Wednesday, October 13, 2021

"She's a Bully"

After I left last night's school board meeting at R2i2 and after I had left the property entirely, I had a conversation with a person who had watched the meeting on Livestream. It was only the second Richland 2 meeting that this person had watched. The first was the September 14th meeting - the "walk-out" meeting.

What was this person's reaction to Teresa Holmes? Without prompting or hesitation, the person said, "She's a bully." 

Watch the meeting. Go to  Select the October 12, 2021 meeting. Fast-forward past the executive session. The meeting re-convenes at 1:15:45 on the recording..

Public Participation starts at 1:22:34, and Holmes reads the rules of the road for the public. Briefly, they are: 

- each person gets three minutes
- meetings are streamed live and recorded
- speakers must refrain from using inappropriate language
- don't engage in any form of personal absue or attack
- must not refer to any student or employee by name
- questions "aksed" (asked) will be referred to staff and may be answered at a later time
- members of the public may address the board on any subject within (emphasized) board authority

(1:23:16) The first speaker played a recording of a conversation with his 7-year-old daughter about masks. Holmes tells him not to think she is rude, but "they say I'm a little abrupt sometimes", and indicates she signal him when he is close to the three-minute mark. That remark was totally unnecessary because the speaker can clearly see a time-remaining digital clock on the projection screen at the front of the room.

(1:26:27) The second speaker is Jeff Phillipy (spelling?). He pointed out numbers and flaws in studies, because there were no control groups. Jeff quoted information from numerous studies regarding masks. Listen to his remarks.

(1:29:51) Gary Ginn was the third speaker. He spoke on his Constitutional right to wear a mask or not wear a mask. His son at Blythewood High School sat in a conference room for two days and got nine zeroes from his teachers for not being in class! Is that "education"? Gary said, "I know you're smiling, Miss Holmes". And for that Gary was gaveled into submission. "YOU WILL NOT CALL NAMES," Holmes told him. 

Now that is really stretching the rule not to refer to any student or employee by name - one of the rules Holmes had read. He was addressing her, not referring to her. This was an early indication of the coming meltdown on the part of Holmes. She really likes that gavel. When Gary's time expired, it was a good thing he didn't have his fingers on her desk.

(1:33:34) Mary Livermore was the fourth speaker. She has two children and had pulled both of them out of Richland Two, for different reasons. The middle school for which her son was headed was all-technology based and had NO books.

(1:37:36) Then Renee Lucido spoke and expressed concern about the teaching of Critical Race Theory being taught in Richland 2 schools. She described what CRT causes, ending with societal destruction. Many in the audience applauded Renee's promise to the board to fight to keep Marxist ideology out of our schools.

(1:40:57) Katie Lakvold was the next speaker. She expressed disappointment at the lack of responses to her emails from most of the board. When Katie mentioned that the chairman had not responded, Holmes quickly interrupted with "We don't do that." None of her five phone calls to the superintendent's office was returned. Katie mentioned that children (students) are terrified of getting sick from something that has a 98-99% survival rate. 

(1:43:20) I know you've been waiting for the FIREWORKS. Here they come. The next speaker was Gus Philpott. Within seconds Holmes attempted to gavel me into silence as I summarized (without naming her) words in her Sept. 15th email to me and her comment on Sept. 16th in The Voice newspaper. At that point Trustee Agostini asked for recognition. Holmes ignored her. Holmes demanded that I speak only about something over which the board has jurisdiction. (I was getting to that, but she kept interrupting me.)

Dr. Scott asked twice for recognition. Holmes told her, "Just a minute. I'm talking." Dr. Scott asked again for recognition. Holmes told her she was out-of-order. Dr. Scott continued to ask for recognition. Holmes, angrily, banged the gavel and told Dr. Scott that she was out-of-order, adding "Please respect."

Dr. Scott was absolutely IN ORDER. Holmes doesn't know what Order is. Dr. Scott got in "He's not calling any names", as Holmes continued to bang the gavel. 

I think it was Mrs. Agostini that then called a Point-of-Order. Holmes said, "I did not acknowledge your point-of-order." 

Holmes tried to cut me off, and it sounded like she summoned Security, but she was not the only one talking. It sounded like Mrs. Agostini who said, "I think our board chair is out-of-order." When Holmes summoned Security, you can hear the audible gasp from the audience.

As I stepped away from the podium, Will Anderson approached and politely asked me if I'd step outside with him. We had a nice conversation in the hallway. He wanted things to calm down, and I told him he had asked the wrong person to step outside.

I missed the beginning of Larry Smalls' remarks, but you'll want to hear them. They begin at (1:48:25)

Be sure to watch Holmes' "handling" of me. Having watched the recording this morning, I agree with the person who told me last night that "She's a bully."

In the next article I'll address what Robert's Rules of Order has to say about Point-of-Order, right after I send an email to the full Board.

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