Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Board time-waste on class action lawsuit

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. 

April 27 Board Meeting - whew....

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.