Sunday, October 3, 2021

Open Letter to the Editor of The State

Good evening, Mr. Tolley,

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:


"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:

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.


Gus Philpott

Inappropriate Messages from Holmes? Anyone?

Has anyone else received what you considered an unprofessional, inappropriate, rude or offensive reply from Teresa Holmes, a trustee-elect of the Richland Two school board who has never taken the oath of office legally?

At the September 28th board meeting I read an email to the board that she sent to me after I had written to the District's public relations director and suggested that Holmes' board member bio should be updated.

In case you missed my previous article about it or the public participation segment of that board meeting, here is what Holmes wrote to me on September 15, 2021 at 10:57PM:

"Gus, I have often tolerated you hateful remarks and email. However, this time you have gone too far.  I lost my husband Rev. Dr. Jacob A. Holmes Jr. 4 years ago which, I know you are fully aware of.  I will no longer tolerate nor concern myself with your continuous diatribe of falsehoods and insults.  After this message you are officially blocked from any further contact   with me.  Go spout your hate on those who care  about you and what your deceitful lying  mouth has to say.....Do not contact  me again or include me in your racist, hateful. lying  remarks or emails.  It is sad that someone of your advanced age is not concerned about your mortality and relationship with God.  I will pray that God will forgive your outright evilness and have mercy for your pitiful soul.  It has to be hard working on being so evil.  
Dr. Teresa Holmes 

Holmes has also threatened to sue me three times, because I continue to complain that she has never taken the oath of office legally and, therefore, is not a legitimate member of the school board and cannot serve as an officer of the board.

I myself find her message unprofessional and offensive. It may even border on defamatory and libelous, considering use of the hashtag. A person representing a public body (non-religious school board) should refrain from invoking religion in a message to a school district constituent. 

I had no knowledge of her marital status or of her being a widow (not a widower). She is wrong to accuse me of being "fully aware" of that. 

If you have received any inappropriate message(s) from Teresa Holmes, please post a comment below or send a direct message to me at  I shall not disclose your name and/or the content of any direct email to me without your express consent.ft