Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Solomon Reveals $80,000,000 in R2 bank account

Richland 2 taxpayers will be happy to learn that Richland School District Two has $80,000,000 just sitting around unused in a bank account. They can use it to pay teachers and administrators for the time it takes to admonish some little kiddo about not wearing his mask.

Attorney Carl Solomon revealed that during oral arguments on behalf of Richland 2 before the South Carolina Supreme Court. Did he try to lead the five justices to think that money was just sitting around, unneeded, undesignated, just waiting to be spent? Did he think, "Oh, they're just judges; they won't understand finances"?

Obviously, Richland 2 doesn't have an $80,000,000 slush fund. Or does it?

Where did the superintendent find Solomon? And Hutto? Why wasn't the attorney for the school district, Kathryn Mahoney, in on this lawsuit? How did the superintendent sign up Solomon and Hutto without the board's approval? The board got its money's worth with Hutto on the pro bono deal. I learned a long time ago that legal advice is what you pay for it.

Why did the superintendent even start the lawsuit without the board's specific approval?

Or did the board give him a wink and a nod in the executive session? If so, that's called "taking an action", which is prohibited in executive session.

And for that, every board member, including the two trustees-elect who have been allowed to act as board members, who approved Manning's Motion should be held accountable and tossed off the board. You'll remember that Trustee Agostini voted No on Manning's most-carefully crafted Motion. 

At the next board meeting the board should be quizzed in detail about that $80,000,000. Did Carl Solomon misrepresent that money in Richland 2's bank account?

I hope you didn't miss Solomon's statement to the five justices of the S.C. Supreme Court, when he said, "It ain't [sic] about the money." He wasn't using slang. As soon as he said it, he probably thought, "Oops!"

S.C. Supreme Court - LIVE

Watch the action in the S.C. Supreme Court LIVE today at www.scetv.org/live/supreme-court-south-carolina

First up was the case by the City of Columia. It started at 10:15AM.

You would think the courtroom would have been packed. There were only about eight in the courtoom, in addition to the attorneys.

The Court recessed at 11:05AM for a 15-minute break.

The Court should toss the case by Richland 2, because it was never authorized by the Board of Trustees. Read the Motion made by Trustee Manning. It does not mention filing a lawsuit. I wonder if the A.G. will ask for it to be dismissed.

But that didn't happen. Maybe getting the case tossed is something that was motioned before the hearing?


The Richland 2 case got started at about 11:20AM. Attorney Solomon kicked things off for Richland 2. He and Attorney Hutto split their 20 minutes. It was nap-time right after Hutto started. Was that his first show before the S.C. Supreme Court? Why in the world did Supt. Davis pick him?

It was interesting to observe the five S.C. Supreme Court justices. They had great questions.

And they gave me some great ideas for a possible upcoming case.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Will the real Teresa Holmes please stand up?

After finding that Holmes presents herself as "Commissioner" of the Richland 2 school board, I did a little further close reading. It didn't take long to uncover a startling fact!

Whoever wrote the profile published on the Richland 2 website described Holmes as a "widower". Seriously? I knew there was something "special" about Holmes (aside from her elevated sense of self-importance, I mean), but is she really a "widower"? Or should I write, is he a widower? 

Here's the profile from the Richland 2 website, as it appears today and perhaps as much, but not all, might have appeared since 2018. Did Holmes write it? Did one of the highly-paid P.R. staffers write it? Didn't Holmes proofread it? Did Holmes approve it? I've highlighted portions that jumped at me.

"Dr. Teresa Holmes began her first term on the Richland School District Two Board of Trustees in November 2018. She was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the board for the 2020–2021 school year.
"Dr. Holmes has over 30 years of experience in education as a teacher, counselor/director, coordinator, administrator, grant writer, adjunct professor and coach. She currently serves as an assistant administrator and guidance counselor at the Fairfield County School District Career and Technology Center. She earned a bachelor's degree in Special Education from Columbia College and a Master of Education in Secondary Counseling as an honor graduate from South Carolina State University. Dr. Holmes obtained an Education Specialist Degree (Ed.S.) and a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) from North Central University.
"She was appointed to the Richland/Lexington Special Needs and Disabilities            by former Governor Mark Sanford for six years and is a Women on the Move, Inc. Award recipient. A proud Spring Valley High School Viking, Dr. Holmes is the parent of two Richland Two graduates and widower of the late Rev. Dr. Jacob A. Holmes Jr. a former minister, educator and principal. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.  Dr. Holmes lives in Blythewood. She has completed Level 3 in the SCSBA Boardmanship Institute.

Why do I question "first" term? The assumption there is that she will have a second term. Factually, she has never even officially and legally started her term-of-office. She could do so easily; all it takes is the legal administration of the oath. 

Holmes retired from the Fairfield County School District earlier this month (August 2021). Upon her retirement the profile should have been updated. What was it the prompted her to retire just as the new school year was beginning in Fairfield County? 

One of the things I've wondered since March 2019 is how she left work so quickly and showed up at 1:00PM at the Richland County Sheriff's Department to report that I had been harassing her. (The deputy's report of her complaint was so full of lies that she should have been arrested for making false statements to police.) I had sent an email to the  full Board at 10:30AM, and by 1:45PM she was at 5623 Two Notch Road, 27 miles south of her workplace. How did she fulfill her employment duties that day?

How did she "obtain" her Ed.S. and Ed.D degrees? It's a strange word to use when describing attaining advanced degrees.

Wasn't it a Board to which then-Gov. Sanford appointed her?

And then there is that word "widower"? Who missed that and never corrected it?

Why is the word "former" used to describe her late-husband's occupations?

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Richand 2: Investigate "DrTeresa Holmes" on FB

Someone mentioned to me the Facebook page of Teresa Holmes, and so I took a look at it today.

The first thing I wondered about was the proud and erroneous line under Intro, in which Holmes identifies herself as a "School Board Commissioner" at Richland School District Two.

She is not a "School Board Commissioner". Richland 2 does not have any school board commissioners. 

It does have school board trustees, but she isn't even one of them - legitimately, that is. She will be, if she ever takes the oath-of-office, legally, before November 11, 2022.

Why would she ever label herself as "Commissioner"? Is that label more impressive than Trustee? Richland One has Commissioners; Richland Two does not.

What is "Assistant Administrator/Guidance/Adjunct Professor at Guidanc [sic] Counselor/Adjunct Professor"? Is that what a Spring Valley High School education gets you? Or a Ed.D from North Central University?

The school board should appoint an independent investigative committee to examine carefully Holmes' Facebook page and determine to what extent, if any, she is violating Board Policy by expounding on school board or school district matters. 

