Wednesday, April 28, 2021
This was copied from a friend's Facebook post. It clearly shows that Walmart is over-paying that employee. Even minimum-wage would be too high for that employee.
You know the Pledge of Allegiance; right? At least, I hope you do.
You think you know it, but have you been saying it incorrectly for years?
At every school board meeting, and in many other places around the country, the Pledge is repeated incorrectly.
Here it is:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." (Source: U.S. Flag Code, ¶4)
Almost everyone has gotten into the habit of disconnecting "under God" from "one Nation. And so people say "... and to the Republic for which it (the Flag) stands, one Nation (pause) under God..." as if there is a comma after Nation. There is not.
The Pledge, said correctly, is "... and to the Republic for which it (the Flag) stands, one Nation (no pause) under God..." It's "one Nation under God".
"under God" was added to the Pledge in 1954.
Punctuation is important.
Unfortunately, in schools today, punctuation may not be taught as "important".
The next time you say the Pledge, say it correctly. Notice that you will be standing and speaking alone, as you say "under God" immediately after "one Nation." If I'm there, you and I will be saying it correctly, and together.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Several meetings ago the superintendent brought forward a proposal for Richland 2 to join in on a class-action lawsuit against vaping.
The Board that night was one member short, and a vote was taken on the Motion to join that lawsuit. The vote was 3-3, and someone had to remind the Chair that a tie-vote meant that the motion failed.
How did this issue ever get back on the agenda? Didn't the Board decide a while back that, when an issue was voted down, it wouldn't be brought back up?
Somehow, the issue made it back onto the Agenda for tonight's meeting. Actually, all it takes is a little pow-wow between the superintendent and the board chair, and an item appears on the agenda.
I am reminded of the definition of Nagging. Someone once defined nagging as being "nibbled to death by a duck."
The pitch tonight was to join a class action lawsuit.
Mrs. Agostini attempted to ask Dr. Miley a question, and Chair Manning interrupted and answered it. He was completely out-of-order in doing so. Mr. Agostini is polite and did not call a Point-of-Order on Manning's move.
Slide #5 of the presentation to the board revealed the number of "Incidents of Vaping and Tobacco". In School Year 2020-21 there have been five (5) vaping incidents and three (3) tobacco incidents. If I do the arithmetic correctly, that's a total of eight (8). Eight incidents out of 28,000 students.
Last school year, there were 63 in the whole year. Out of 28,000 students. That's 0.225%.
Mrs. Agostini is right. Why is the district wasting its time and money even considering the joining in the class-action lawsuit???
The superintendent said it might be 10-15 years in the courts.
What damages will Richland 2 receive? None. Richland 2 is not being harmed in any way by 8 students who vape or smoke.
Who gets rich on class-action lawsuits? The attorneys.
First of all, the Board meeting started late. After five minutes of staring at the screen, the District finally splashed an informational page that the board was still in executive session. The producer of the livestream should be prepared for a delay and ready to announce the delay, rather than hoping viewers will just stand by and twiddle their fingers.
At 6:08PM the livestream began, but the meeting had already been called to order. Chair Manning called on (trustee-elect) McKie to introduce the speaker for the inspirational moment. Once again, McKie was long-winded. All she really needed to say was, "Tonight's inspirational moment will be given by ______."
How long should an inspirational moment be? Two minutes? Maybe three, at the outside limit? Not the six minutes taken by the speaker and an additional person he introduced.
When it was time to deal with the disciplinary issues that had been discussed in executive session, Mrs. Agostini made a motion to send Student No. 1 to Blythewood Academy for the balance of the year. When the Chair called for a second, you could hear a pin drop. But the pin never did drop, and Agostini's motion failed for lack of a second.
Then McKie moved for Student No. 1 to be granted "strict probations", whatever that means.
When the board moved on to Item 8.1, suspension of Board Policy BE, the world of formality and business procedure died. The motion was to suspend BE. BE is the policy that pertains to board meetings.
What Administration was trying to accomplish was to cancel the June 8th board meeting, because it falls on the same day as graduation.
The Motion, as proposed orally, was to suspend temporarily Policy BE (completely).
The Motion, shown on the monitor but not read by the person making the motion, was more detailed and explicit about applying to the June 8th board meeting.
