavirus, the public will not be able to attend the meeting but are invited to listen to live streamed audio at

The problem is with the truthfulness of the statement "Due to the restrictions on public meetings..."

There are currently NO restrictions on meetings in homes, at work, or of law-abiding businesses. Gov. McMaster made this exception to his prohibition on gatherings of three or more people.

It is important to actually watch public meetings. Unless you can see the members of the public body, you will not know when they are having side conversations that cannot be overheard by the audience or even by other board members. Everything is supposed to be heard by everybody there.

You also will not know when members of the public body (school board) are reading or sending text messages or email. It's bad enough when board members can't live without checking their messages during a public meeting.

And the public won't know who is arriving late or leaving early, if you can't see the board meeting.

You won't see the grimaces and the disdain shown by one board member toward another.

You won't see the body posture of others, when one board member rambles endlessly just to have "microphone time".

You won't be able to lean forward and cup your hand to your ear, when a board member mumbles into a microphone with a hand in front of the mouth.

And you won't be there to speak during the Public Participation segment that is on the agenda.

If three board members are absent, you won't be able to ask the board not to hold an illegal meeting. If four are present in person, that's not a quorum. And a quorum of five is required to hold a public meeting of this school board. I believe that calling in by phone does not get counted toward a quorum.

Can Board meet on March 31?

Earlier in March South Carolina Governor McMaster issued an order that groups of 50 or more shall not gather. This is part of South Carolina's response to the coronavirus COVID-19 problem.

Later this month Governor McMaster tightened his order, which now prohibits gatherings of three or more people and grants authority to law enforcement to break up gatherings of this size. He explained that his order "does not apply to homes, work places, or law-abiding businesses."

Will Richland 2 cancel its March 31 board meeting?

A quorum of the seven board members is required to hold a meeting. Richland 2 has defined a quorum as five (5). I believe the law is intended to mean that a quorum must be present in person.

If there aren't five board members present in person on March 31, any attempt to conduct business will be illegal. All the Board Chair can do is announce that no meeting can take place. I believe Richland 2 cannot have a legal quorum with fewer than five present in person. Any other board members attending by telephone should not be counted in determining whether a quorum exists..

If there are not five board members present Tuesday night, then Richland 2 will not be a "law-abiding business" and one of the Richland County Sheriff's Department deputies present should break up the meeting, as ordered by Gov. McMaster. Will he?

Is Richland 2 pulling a fast one?

When Richland 2 school district published the agenda for the March 31, 2020 Regular Meeting (re-scheduled from March 24), I noticed immediately that the proposed revision to Board Policy BEDH had not been attached to the agenda.

Omitting it is the equivalent of keeping it secret from the public. This provokes a second question. Do the board members know what is in the revision?

This morning an equally-important change in the Agenda jumped out at me.

Notice Item 6 in the agenda, which can be viewed on the District's website. 
Go to
Click on EXPLORE (top right)
Click on School Board
Click on AGENDA
Under Meetings, click on Regular Board Meeting
Click on View the Agenda
Scroll down the list on the left

Usually, "New Business - Action Requested" follows Public Participation.

However, for the March 31 meeting, this item is in the agenda twice. The first time is before Public Participation. Why is this important?

Because the proposed revisions to Board Policy BEDH address Public Participation!!!

The Board will be asked to approve the revisions, yet the Board has never seen the proposed revisions. Normally, the proposed revisions are presented for discussion and considered in a first reading, and then a vote is taken at a following meeting.

But not this time.

Administration is violating Board Policy by jumping the line with this item. Why?

What if the Board hasn't even received a copy of the proposed revisions yet?

Why is this item placed ahead of Public Participation?

The proper place for it is in Item 10 "New Business - No Action Requested"

Now, the superintendent knows this. The Board Chair knows it. Why the change???

Will the public be allowed to question this on March 31, before the Board votes? Not according to the agenda. Public Participation occurs after the board considers Item 6.1.

The agenda for meetings is compiled by the Board Chair and the superintendent. Will there be some fireworks at the March 31 meeting? See you there.