No single trustee can speak for the Board or the District. It is the Board (as a whole) that speaks for the Board and the District. Even as (acting) Chair, Holmes' cannot just expound on district matters without prior discussion and approval by the board. 

Of course, she won't ever have any trouble getting Team Holmes to vote for anything she wants. She will certainly vote for herself, although she should abstain from any vote about her. She can count on McKie and Caution-Parker to side with her, and probably Manning, McFadden and Scott (f/k/a Elkins). Holmes has been publicly disrespectful toward Agostini so many times that she can safely count on not getting her vote.

                           Click to enlarge, so that you can see "School Board Commissioner"

Friday, August 27, 2021

Ain't it the truth?

Many thanks for one of the followers of this blog, who sent this to me this morning. Need I say more?

ICYMI: Combine R2 and R1???

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI): 

On August 25th The State newspaper carried an article by reporter Chris Trainor, in which he reported (well down in the article) that Columbia City Council candidate Joe Taylor has suggested that Richland 2 and Richland 1 school districts be combined.

I can guess how well this will go over with Richland 2 parents and taxpayers, not to mention with school officials, staff and teachers! 

Who would ever be excited about dumbing down Richland 2 by diluting it with Richland 1? Taylor supposedly thinks that money could be saved and services could be streamlined. What could possibly be a duplication of services? 

The next dumb thing that will come down the pike will be to expand the city limits of Columbia to include all of Richland County.


Why THREE Deputies AND R2 Security?

At the August 24, 2021 school board meeting why were there THREE Richland County deputies AND a number of Richland 2 security officers?

What is the board worried about? What is the cost to taxpayers? Is it a show of intimidation?

The board obviously (well, maybe not) is paying attention to what is happening around the country with regard to masks and Critical Race Theory. Some school boards are finding hundreds of parents attending - actually paying attention to what the board is doing and demanding that the boards do otherwise.

At Richland Two? Were there even a dozen parents or community members at the August 24th board meeting?

At some past board meetings, two-three deputies have been stationed IN the meeting room. I think that started after three community members accosted a school board member in the lobby after a meeting and provoked her to respond angrily. I watched the video. One man jammed a cell phone (screen lighted, perhaps indicating it was recording) right in her face. Did he get charged with assaulting a public official? He should have been. But he wasn't. 

What does it cost Richland Two to have one deputy there for the meeting? $50/hour? $80/hour? For the evening - $400? And for three deputies? $1,200? More?

Out of an annual budget of $330,000,000, that's not a lot. But why?

The board has never discussed security of the board (or the public) during a public meeting. So the superintendent is the one who has ordered the deputies and authorized the expense. Did he ever discuss it with a board member? The board should address this in public and make a decision - in public. 

If Richland Two security officers can keep the peace long enough to dial 9-1-1 and request reinforcements from the sheriff's department, why are there any deputies there at all?

If a community member or parent has something to say to the board, she or he can say it. I don't ever remember a meeting where a speaker was out-of-control or abusive or profane. 

Of course, there was that one night when I tried to mention two topics during my three minutes. Amelia McKie was Chair then. That would have been after the November 6, 2018 general election. She was an illegitimate board member then and also illegitimate chair. When I began to mention my second topic about 30 seconds into my three minutes, she cut me off. 

When I objected, she insisted my time was up. Later I was told it was probably a good thing that I had stepped away from the microphone when I did, because a deputy was coming up behind me to remove me. When was that arranged? 

I'm glad the deputy was there to protect me from McKie. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Is this a motion?

When a school board member says, "I would like to make a motion that ...", is that a motion?

It is not. 

The board member is expressing her desire to make a motion. That doesn't not call for a Second. No action can be taken by the board on a member's expression of a desire for something. Are they going to vote on allowing the member to make a motion?

What should the Chair say? "Thank you. Will you make the motion?"

The board member should say: "I move that ...[announcing what he proposes in a wording intended to become the assembly's official statement of the action taken]." Robert's Rules of Order §4:4.

Far too much time is wasted by the Board when voting on student matters and district personnel matters. There are long lapses while the staffer types up the Motion. The Chair should tell the superintendent to place someone with high, accurate typing speed at the keyboard for typing motions.

This board desperately needs parliamentary training. And it needs an independent Parliamentarian. The Parliamentarian must be independent and not an employee. Correcting the Chair and the superintendent often would not be good for employment security.

Board Chair Wrong to Deny Agostini Request

Remember at the Special-Called board meeting of August 16 when Trustee Agostini asked for more information about Manning's motion to get legal advice about Proviso 1.108?

If you don't remember or missed it, listen to the recording of the August 16, 2021 meeting. Re-read my article about the rude manner in which Teresa Holmes shut down Mrs. Agostini. Holmes said they (the board) couldn't talk about what had been discussed in executive meeting.

I understand that Holmes didn't want to allow discussion, but she was wrong when she claimed that the board "could not" discuss it.

Robert's Rules of Order addresses this at §9:26 Rules Relating to the Secrecy of an Executive Session. This Section reads, in part, "The general rule is that anything that occurs in executive session may not be divulged to nonmembers (except any entitled to attend). However, action taken, as distinct from that which was said in debate, may be divulged to the extend - and only to the extent - necessary to carry it out. ... If the assembly wishes to further lift the secrecy of action taken in an executive session, it may adopt a motion to do so, which is a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted ..."

The superintendent must have been authorized in the Executive Session to file the lawsuit in the S.C. Supreme Court. There had to be discussion about moving ahead. I cannot imagine that the superintendent would have stuck his neck out so far and filed the lawsuit without the permission, approval and authorization of the board. And THAT is what should have been divulged when Mrs. Agostini asked for more information for the public.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Important News Article not on The State.com

Is it "convenient" that The State newspaper has not published its August 25th article about Richland Two's lawsuit on TheState.com and only (so far) in the print edition?

It's the article about opposition to Richland Two's lawsuit in the S.C. Supreme Court over masking. The article by John Monk was only considered important enough for Page 34 in Section 1. 

The article is about a response to the lawsuit by State Senator Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee) and State Representative (and House Speaker) Jay Lucas (R-Darlington).

Did you know the lawsuit was filed by Richland Two and a parent? Funny how Richland Two's announcements have not mentioned the parent. 

Remember Richland Two's lawsuit next time you get stopped for speeding. Just tell the trooper that your tax dollars pay for the highways and that speed limits are unconstitutional, so he can't give you a ticket. Let us know how that works out for you.

I also learned something good from Monk's article. He wrote, "Ordinarily, it can take years for the (South Carolina)  Supreme Court to hear appeals and issue opinions. But in matters of high public opinion, especially involving the interpretation of a state law, the court can take up a case directly.

This is reflected in the State law about usurping of public office. Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie might want to sit up and pay attention to this. The Justices of the S.C. Supreme Court might need to hear answers from them to only three questions to decide that they have been usurping public office since November 13, 2018.

