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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions."