Saturday, September 12, 2020

Caution-Parker insults parents of special-needs students

What's the panic? What's the "emergency"? What pandemic?

From DHEC and The State newspaper on September 11, 2020, less than 27 cases in Richland 2 schools. It could be as few as 7, because "Schools with fewer than five cases do not report a specific number." These numbers are only for students and staff reporting to schools.

"In Richland 2, Spring Valley High School reported at least one case each among students and faculty. Windsor Elementary also reported less than five cases among faculty, and L.B. Nelson Elementary has fewer than five cases among its students... 

Catawba Trail Elementary and Muller Road Middle both previously reported fewer than five faculty members each coming down with the disease. Richland Northeast High School also has fewer than 5 student cases."

If you watched last week's (9/8/2020) school board meeting, you know that parents want their kids in school, especially the students with special needs. Watch the two segments of public comments on YouTube for the September 8th meeting. Hear the reasonable pleas of the parents. 

The first segment of Public Participation begins at 11:22 on the timer.

The second segment of Public Participation begins at 2:06:00 on the timer.

Parents of students with special needs were insulted by Trustee Caution-Parker, when she launched a two-minute tirade criticizing the many parents who submitted public comments and defending Dr. Davis. 

Caution-Parker said (at 2:24:54), "I would just like to say to the parents that made the comments, that it sounds like, this is my opinion, that this has been a coordinated effort by some of you to bring all this at one time to our board and our superintendent. I would encourage you, I would urge you, I beg you, pick up the phone, call the superintendent and talk to him one-on-one without listening to anybody else out there, saying this thing that or their opinion.  Get the facts. Get all of the facts. And please understand we have to look at Richland 2 as an entire community, not certain sections. And just like you've made your point this evening about face-to-face learning, believe me when I tell you we have just as many and more parents on the other side that like just the way we are handling it. And what we have to do is look at the district as a whole and that, I believe with all my heart and soul, is what Dr. Davis and his team are doing. Please, when we get these nasty emails, where you up and comment like 'you die' and all this, that's a bunch of crud. That's a bunch of crud. Nobody is going to pay attention to that. You need to talk to directly to Dr. Davis and get the facts."

Caution-Parker misses the whole point of School Board responsibility. The reason that parents are coming to the board with their comments is because they know that the Board is supposed to direct the superintendent. 

Has anyone ever been at a board meeting and heard the superintendent say that he got 275 phone calls and emails last week from parents complaining about e-learning and that they want their children back in school? In 2½ years I've never heard him give that type of report.

Caution-Parker is totally wrong that the board is to look only at the big picture. In the special education world there is FAPE - Free and Appropriate Public Education. Parents of special-ed students know about it. Special Ed advocates know about it. Special Ed teachers know about it. Richland 2 does not have a choice about FAPE. Richland 2 must provide it.

Kudos to the 24 parents who submitted comments to be read to the Board last Tuesday!