SECTION 15-63-60. Action against usurpers, for forfeiture of office or against persons acting as corporation.

An action may be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the State upon his own information or upon the complaint of any private party or by a private party interested on leave granted by a circuit judge against the parties offending in the following cases:

(1) When any person shall usurp, intrude into, or unlawfully hold or exercise any public office, civil or military, or any franchise within this State or any office in a corporation, created by the authority of this State;

Regarding this State law 

SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file statement of economic interests.

(A) No public official, regardless of compensation, and no public member or public employee as designated in subsection (B) may take the oath of office or enter upon his official responsibilities unless he has filed a statement of economic interests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate supervisory office.

What are those questions?

Q 1. On what date did you take the oath of office? A. November 13, 2018

Q 2. On what date did you file your Statement of Economic Interests? A. December 4, 2018

Q 3. Had you filed your Statement of Economic Interests before you took the oath of office? A. No

Decision: You are guilty of usurping public office. You are hereby removed from office. You are fined $2,000. You shall pay back all monies received for school board member services and for expenses paid for your benefit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

What I Would Have Said

I intended to address the school board tonight. Manning created a new Policy on-the-spot to deny a speaker who wished to yield her three minutes to me.

The following are my prepared remarks for tonight's meeting.

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

My name is Gus Philpott.

At the August 16th Special-Called Board meeting, Trustee Manning made this motion: “I make a motion that the board authorizes the District to engage legal counsel to provide best option and legal strategy to address Appropriations Budget Proviso 1.108, including consulting with Richland County Council with regards [sic] to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students and employees." 

As worded, the Motion did not authorize the superintendent to begin legal action. It directed him to get legal advice. He should have brought the best option and legal strategy back to the board for consideration and action. Unless …..  UNLESS … there was a backroom deal in executive session, undisclosed to the public, that it was the board’s intention for the superintendent to proceed with a lawsuit.

Was there?

Is that what the Chair refused to talk about last Monday? Is that why the board chair stiff-armed Trustee Agostini when she asked for clarification? Had the board already given the superintendent the green light to trot off to court? State law forbids decisions in Executive Session.

Was either of the two personal-injury law firms that filed the case last Friday primed and ready to file? How did the superintendent learn the best option and legal strategy and confer with the Richland County Council so quickly? Did he engage the existing legal counsel for the District at all? He covered an amazing amount of ground in just three days.

Carl Solomon handles Wrongful Death, Tractor Trailer Collisions, Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Products Liability, and Medical Malpractice matters.

Skyler Hutto is a part-time public defender and his legal work includes Civil Litigation, Contract Disputes, Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Automobile Accidents, Traffic Violations, and General Litigation.

The website of neither firm contains any reference to experience, skill or expertise in handling school business.

How did a case get filed in the Supreme Court without Motion, Second, discussion and vote of this board – in public?

I urge you to direct Attorneys Solomon and Hutto to withdraw the filing. Explain to them that the superintendent was not authorized to engage them to file.

The board chair issued a public statement on Friday that was not completely truthful. The chair should be sanctioned by the board for violating Board Policy BBAA.

Replace McKie as organizer of inspirational moment

Did anyone at tonight's meeting have any hearing left after the inspiration moment?

First of all, Amelia McKie, dutifully wearing her mask, mumbled into her microphone in a soft voice that was not amplified adequately in the meeting room. She introduced someone, as students waited with band instruments to enter.

And enter they did. The first to enter carried cymbals. And then came drummers. How many? I counted them: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7. SEVEN. Oh-oh. 

Within a minute I decided not to risk what's left of my hearing and I walked out to the atrium. Even out there, it was LOUD. Apparently, I was the only one seriously concerned about hearing loss. Maybe everyone else was just too polite to walk out. How many sat there and thought, "I am going to lose my hearing!"

Why in the world would McKie ever invite a percussion group into a small board room? And it wasn't for just the inspirational "moment". It went on for 5-6 minutes.

I was in the atrium and thought about asking the two deputies to go in and rescue people!

McKie won't be replaced. She is a full-fledged member of Team Holmes and The Squad. And not even a legitimate board member.

R2 Board - ignorant of voting procedures

As I arrived tonight, a screenshot remained on display of the vote to enter executive session. Can you spot what's wrong?

The Richland 2 school board counts seven trustees, including the two trustees-elect who are illegitimately allowed to serve on the board.

Notice that there are only six names. Who's missing? Holmes. (Manning explained her absense when the regular session re-convened.)

Notice how the vote is recorded: 6 Yes; 0 No; 0 Abstain; 0 Not Present at Vote. Total = 6

That's six; not seven. How is the seventh board member accounted for? She is not. And she should be. 

Why isn't any board member paying attention? Why isn't the superintendent paying attention? Why isn't any staff member speaking up? (Well, the answer to that is obvious. Keeping silent is called Job Security.)

The correct vote is 6 Yes; 0 No; 0 Abstain; 1 Not Present at Vote.  Total = 7.

You Can't Make This (fill-in-the-blank) Up!

Tonight's public session of the Richland 2 school board meeting was due to re-convene at 6:30PM. I arrived at R2i2 about 5:50PM and the guard at the door asked politely if I would be speaking tonight and then directed me toward the sign-up table. After visiting briefly with the three RCSD deputies, I thanked them for being there to protect me from the board members. Then I headed over to the sign-up table.

The sign-up sheets had already been collected for the board, even though they were in executive session. The R2 staff person explained that sign-up time ended at 5:45PM. WHY SHOULD THE PUBLIC HAVE TO SIGN UP MORE THAN 45 MINUTES BEFORE THE START OF THE MEETING?

I was polite to the staff person. She's not the one who makes stupid rules. She apologized more than once that I couldn't sign up, and I finally suggested she didn't need to continue apologizing, It wasn't her fault.

I had looked at the district's homepage for the sign-up times. It seems to me the times used to be in the middle of the paragraph. When I didn't see them, I failed to read to the end. Then I learned that four people had arrived and had signed in, and I went to join them.

One of the women very kindly offered to yield her time to me. I didn't want to accept it, because she had planned to speak.

When the Public Participation portion began, that woman was the second speaker. She stated that she wished to yield her time to me.  (1:25:30)

Vice Chair Manning was running the meeting tonight, and I couldn't hear whatever flimsy excuse he made, but I could tell that it amounted to "No". 

NUMBER ONE - Having to arrive more than 45 minutes before the beginning of the meeting is flat stupid! Who is the idiot in the school district who came up with that plan? Did not anyone on the staff say, "Wait just a damned minute! Why should someone have to show up 50 minutes before the start of the meeting to sign up to speak?" Of course, all staff know they'd better not say anything about being helpful to the public! 