On which motion did the board vote?
To avoid confusion, the Chair should have had the person making the motion read the exact motion.
It's really such a simple thing to follow established rules. But, with Richland 2, there are no consequences for carelessness.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Do teachers teach students how to think or do they teach students what to think?
You'll only know if you are in close contact with your children about what is happening in their classrooms. Listen to how they describe their classes and to the words they use. Are they coming home with "new" words? Are their explanations beginning to show bias?
This article, published in The Daily Signal, a publication of The Heritage Foundation, may open your eyes. The title, Keep Racist Critical Race Theory Ideology Out of K-12 Classrooms, will give you a heads-up.
Just attending a board meeting of the Richland 2 School District should put you on the edge of your chairs. Listen for words like discrimination, racism, injustice, equity, inclusion, cultural diversity.
Pay attention to who is speaking and whether the speaker is making sense to you. Do some speakers use many words but don't really say anything?
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Okay, so by now you probably know that CRT is short for Critical Race Theory?
Ever hear of Coach David Flynn?
Any idea where Dedham, Mass. is? (15 mi. SW of Boston)
Does this headline get your attention?
Check out this case, behind which is Judicial Watch. Coach Flynn, father of a daughter in seventh grade, got tossed from his coaching gig because he objected to subject matter in his daughter's ancient history class.
Federal Court hearing - Monday, April 26, 2021 3:15PM EDT
If you hurry, you might even be able to register to attend the court hearing online. See the link in the article.
If you're mad that that school district went after the parent, think what could be happening to the student's grade for that class.
Do you withhold criticism of Richland 2 policies out of fear of retaliation or retribution against yourself or one or more of your children?
If so, please comment below. If you don't want your name to appear, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll publish your comment without your name or email address. Include your phone number, so that I can verify the comment. Your privacy is guaranteed.
By the way, I'm still laughing about the day in Illinois that the Sheriff thought he could scare me into revealing the names of deputies who were leaking information to me. Under subpoena I appeared in Federal Court on my pro se Motion to Quash his subpoena. And the judge granted my Motion! He told the sheriff's attorney that she was "just on a fishing expedition" (his words).
Where does Richland 2 School District stand on CRT - Critical Race Theory?
I emailed the Board today (doggone it; I forgot to include the superintendent) to urge their reading of the following article. They won't reply to me (they never do) but, if you (parent, employer, taxpayer) write to them, they might. A couple of the board members might read the article.
Read this article titled "Parents Organize to Push Back Against Critical Race Theory"
You've heard all the buzzwords: equity, inclusion, oppression, culturally-responsive, systemic racism, injustice, over-discipline of black students, cohort, etc.
The District may still be buying Gloria Boutte's program, Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. Now there's a $100 word that ups the price-tag, no doubt.
The District recently responded to my FOIA Request for information about The 1619 Project. The District said it has no "documentation" that was responsive to my request. It took a FOIA Request to pry even that response out of them, after they disregarded a specific request at an October board meeting.
So I still don't know how many teachers are talking about The 1619 Project in a way that causes students to think that America was founded in 1619 due to slavery.
If your child comes away from an online or in-person class with that nonsense, post a comment below and let your board members and the superintendent know how you feel.
Monday, April 19, 2021
The South Carolina Ethics Commission has confirmed that Amelia McKie still owes $51,800 to it.
This means that she has not paid one penny ($0.01) of her debt. A judgment was filed in the Richland County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2019 - almost two years ago! Not. One. Penny.
And this is a person allowed to sit on the school board in Richland 2 (even though she has never taken the oat of office legally).
Why wouldn't the S.C. Department of Revenue be taking all steps to collect that $51,800? Is it possible that, if they think the debt is not collectable (or not collectable in full), then they just don't even try? Are there other creditors perched like crows on the clothes line, waiting for someone else to make the first move?
Should a trustee of the school board have impeccable credentials and credit worthiness?
If McKie paid just $1,000/month toward her debt, it would take her 52 months. More than four years!
Or $500/month? Then it would take 104 months.
Of course, $500/month out of the trustee's monthly pay of $800 is a pretty big hit. But 104 months is a long time.
