On October 3, 2021 at 6:00AM The State published a Letter to the Editor by Terrence Cummings and included a photo of the Richland 2 Superintendent in front of R2i2. The State's headline was "School board trustees who walked out sent wrong problem-solving message to students".
Mr. Cummings' letter read:
"WALKOUTS NOT THE ANSWER
"The implication of The State’s editorial about Richland School District Two is that walkouts are appropriate means for objections or problem-solving. The menacing question is: “Will future dissents result in walkouts?”
"What is more important is that our students and our children, for whose education and character we are responsible, deserve better examples and more mature methods of proffering advice and addressing a grievance than through the unseemly and untoward behavior we witnessed from the three members who walked out, which only delayed an approved contract that had already been vetted legally, as your editorial attests."
YahooNews picked up that letter and photo and published it today: https://news.yahoo.com/school-board-trustees-walked-sent-100000475.html?soc_src=social-sh&soc_trk=ma
I presume that the headline was written by staff of The State. Using that photo would lead a reader to believe that the headline reflected the position of the superintendent and the District.
Mr. Cummings' opinion is just that. It happens to be wrong, but he is entitled to issue his opinion.
The three trustees walked out because Administration and the vice-chair did not provide them in a timely manner with the full details necessary to voting on the superintendent's proposed revised contract, and the Administration and vice-chair did not provide information earlier than the three days required by Board Policy. In other words, three of the trustees were expected to make a decision on information they had not had adequate time to consider.
At least two of the trustees requested a delay in the consideration of the agenda item. When it was obvious that extra time would not be granted, the three walked out. That halted the meeting, because a quorum was no longer present.
Mr. Cummings conveniently omitted facts from his opinion letter.
Since the board (majority) intended to approve the superintendent's enhanced contract retroactively, a delay of two weeks in approval would have made no differently whatsoever. If the chair had been in control of the meeting, the superintendent's contract decision could have been postponed, and the rest of the board's business could have been conducted.