NUMBER TWO - Why shouldn't someone be able to yield their time? Manning just made up a new "Policy" on the spot.

NUMBER THREE - If six people sign up to speak, #6 is going to have to wait until the second Public Participation segment. That could be 2-2½ hours after the first segment. Why doesn't the board hear all public speakers for 30 minutes and give more consideration to the public???

The board meeting has concluded and now I'm able to play the recording and hear why Manning denied the second speaker's request to yield her time to me.

Listen to Manning's excuse to Speaker #2, as he denied her request to yield her time. (1:25:30) Manning said, "We're not allowing time to be transferred." The second speaker objected. Manning said, "That's the policy I'm putting in place. We're not doing that right now."

So where did Manning get the authority to create a new Policy on-the-spot? And why didn't any board member object and call "Point of Order". If I hadn't been the one who was waiting to speak, would Manning have allowed the speaker to yield her time? What would the board have lost by allowing that?

Manning was wrong to arbitrarily put a new policy is place. Did he infringe on my right to speak, since speaker #2 was yielding to me? Does this become a Constitutional issue?

Monday, August 23, 2021

Open Letter to the School Board re S.C.S.C. Lawsuit

The following has been sent by email to the five legal members of the Richland 2 School Board and the two trustees-elect.

Good morning, Board Members and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

Please review Mr. Manning's motion on Monday evening, August 16.

This was his motion:  "I make a motion that the board authorizes the District to engage legal counsel to provide best option and legal strategy to address Appropriations Budget Proviso 1.108, including consulting with Richland County Council with regards [sic] to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students and employees." 

When you voted last Monday night, did you intend for the superintendent to gather information (only) and bring it back to you?

Or did you know or expect that he would proceed with legal action - without further authorization of the Board?

Please amend the agenda for tomorrow night's meeting to include discussion and action to direct the attorney for the school district to withdraw the case from the S.C. Supreme Court.

Each of you has an individual and distinct fiduciary responsibility and obligation. You must cast aside friendships and carry out your duty.

The superintendent was wrong, and the acting board chair was not truthful in her public statement on behalf of the District Friday afternoon.

Holmes and McKie will be addressed as "trustees-elect" until they take the oath of office legally and become legitimate members of the school board. They have been usurping public office since November 13, 2018.


Gus Philpott

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Richland 2 Lies to the Public

Click on www.Richland2.org and read the bald-faced lie about Friday's filing in the South Carolina Supreme Court.

A screen-print of the beginning of the article on the homepage of the District's website is below. I suspect they will quickly change it, when they realize the public isn't buying it.

The lies start with the very first sentence of Teresa Holmes' attempt to sell the filing of the case in the S.C. Supreme Court to the public.

- No "great sense of urgency" was ever expressed at the August 16th Special-Called Board Meeting.

- The Board did not authorize anything to be "put into action".

- No "desire" of Richland 2 to seek legal relief was discussed or approved by the Board in public.

- "truly nothing more important" may be her opinion (only)

- Holmes is not even a legitimate leader in the District. While she was elected on November 6, 2018, she has never taken the oath of office legally. She should not be sitting on the board, and she should not be board chair.

- Holmes violated Board Policy BBAA Board Member Authority and Responsibilities. ¶2 "Board members acting as individuals have no authority over personnel or school affairs except when such authority is specifically delegated to a member by the board."

- Did the Board ever specify the Solomon Law Group or Williams and Williams for legal work?

- What kind of deal was made that they would provide services pro bono?

At the Regular Board Meeting on August 24, the Board should vote to withdraw the case from the S.C. Supreme Court, and the Board should censure Holmes and the superintendent.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Next School Board Election - Nov. 2022

The next Richland 2 school board election will be November 1, 2022. NOW is the time to start thinking about candidates.

Whose terms are up? Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning.

Whose terms run to November 2024? Agostini, Scott (Elkins), McFadden.

Imagine a school board without Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning. Imagine a school board of leaders. Leaders, LEADERS. With intellect. With wisdom. With business experience. With integrity.

Manning had done a pretty good job until recently. Now he seems to be rolling right along with The Squad.

Holmes and McKie aren't even legitimate members of the school board. They were elected on November 6, 2018 and became eligible to take the oath of office on December 4, 2018. They have never taken the oath after becoming eligible to take it. The S.C. Supreme Court should kick them out as usurpers and forbid their holding public office in the future.

McKie shouldn't hold office until she pays off her $57,000 debt to the S.C. Ethics Commission.

Today we are seeing the "Holmes' Rules of Order" for running the school board. Or perhaps Rules of Disorder. Last Monday night's (August 16, 2021) crass shutdown by Holmes of Agostini's legitimate question about informing the public about a legal opinion to be sought was a clear example of "Holmes' Rules".

Mrs. Agostini is strong. She can take the disrespect that Holmes' dishes out. And she is professional enough not to argue, although in many cases she should. No one else will stand up to Holmes when she is wrong. And Holmes is often wrong. That's Wrong, with a capital W.

With the current make-up of the board, Agostini will lose the argument every time. She knows that Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning will vote against her. Sometimes, Scott and McFadden will, too.

In November 2022 taxpayers should elect strong, independent-thinking, business-oriented, competent candidates to the next Board. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility, and the current majority on the board is acting too much like the Congress in Washington.

Fight in stands delays 1st game in new stadium

Last night's opening game in the new Ridge View High School football stadium was marred by up to three fights in the stands.

Richland 2 built a new multi-million dollar stadium and punks spoil it for all? What the heck?

Let's hope that Richland 2 is completely transparent about who was involved and who was responsible for the fights. Were they Ridge View students or Westwood? Prosecution should be demanded, and instigators and aggessors should be kicked out of school, if they are Richland 2 students. 

Let's have some clear pictures of the punks. How did those security camera work out? Did they capture everything and everybody?

If it happens again, the stadium should be closed and sit empty for a year.

The Trustees and the Administration need to put their feet down hard and say, "No more!!!"

And what's up with everybody running away? Why didn't those around swarm the miscreants and pound them to the ground and hold them for the deputies?

Who Will Challenge Supreme Court filing?

Who will challenge the case about Proviso 1.108 that has been filed in the S.C. Supreme Court on behalf of Richland 2?

The Board did not authorize that legal action. Who grabbed the ball and ran? Who will admit to the Board at the Regular Meeting on August 24 that he authorized the filing without Board approval?

Who searched diligently and found the law firms of Solomon Law Group and Williams and Williams? Did the attorney for the school board say, "Here are two personal-injury law firms who will do it for free?" 

Why would you give that type of legal work to law firms whose websites reflect no experience in school board matters? (There is a precedent for that.)