But no payments? Does that mean that she is never going to pay any of it? The DOR should get busy and grab whatever it can, while it can. And if an elected person (not an "official", since she isn't even a legal school board member) has a huge financial responsibility, maybe that person just needs to be honorable and resign. I see a bankruptcy down the line, don't you? Would that cause cancellation of any bond she has for the school district?
What's up, Amelia? Do you ever plan to pay any of your debt? What's your plan? Do you even have a plan?
Should the State of South Carolina Department of Education dissolve the Richland 2 School Board?
That idea came to mind as I read the article in The State by Zak Koeske, published on April 18. Zak's article described the interest of the S.C. DOE in taking over the boards of low-performing school districts.
Here's why I think the S.C. DOE should be keeping a close eye on the Richland 2 School Board and why it should consider disbanding the school board of the Richland 2 School District.
Since November 13, 2018 the Richland 2 School Board has seated two women illegally. The two women have refused to take the oath of office legally; therefore, they are not legitimate members of the board.
The Board has condoned their illegitimacy for almost 2½ years! The remainder of the Board could have required them to take the oath of office legally. The remainder of the board (the five legal members) could have refused to allow the two women to be seated at the board until they took the oath of office legally. The legal members of the Board could have prohibited their attendance at executive sessions, could have prohibited their voting on board business including student discipline. The Board could have stopped paying them, stopped paying their expenses, stopped allowing them to represent the board. The Board could have elected one of the legitimate members as the District's representative to the South Carolina School Boards Association (but it didn't).
But the legal members of the Board did nothing.
Therefore, they are culpable and responsible for failing to act. They are failing in their duties and responsibilities to the taxpayers of the Richland 2 School District.
One or two of the legal board members may believe and agree that the two women do not belong on the board, but they are the minority of votes.
Who are the two women illegally on the board?
Amelia McKie (2018-2022)
Teresa Holmes (2018-2022)
To become legal members of the Board, all they have to do is take the oath of office.
Each did take an oath of office on November 13, 2018, but each took it before she was legally eligible to take it. Neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interest Report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. Each filed her SEI on December 4, 2018. On the December 4th date, McKie and Holmes first became eligible to take the oath of office.
According to South Carolina law, after you are elected, then you (1) file your SEI. Then you (2) take the oath of office, and then you (3) assume your office responsibilities. It's as easy as that. 1-2-3.
You can't do 2-3-1. At least, legally you cannot.
Next time you see McKie or Holmes, ask her when she is going to take the oath of office legally.
Each is usurping public office. This is a serious legal offense in the State of South Carolina.
Here's what they will tell you.
- "I am a legal board member." They are not.
- "I haven't done anything wrong." That's not true.
- "The Ethics Commission says I'm a legal board member." No, it hasn't.
- "Nobody told me about that." - Surely, two people running for office should be able to read the rules for taking office.
The School Board refuses to address this issue in public session. The District takes a "holier than thou" position that it does not have to explain itself. Kind of reminds me of Nixon's statement, "Trust me. I am not a crook."
What say you? Should McKie and Holmes be blocked from continuing to act like School Board members until they take the oath of office?
As soon as they do take the oath, the School Board will then have to review every vote taken on and after November 13, 2018. The votes of McKie and Holmes will have to be removed. Some decisions will change. A 4-3 (passing) vote that includes McKie and Holmes voting For, will change to a 2-3 vote (failing). Some board meetings will not have a quorum (5 legal members) and business taken care of will be invalidated.
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
As you attempt to educate your children, the students of Richland 2 School District, find out what they are being taught in the District's schools.
What are they learning about the U.S. Constitution? Is it the foundation of our country, or is it a "living document" that should bend with the winds?
Read this article about President Joe Biden's plan to pack the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of course, he doesn't describe his newly-announced commission that way. It's supposed to "study" the problem. Only there isn't any "problem". He'll have it come up with a solution (the solution he wants) and then announce what the problem is. That's called "unity". Believe in what I believe in, he says.
Every time I hear him say, "Come on, man" or "We've got to do this", I worry even more about what he and his party are doing to this country.
Be sure your children are being taught to think, not necessarily to believe what they are being taught in schools.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Read this excellent article on The Lexington Ledger website (www.swlexledger.com) and see if some of the notes don't sound like a familiar tune to you.
