Thursday, October 28, 2021

R 2 - No complaint procedure re Board member?

Would it surprise you to learn that there is no formal complaint procedure if you have a gripe against a board member of the Richland 2 School Board?

Probably not.

On October 13 I emailed the superintendent to ask what the formal procedure is for filing a complaint against a board member. I wished to file a complaint and have it heard in-person by the board. This was my request:

"Good afternoon, Supt. Davis,

"I am writing to request the District's formal procedure for filing a complaint against a school board member. I desire that the full board hear my complaint in person and determine what action(s) including, but not limited to, sanctions, reprimand, discipline, removal, request for resignation, should be taken against the member.

"Will you please provide me with the form or forms, along with instructions, to initiate this complaint?"

When I had received no acknowledgement or reply by October 26, I emailed the board chair and sent cc's to all the other board members, the superintendent and the General Counsel.

On October 27th the General Counsel replied on behalf of the superintendent and answered my October 13th email.

Now, there were several possibilities:

1. When the superintendent received my email on October 13, he put it in the "Ignore This" file.

2. On October 13 the superintendent forwarded that email to the General Counsel and asked her to reply for him, and she didn't do so.

3. Upon receipt of my October 26 the superintendent told the General Counsel to reply to me.

4. On October 26 the General Counsel asked the superintendent whether she should reply for him.

There may be other possibilities.

The General Counsel's reply was 

"Dr. Davis is in receipt of your email dated October 13, 2021, and has referred it to me for a response. You request [sic] Richland School District Two's formal procedure for filing a complaint against a school board member. Please be advised that the district does not have a procedure responsive to your request."

I've dealt with attorneys for years, and I don't mind terse replies.

However, I would have appreciated being informed of procedures, if any, that were not "formal". There is, of course, always the recourse of submitting a FOIA request for any complaint procedure or filing legal action. Presumably, the District would like to avoid the expense and embarrassment of finding themselves on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

The reply from the General Counsel was not a dead end, no matter how much she might hope so.

School board president: "F--- you"

This FoxNews article reports that Los Alamos, California school board president Marlys Davidson was caught on an open microphone uttering a profanity toward a female parent who had spoken out at a school board meeting. This happened on Tuesday, October 26.

According to the article, parents were applauding the remarks of the speaker, when Davidson ssid, "F--- you." Her words were picked up by the microphone. Davidson realized her error and apologized.

That's not what happened here in Richland County, S.C. on Tuesday, October 12, outside R2i2. As trustee-elect Holmes and trustee Caution-Parker were leaving the building and crossing the courtyard toward the parking lot, that same expression was heard. One of the observers questioned Caution-Parker about it as she walked away.

Caution-Parker was being escorted by a deputy of the Richland County Sheriff's Department. I emailed Sheriff Lott to ask him to obtain a report from that deputy as to exactly what he heard. I don't know if that was done, and I did not request a copy of the deputy's report.

At that same meeting here, Caution-Parker can be heard disrespecting Trustee Scott, who had a motion on the floor and whose motion was being ignored by the board chair during Board & Superintendent Comments. As Trustee Scott reminded the chair (Holmes) of her motion, which had been seconded, Caution-Parker rudely said toward Trustee Scott, "Tough!"

Cauiton-Parker often touts her "40 years of experience in Richland 2." My question is, Did she really have 40 years of experience, or did she have one year of experience, 40 times? Her true business experience, which is a quality sorely needed on the school board, doesn't get demonstrated. She said that night that they (the board) were there "for the children". That is, of course, wrong. 

The school board directs the business of the school district; i.e., the operations. Not the hands-on education of the students. That concept should be first-in-mind; it's not.