Which board members will be outraged on Tuesday night? 

Will Manning? Scott? McFadden? Agostini? Holmes? McKie? Caution-Parker?

I guess I ought to leave Holmes and McKie out of that question, since they are not legitimate board members.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Naming Suggestion for new football stadium

What should the new football stadium at Ridge View High School be called?

I almost hate to make a suggestion, because it is certain that the board will not accept it. But I'll make it, anyway. How about

                                RIDGE VIEW HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STADIUM

Can I get four votes from the board for that?

No need to devote staff time to developing an amendment to Board Policy FF.

No committee needed to choose one name to present to the board for an up-or-down vote.

No need for lobbying of board members.

No need to argument about which person to name the stadium after.

The request by Trustee Scott to amend Board Policy FF shouldn't be a secret. It wasn't discussed in executive session.

Why didn't any board member ask questions, before tasking the staff with coming up with an amendment? Since when does staff not need direction from the board to do something? Staff needs direction from the board (the majority of the board), not one board member.

Holmes is trying to act as board chair. Why didn't she ask for information before a vote was taken to add that item to the draft agenda for August 24th Regular Meeting? 

Which past meeting was it, when she stated her desire to become board chair? Since there was no question that "The Squad" would elect her, it's too bad she didn't think more about taking the oath of office legally and becoming a legitimate board member, so that she could be a legitimate board chair. It's also too bad that she didn't spend time learning how to conduct the officer position of board chair.

Update to S.C. Supreme Court filing

The Richland 2 School District updated this morning's announcement about trotting off to the State Supreme Court.


Following the announcement this morning regarding the legal action taken on behalf of Richland School District Two, Dr. Teresa Holmes, chair of the Richland Two Board of Trustees issued the following statement:


“With a great sense of urgency Richland Two put into action the desire of the Richland Two Board of Trustees to seek legal relief from Appropriations Budget Proviso 1.108 in order to protect our students and employees. There is truly nothing more important to the Board than the safety and welfare of those whom we are entrusted to serve as the elected leaders of our Premier school district. We are hopeful that the S.C. Supreme Court will provide us with the ability to fulfill our highest priority to our community.  Our district is extremely appreciative of the pro-bono services provided by The Solomon Law Group and Williams and Williams.” 

Teresa Holmes has no authority to issue such a statement, unless the board has approved it. Did they board hold another Special Meeting this week to authorize that statement. (Hint: the answer is No.) 

Holmes is one of seven members of the board. Being the (illegitimate) board chair does not make her Queen. She obviously did not write that statement. The statement would have been crafted and approved by the legal beagles for the District. A lot of heads were quite likely involved in getting each word just right.

How do I know this? I watched the executives and Legal Department of a Fortune 50 corporation try to get things right before publishing a statement. Many drafts went back and forth, before the CEO ever opened his mouth.

Last Monday evening there was no "great sense of urgency". The Board was just asleep at the switch; at least, during the public part of the meeting. What did they do in secret?

Did Holmes just violate the confidentiality of the Executive Session held on August 16, 2021? Remember when Trustee Agostini tried to find out more about the motion that Manning had made? Remember when Holmes said that they couldn't talk about what was discussed in executive session. And here she is - talking about it!!!

Out of what corner did The Solomon Law Group and Williams and Williams crawl? Have they ever done any work for Richland 2? 

When did the board authorize that legal work? (It didn't.) The Board authorized the District (i.e., the supt.) to gather information and to confer with the Richland County Council. How amazing that all that got done in three days.

Did the Board (or certain members thereof) violate Board Policy DBG Board/ Attorney/Legal Services? Hiring or retaining an attorney is a board decision, by majority vote.

Why did the District pick personal-injury lawyers for this work? Look at the websites:

Solomon Law Group: https://solomonlawsc.com/

Williams and Williams: https://williamsattys.com/

Usually, it's a good idea to go for expertise. Do they have it? The board is supposed to pick the lawyers, not the superintendent or the chair or even the attorney that handles most of the District's legal work. 

Can someone stop Teresa Holmes?

After the District issued a press release this morning that two law firms will represent it in filing a legal action with the S.C. Supreme Court, I reviewed the end of the August 16, 2021 Special-Called Board Meeting.

You will find it at www.livestream.com/richland2   Click on it, then choose the video in the right panel that indicates a length of 53:56. Then fast-forward past the blank (silent) portion to hear the confrontation between Lindsay Agostini and Teresa Holmes. 

The public portion of the meeting resumes at 48:08 and Trustee Manning made a motion, saying; "I make a motion that the board authorizes the District to engage legal counsel to provide best option and legal strategy to address appropriations Budget Proviso 1.108, including consulting with Richland County Council with regards [sic] to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students and employees." McKie seconded the motion.

Holmes "forgot" that Agostini wanted to rejoin the public portion of the meeting. I think she was having a Biden Moment. 

Keep in mind that Holmes is not a legitimate board member and is not the legitimate chair. Holmes has NEVER taken the oath of office legally! She is usurping public office, and no one is doing anything about it.

When the board was ready to discuss the Motion, Trustee McFadden brought up that Agostini had not yet rejoined the meeting. THANK YOU, LASHONDA!!! (Of course, long-time board members Caution-Parker, Manning, Scott or McKie could have been awake enough to alert Holmes; even Supt. Davis should have been on top of that - he is there to keep her chair on the rails.)

Agostini rejoined the meetng and asked what the legal advice was that the board was seeking from the attorney for the district. That attorney is Kathryn Mahoney.

In a tone designed to shut down discussion (listen at 51:00), Holmes repeatedly said that "that" was discussed in executive session and she could not tell the public. Listen for yourself to the tone of voice used byHolmes toward Agostini.

Holmes was flat-out wrong. Certainly, the scope of legal advice being sought, and even the expense (number of hours of legal time authorized), could have been discussed. That's what Agostini was asking to be disclosed to the public.

Agostini is THE ONLY board member sticking up for the public. Why didn't any of the others support her?

And then Holmes says, "Do we need to re-vote?" They hadn't voted! Where is her brain? How is it that Holmes cannot even keep track of the simple process of Motion, Second, Discuss, Vote?

The vote was 6-0 on the motion.

Two unknown law firm are named in the press release. Who picked the law firms of Solomon Law Group and Williams and Williams? How did they come out of the woodwork for Richland 2 business? Did Attorney Mahoney recommend them? How did they get to work so quickly and file today in the S.C.Supreme Court. And who consulted with the Richland County Council?

The board is supposed to choose where legal work goes. The board is supposed to authorize legal action.

And you've gotta love the last line in the press release: "The Solomon Law Group and Williams and Williams are assisting Richland Two with this life-saving legal action pro-bono." [emphasis added]

Of course, the two law firms are NOT "assisting" Richland Two. They are "representing" Richland Two. Why would they do that pro bono?