Former Lexington One school board member Sandra Backman ran afoul of South Carolina Ethics Commission rules over a span several years. Her woes are detailed in this article. If you are leery of clicking on links, go to the Ledger's website and scroll down for the 4/7/2021 article.
Backman's problems were different than those of the Richland 2 School Board member whose ordeal, fines and penalties have been mentioned here many times. But the end result for Backman was a fine of $41,250 and a judgment against her filed in court.
Richland 2's own Amelia McKie has run up a bill of $51,800 (as of 2/8/2021) with the Ethics Commission and a judgment in the Richland County Common Pleas Court. It's time once again to query the Ethics Commission as to whether any payment - ANY payment - has been made toward her judgment. As of 2/8/2021 McKie had not paid even one penny toward her fine and judgment.
McKie still has never taken the oath of office legally and is, therefore, not a legitimate member of the Board. For whatever reason, though, the Board allows her to sit at a Board desk, attend executive sessions, vote of Board matters including confidential student discipline matters, and get paid every month, as well as receiving perks and expenses.
The Day of Reckoning is approaching for both McKie and Teresa Holmes. Holmes is in the same predicament as McKie, because she too has never taken the oath of office legally. I am wondering how they will look a Circuit Court judge or a S.C. Supreme Court Justice in the eye and explain why they believe they are legitimate board members. Both took the oath of office on November 13, 2018, three weeks before they were eligible to do so. They'll get laughed right out of the courtroom after answering just one question.
That question is, "Isn't it true that you took the oath of office before you filed your Statement of Economic Interests Report with the South Carolina Ethics Commission?"
Monday, April 12, 2021
South Carolina State Rep. Linda (Lin) Bennett (R-Charleston) has filed House Bill 3002, which would proscribe how history is taught in South Carolina schools. The Bill is now in the House Committee on Education and Public Works.
The South Carolina House is closing in on cross-over day - the last day a bill can cross over to the Senate for consideration and approval. If I were to guess, I'd say H.3002 will die a quiet death this year, but it might come back to life later in the year or next year.
Today a reader called my attention to that bill because of my interest in The 1619 Project - or rather my interest in seeing that The 1619 Project does not become the primary teaching tool in Richland 2.
Sunday's The State newspaper carried an article by Zak Koeske with the headline
I recently filed a FOIA request with the Richland 2 School District to unearth records of any teaching of The 1619 Project in local school. The response was there was no documentation of such.
If your students are coming home with questions and concerns about The 1619 Project, please let me know.
The following email has been sent today to Richland 2 Board Chair James Manning and all board members. Watch the board meetings to learn whether any action is taken by him or the board. Manning routinely does not acknowledge emails from me or reply to them, so I don't anticipate a reply from him.
Board members should take action, if he doesn't. Will they?
Good morning, Mr. Manning,
Friday, April 9, 2021
From Richland 2:
BUDGET INPUT SESSION
A Budget Input Session for the Richland School District Two community will be held 5-5:30 p.m. on April 13, 2021 in the Conference Center at R2i2 located at 763 Fashion Drive, Columbia, 29229.
The Richland Two Board of Trustees and district administrators are holding the input session to give employees, parents, students and community members the opportunity to provide suggestions for next year’s budget. The suggestions shared during the input session will be considered during the development process of the FY 2021-2022 General Fund Budget. A timeline for the budget development process is available on the district’s website at: https://www.richland2.org/Departments/Business-Services/General-Fund-Budget
All individuals in attendance at the input session will be required to wear masks and observe social-distancing protocols.
Now, why the District insists on holding a Budget Input session at 5:00PM, I can only guess. Many parents are working people and probably work until at least 5:00PM. Thus, there is no way to show up for a 5:00PM community meeting. Is there? There is also the "dinner-hour" with family to consider.
And then there is a half-hour, cool-your-heels break until the Regular Board Meeting starts.
Why doesn't the Board hold the Budget Input Session as the first half-hour of the regularly-scheduled Board meeting? Usually almost no one shows up for it, so all they are doing to going through the formality of announcing the Session, knowing that no one will show up.
The District's announcement reads that "All individuals in attendance" must wear masks. Will that apply to Teresa Holmes?
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