Friday, June 26, 2020

SHOCK!!!! Read Letter on District Homepage

While I was looking on the District's homepage for the starting time for the June 30th board meeting, I came across "An Open Letter" from "Dr." Helen Grant, District 2's Chief Diversity and Multicultural Inclusion Officer. She holds a JD degree.

What does Wikipedia say about the JD degree? "It has not been customary in the United States to address holders of the J.D. as "doctor". It was noted in the 1920s, when the title was widely used by people with doctorates (even those that, at the time, were undergraduate qualifications) and others, that the J.D. stood out from other doctorates in this respect.[208] This continues to be the case in general today.[209]"

But back to the Open Letter. By the time I finished the first sentence, my blood pressure was going through the roof.

The first sentence reads, "In the midst of celebrating the graduation of our Richland School District Two seniors, the Richland Two family is grieving for yet another Black life lost at the hands of police brutality."

It is? Why? What does Richland 2 family have to do with a death in Minneapolis? Absolutely Nothing. Not one single thing! I suspect that not one person in District 2 knew George Floyd. No, the Richland 2 family is not grieving.

George Floyd did not deserve to die the way he did. Those responsible will be held accountable.

And then the second sentence: "Mr. George Floyd is just the last name in a long list of names of Black men and women who are the victims of police brutality and social injustice."

Here we go again. Police brutality. Social injustice. Right out of the Black Lives Matter playbook.

Did the Board of Trustees approve that letter? Why didn't it come from the Board? Who did approve publication of that letter on the District's website? And why?

Now is a good time to present this video, which I just watched an hour ago. CNN's Don Lemon's guest was Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. When Lemon didn't like what Sheriff Clarke was saying, he cut him off and went to a break. That's CNN for you.

What Surprises Await Richland 2 Constituents?

Once again the Richland 2 School District failed to publish the agenda on Friday for the upcoming school board meeting on Tuesday.

The District used to publish the agenda on Thursdays, then on Fridays, for the upcoming meeting.

By law the agenda has to be published at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. If the June 30 meeting is to start at 4:30PM, then the agenda must be published by 4:30PM on June 29. That's Monday.

That also means that the public and even the school board trustees will have only 24 hours to prepare for the meeting.

For the public, there is nothing to prepare for. The public can no longer attend school board meetings. The board discontinued public meetings (in-person) and has failed to make arrangements for the public to speak at its virtual (Zoom) meetings. It would be simple to arrange that, but the board chose to suspend Board Policy BEDH, and that eliminated 1) public participation and 2) the public's privilege of requesting items to be added to the agenda.

Two board members have requested the superintendent to provide meeting materials, documents and background further in advance of a meeting than 24 hours. Has he done so? In many cases he has not.

The June 30 meeting is likely to start at 4:30PM. The link for the Livestream (Zoom) meeting can be found on the District's homepage. The first item will be an executive session. Then the public session will reconvene. Find the agenda on the District' website for the correct starting time.

Advise School Board Members re 2020-2021 Officers

To the Public:

You have a final chance to influence the Richland 2 School Board in its election of officers for the coming school year.

The Board will elect three officers at its next meeting on June 30. The officers are Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. The officers must be selected from board members, and the officers are elected by the board members. Three trustees will serve as officers for the 2020-2021 School Year.

First, who should not be a board member? This will help you narrow your choice.

An officer should not owe a judgment of $51,750 in unpaid fines and penalties to the South Carolina Ethics Commission. This eliminates Amelia McKie.

An officer should not have multiple unpaid income tax liens against his business or himself. This eliminates James Shadd.

An officer must be a legitimate member of the board. This eliminates Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes. Neither has ever taken the oath of office after becoming eligible to do so on December 4, 2018.

McKie and Holmes did repeat the oath of office, improperly, before they filed their Statements of Economic Interests (SEI) on December 4, 2018. State law reads that the SEI is to be filed (first) and then the oath of office is to be taken. If they take the oath of office before Tuesday night's meeting, they will finally become legitimate members of the board.

An officer should have a history of actively participating in meaningful ways at school board meetings, by demonstrating attentiveness and organization. This eliminates Cheryl Caution-Parker.

Who is left?

Lindsay Agostini
Monica Elkins-Johnson
James Manning

There is the best slate. Contact the board members you know now and ask them to elect these three trustees as officers for School Year 2020-2021.