Did the Board Authorize This?

At the Special-Called Board meeting on August 16, the Board voted to have the attorney for the school district look into Proviso 1.108. I did not hear them vote to join any legal action being stirred up. Did you?

Who decided to do this? The superintendent? The board chair? Read it carefully. Contact your board members now!!!

In an email to Media just now, this came:


August 20, 2021




COLUMBIA, S.C. — On August 20, 2021, Carl L. Solomon, Esq., with the Solomon Law Group, and Skyler B. Hutto, Esq., with Williams & Williams, Attorneys at Law, filed a Petition for Original Jurisdiction, Expedited Disposition, and Emergency Declaration, and Motion for a Temporary Injunction with the South Carolina Supreme Court regarding Appropriations Budget Proviso 1.108 (SDE: Mask Mandate Prohibition) on behalf of Richland School District Two.


The motion requests the South Carolina Supreme Court to issue a temporary injunction to Respondents named in the motion directing them not to enforce the challenged portions of the Appropriations Act of 2021-22 until a final order is issued concerning the constitutionality of the mask mandate prohibition.


Richland Two leaders pursued this action following a special called board meeting on Monday, August 16, 2021, during which the Richland Two Board of Trustees authorized the district to engage legal counsel to provide the best option and legal strategy to address Appropriations Budget Proviso 1.108 with regard to protecting the health, safety and well-being of the district’s students and employees.


Dr. Baron R. Davis, superintendent, said, “We are hopeful that the S.C. Supreme Court will grant our request for declaratory and injunctive relief, enabling our district to fulfill our most important obligation to our families — providing a safe and healthy learning environment for all students. The Richland School District Two Board of Trustees, Superintendent and district leaders remain steadfast in our commitment to doing all we can to keep our students and employees safe and our schools open so that our students can receive the highest quality education from face-to-face instruction. We believe masks keep our students and employees safe by reducing the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and S.C. DHEC continue to identify this as a critical strategy in preventing the spread of COVID-19.


The Solomon Law Group and Williams and Williams are assisting Richland Two with this life-saving legal action pro-bono.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Lunch period at Blythewood H.S.

Posted on NextDoor.com by a parent of a Blythewood High School student:

"First day of school miserable.
It’s unacceptable that my kids and other kids juniors in high school sat on the floor during lunch in a hallway because they didn’t have room in the cafeteria and then the food was cold... I have to find a better way... my kids are miserable at school smh.. this can not be good for their mental health :( "

How does something like this happen in the Richland 2 School District?

Other comments on NextDoor.com:

"My daughter said she’s having the same issue at Ridge View"

"Really? I heard about the crowded classes, but I figured since a lot of teachers are leaving the profession"

Parents: any similar stories?

Richland 2 - Same Problem as Loudoun County?

Check out this story about a Loudoun County (Va.) School Board member Beth Barts. There is a vicious fight going on between the school board and parents who oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT).

That crisis needs to come to Richland 2. 

The article is about comments allegedly posted by Barts to a social media group and then deleted when an investigation began.

But here's the part that brings Richland 2 school board to mind. Toward the end of the story is this sentence:

He (Ian Prior) pointed to a Virginia law that makes it illegal for a public official to “destroy any record… in his keeping and belonging to his office” under punishment of being “forever incapable of holding any office of honor, profit or trust under the Constitution of Virginia.”

Two members of the Richland 2 school board (actually one member and one usurper) use email addresses that are off the school district's server. Teresa Holmes (illegitimate board president) continues to use "docholmesschoolboard2@gmail.com" for her email address, and Trustee Monica (formerly, Elkins) Scott uses "puttingstudentsfirst2012@gmail.com"

Each should be required to use only a District email address for all official email communications. Why?

One of these days both Holmes and Scott will be former school board members. At that time, or even sooner, either could delete her gmail account or any message in it. It is under her control, not the school district's.

Why is this important? Official school district-related emails are to be a permanent record. They are subject to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. This means that, at any time - now or in the future - they might be needed for the District to respond to a FOIA Request.

If Holmes or Scott deleted her account or decided to delete certain messages in that account, the District would be unable to respond honestly to a request for public information.

I've raised this issue with the Board previously. The first time I raised it, I learned that the District may be relying on advice from the South Carolina School Boards Association that a school board member can use a private email account. Supposedly, that allowance was made for the smallest school districts in the state that couldn't afford their own email server. That certainly doesn't apply to Richland 2, which is one of wealthiest districts in the State.

Thereafter, my request fell on deaf ears. 

I shall request the Board once again to create a new Board Policy that requires all current and future board members to use only a District-based email account for all official communications. Will you join me by contacting board members and supporting this very simple request?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Former VP Pence on Biden and Afghanistan

Every high school student, college student, young adult and adult should read this Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, published August 17, 2021.

Former Vice-President Mike Pence hits the nail on the head.

Read it here or copy/paste this link: 

This is what America got, when it elected Joe Biden as President.

Charleston SC Masks-in-Schools Hits National News

Check out this FoxNews article about the uproar in Charleston yesterday, when parents unloaded on the Charleston City Council about a mask mandate for schools.

Key words in the FoxNews article: "...all children over the age of 2 to wear masks at all public facilities, 'including public schools, private schools and daycares.'" 

Parents demand a say in issues that affect their children. Do you?

The YouTube video of the 8/17/2021 City Council meeting is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcXh3XepoWs  The meeting appears to have been 5 hours 32 minutes in length! Whew!!!

The City Council also declined to accept a 500+-page report from the city’s Special Commission on Equity, Inclusion and Racial Conciliation. 

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/us/charleston-city-council-meeting-on-school-mask-mandates-gets-heated

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

On Your Toes, Folks - What's Up with "Naming"

There's something up someone's sleeve for the August 24th Regular Board Meeting. Start paying attention now.

At the August 10th Regular Meeting the draft agenda was proposed. At 1:56:20 in the recording of the second (Length, 2:15:50) of the three recordings of the meeting, the superintendent read the draft agenda. The draft agenda is normally developed by the board chair and the superintendent at the end of the week preceding a meeting. What he read was what should have been agreed to at that planning meeting. 

The board chair then (1:57:59) stumbled over her words, trying to ask for a motion to approve the draft agenda. At that point the superintendent interrupted. He asked the board to consider adding to the draft agenda a review of Board Policy FF Naming New Facilities. The superintendent had had a discussion with Trustee Scott who had a suggestion, and he said her suggestion required a discussion.

That constitutes a change in the process. Trustee Scott should have proposed her suggestion for consideration by the chair and the superintendent when the two of them were creating the agenda for the August 24th Regular Meeting.

Otherwise, during Discussion after the Motion, Trustee Scott should have made a motion to amend the draft agenda. If her motion was seconded (although Robert's Rules of Order §49:21, 2)) says no second is necessary), there would have been discussion and she could have explained what was up her sleeve.

After the superintendent spoke, a Motion was still on the floor. However, Holmes ignored the motion that had been made and then asked for a motion to approve the draft agenda with the addition offered by the superintendent. He does not have the authority to make such an addition unilaterally.

McKie jumped right in line to move it forward, with the addition of "Dr. Davis' suggestion." It wasn't his suggestion; it was Trustee Scott's suggestion, offered by the superintendent. Trustee Caution-Parker, a faithful member of Team Holmes, seconded it.

There was no discussion, and the draft agenda, as amended, was approved 6-1.

Why didn't any board member ask Trustee Scott what was on her mind? Is there a new facility coming that will need a name? What is it? Since staff will have to know more information, so that it can come up with the wording of a proposed change to Board Policy FF before August 24, it would be nice for the public to know, too.

Read Board Policy FF Naming New Facilities. Somehow, I doubt the District will build a new mediations center and want to name it Philpott Arbitration and Mediation Center.

Blank Check to R2 attorney? Proviso 1.108

Last night the school board decided (6-1) to toss a problem in the lap of the attorney for the District, rather than making the decision they are elected to make.

The S.C. Dept. of Education issued Proviso 1.108. Richland 2 apparently doens't like it.

Trustee Agostini was correct last night to ask, when it was time for the board to vote on the executive session topic, just what the board was asking the attorney for. The board should have disclosed more to the public. It could have, but Teresa Holmes shut down Mrs. Agostini.

Holmes was wrong. More information could have been disclosed to the public about the nature of the request to the attorney. Just what is it that the board wants to know.

Perhaps Agostini should have made a Motion to more information, rather than asking a question. Then her motion would have needed action. Her motion would not have needed a second (Robert's Rules of Order §49:21, 2)) in order to move to Discussion.

Unfortunately, the board is composed of too many followers and too few free-thinking, independent members). They should be more curious about what is Right, instead of just going along with the crowd.

My guess is that the board doesn't like Proviso 1.108 and wants to oppose it. What is Proviso 1.108? Passed in June by the S.C. legislature, in summary it is: "No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities."

How much will the District spend to get the opinion from the attorney? Did they just write a blank check? Should the board have put a cap on legal fees, such as $10,000? 

Monday, August 16, 2021

R2 School Board - 2 Vacant Seats for 2¾ Years

 The Richland 2 School Board has had two vacant seats for 2¾ years - since November 13, 2018. 

Why hasn't the Board declared the vacancies and notified the Richland County Elections Commission to hold a Special Election to fill the seats? Are Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru lurking there on the board?

At each board meeting you'll see all seven board seats filled, but two of the seats are filled by women who shouldn't be sitting in them. Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes.

Why shouldn't they be sitting in them? Because they have never taken the oath of office - legally.

They took an oath on November 13, 2018, but that was before they were eligible to do so. That oath has no legal significance. They were qualified to take it (because they had been elected), but they were not eligible to take it. The oath documents were notarized and sent to the S.C. Secretary of State. 

Those forms were worthless. Should District 2 notify the S.C. Secretary of State that those notarized forms are worthless and that they should not have been filed?

Should the District admit its error and call for a Special Election? Or should it now administer the oath of office to Holmes and McKie and finally seat them legally?

On December 4, 2018 Holmes and McKie filed their Statements of Economic Interests (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission. On December 4 they first became eligible to take the oath. They have never done so.

S.C. Code of Laws 8-13-1110 reads, in part: (A) No public official, regardless of compensation, and no public member or public employee as designated in subsection (B) may take the oath of office or enter upon his official responsibilities unless he has filed a statement of economic interests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate supervisory office.

Somebody with a Ph.D. ought to be able to understand that. Somebody with a high school education ought to be able to understand that. Heck, a third-grader could understand it.

1. You file your SEI.

2. Then you take the oath of office.

3. Then you begin your official responsibilies.

The order is 1-2-3. You can't just decide that you'll revise the order to 3-1-2 and then not do (2).

Since Holmes and McKie have neve taken the oath of office legally, they are not legal members of the board. They shouldn't be sitting there. They shouldn't attend executive sessions. They shouldn't vote. And they certainly should not be officers of the board. Also, they shouldn't get paid or receive financial benefits such as memberships and payments or reimbursements for classes, workshops, lodging, meals, travel.

They are usurping public office.

They should be removed from the board and they should be ineligible for re-election in 2022. And they should have to re-pay their salaries and the monies expended by the District for benefits.

They could have cured this problem when I addressed the School Board in March 2019. Now that they are eligible to take the oath (having filed their SEIs), all they need to do is take it.

But then the District will have to go back to November 13, 2018 and correct all the votes by the Board. Many decisions were affected by the illegitimate votes of Holmes and McKie. How many students were transferred or expelled by the votes of Holmes and McKie? McKie cannot serve as Regional Director of the S.C. School Boards Assn., because she is not a school board member.

Doesn't anyone else care?

Holmes Continues to Disrespect Agostini

What could possibly go wrong in a short Special-Called Board Meeting? You probably won't want to waste you time listening to the two recorded segments, so here it is.

It would probably be inappropriate for some board members to slap Teresa Holmes upside the head, but she needs it. Holmes disrespected Trustee Agostini at the August 10th Regular Meeting, and she did it again tonight.

The Board should spend money to hire Attorney Helen McFadden, who is an expert on Robert's Rules of Order, Open Meetings and FOIA. Holmes just does not know how to run a meeting and especially does not know how to conduct a meeting without disregarding or disrespecting Lindsay Agostini.

Agostini attended today's Special-Called Meeting by telephone, as she was driving from Chicago to Columbia. During the portion of the meeting preceding the executive session, she mentioned that she would not listen in on the executive session and specifically asked to be notified when the board re-convened in the public session. It was crystal-clear that she would miss only a portion of the meeting.

When the Board re-convened, Holmes proceeded with business, allowing Manning to make a Motion and it to be seconded. Trustee McFadden interrupted (49:30) and raised the point that Mrs. Agostini wanted to be called and notified of the public session. A staffer had apparently been working on re-establishing the phone connection in the meeting.

Once Mrs. Agostini was back in the meeting (via telephone), Holmes stumbled around and indicated that she had thought Mrs. Agostini had left the meeting permanently. It was clear that Holmes had not been paying attention to Mrs. Agostini's request to re-join the meeting. Holmes said she "forgot" that Mrs. Agostini wanted to be included after the executive session.

Holmes will never say that she "conveniently" forgot. I'll say it for her. Holmes' animosity toward Mrs. Agostini is clear, and displaying it is a violation of Board Policy BC Board Member Conduct. 

If you want to watch tonight's meeting, there are two recordings. Go to www.livestream.com/Richland2. See the two videos on the right-hand panel.

The beginning of the meeting is the recording that shows a length of 26:43. Fast-foward to 09:39 for the start of the meeting. Mrs. Agostini's request to be contacted is at 25:35. Holmes said she would be sure that Ms. Agostini "got that information". (This shows she wasn't listening to Mrs. Agostini's request.)

The second portion of the meeting (after the executive session) shows a length of 53:46. Fast-foward to 48:00 for the resumption of the meeting. 

Mrs. Agostini asked for information about the motion, and Holmes said it was discussed in executive session and they "can't discuss" it. HOLMES IS WRONG. The Board could have discussed how they want to go against Proviso 1.108 and do what they want to do, and not what the S.C. Dept. of Education says they are going to do. The Board is looking for a loophole in Proviso 1.108 and is going to pay the attorney to find it. 

The board voted 6-1 to throw money at the attorney for the District. Agostini voted No. 

Saturday, August 14, 2021

To mask or not to mask - Special Board Meeting on Monday, 4:00PM

Just before 6:00PM today Richland 2 School District announced to media that the school board will hold a Special-Called Meeting on Monday, August 16, 2021 at 4:00PM. The meeting will be held at R2i2 and is open to the public, with social distancing requirement and masks "suggested", but not required. The Special-Called Meeting will also be broadcast on Zoom. After a Health and Safety Report, the board will head into executive session.

Because it is a Special-Called Meeting, there will be no Public Participation. So you are welcome to show up. But sit down and shut up.

On July 6, 2021 State Supt. of Education Molly Spearman issued this Memo about Proviso 1.108 to all school superintendents.

The Memo would have reached Richland 2 on July 6. The Board just met on August 10. What's the rush to meet again? I'm reminded of the well-known line in the movie, Cool Hand Luke. "What we have here is a failure to communicate." Perhaps the August 10th meeting should have been organized differently by the board chair (usurper) Teresa Holmes and the superintendent.

"RE: Proviso 1.108 Guidance and Face Coverings on School Buses Update The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance related to Proviso 1.108 (SDE: Mask Mandate Prohibition) and update the face coverings on school buses requirement. Proviso 1.108 was adopted by the General Assembly in the 2021-22 Appropriations Bill and reads as follows: 

"1.108. (SDE: Mask Mandate Prohibition): No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities. This prohibition extends to the announcement or enforcement of any such policy. 

"The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) interprets the above language to mean that school districts are prohibited from requiring students and employees to wear a facemask while in any of its educational facilities for the 2021-22 school year. Educational facilities include all property owned and operated by the individual district. 

"The SCDE has previously enforced the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s January 29, 2021, order that requires the use of face coverings by people on public transportation conveyances and hubs, which includes school buses. Effective immediately, the SCDE will exercise its enforcement discretion granted within this order and will no longer enforce the face covering requirement on state owned school buses. The use of face coverings by students and staff on school buses and within school facilities remains a recommendation of state and federal public health officials and Proviso 1.108 does not prevent districts from encouraging the wearing of face coverings in these settings. 

"However, districts may not create or enforce any policy, which would require the wearing of face coverings. Should a district decide to act contrary to this law, state funding may be withheld. 

"Please contact Katie Nilges at knilges@ed.sc.gov with any questions."

Richland 2 - proud of McKie?

Richland 2 trustee-elect Amelia McKie made the news today.

In a Post and Courier article published late this afternoon, McKie is mentioned for - wait for it - her $57,000 debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

Great way to get news; right? Richland 2 School District should be so proud. Her friends on the board should be proud, too. Even her fellow trustee-elect, Teresa Holmes, should be proud of McKie.

Why aren't some of McKie's proud friends harping on her to PAY HER DEBT?

Ask them. Ask Holmes, Caution-Parker, McFadden, Manning and Scott (Elkins)

Reporter Avery Wilks spread the fame around quite a bit. He didn't just pick on McKie.

EDIT: This is the lead story on Sunday, August 15.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Open Letter to R2 School Board

The following letter is being emailed to the five legal trustees of the Richland 2 school board and the two trustees-elect who are usurping public office by acting like board members. A copy is being sent to the attorney for the District and to an attorney who has previously provided FOIA and Robert's Rules of Order training to the board.

Members of the Board (and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie),

Last night's board meeting opener was memorable, and not in a good way.

When Mrs. Agostini asked for her Nay vote to be counted in the vote to approve going into executive session, Holmes replied, "I don't need to ask. I'm conducting this meeting, Ms. Agostini, and I'll conduct it how I see fit." 

Wow! If this portends the manner in which future meetings will be conducted, I urge you to purchase your own copy of Robert's Rules of Order and to hire Attorney Helen McFadden to return and conduct a thorough training in the correct way to run a meeting, including Open Meetings and FOIA. The District should hire an independent parliamentarian (not an employee, who would be subject to termination for going against the chair or the superintendent). I urge you to confer with your personal legal counsel to determine the extent of personal liability you have, should you not object to abuse of procedures.

The "Holmes Way", the "I'm the Queen and I say so", is not the right way to run a meeting. Please review Board policy about respecting one another. 

Robert's Rules of Order §4:35, reads, in part: "The chair must always call for the negative vote, no matter how nearly unanimous the affirmative vote may appear ...if any member objects, the chair must call for the negative vote."

Board Policy BC Board Member Conduct states, in part, "Work harmoniously with other board members without trying either to dominate the board or neglect one's share of the work." Did Holmes violate that policy last night? What are the consequences for violating a board policy?

Holmes owes Mrs. Agostini an honest, sincere and public apology.

Later Holmes was incorrect when she advised parents with questions about masks to contact the Ombudsman or a board member. The correct answer is to contact District Administration. 

Is there even still an ombudsman? I emailed her on July 10, 2021 and have not received an acknowledgement or reply.

Holmes is not even a legitimate member of the board, and she was not eligible to be nominated to the position of board Chair. McKie is similarly not a legitimate board member or legitimate board Secretary. Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie have never taken the oath of office (legally). The oath that was administered on November 13, 2018, has no meaning whatsoever, because neither was eligible to take the oath on that date. And they have not taken the oath legally since becoming eligible on December 4, 2018.

The District filed fraudulent, notarized oath of office documents with the South Carolina Secretary of State. Holmes and McKie are usurping public office, and Holmes and McKie should be prevented from taking seats at the board. The five legal members of the board can act.

As a resident in Richland 2, I ask each of you to step forward and insist on a correction to this most serious problem.


Gus Philpott