Thursday, March 31, 2022

S.188 - Call Now

S.C. Senate Bill S.188 is a very important bill that is dying a painful death in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This bill would prevent Amelia McKie from running for re-election in November 2022 because of her $57,100 debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

Call S.C.Sen. Greg Hembree at (803) 212-6350 and ask him to do everything he can to move this bill now. Ask him what you can do. (I've emailed him twice and already called him today.) The bill has been stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee since January 21, 2021.

It is preposterous that an elected officioal can owe that amount of money, not be paying on it in substantial amounts, and be allowed to remain in office. The Ethics Commission filed a judgment against McKie in the Richland County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2019, and the S.C. Dept. of Revenue is supposed to collect it. 

Does anyone else wonder why the S.C. Ethics Commission is not pressing for collection?

I doubt it will do much good to call McKie's friend, Sen. Mia McLeod, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She ought to be willing to favor such a bill, but she won't return any phone calls to me or reply to my emails.

R2 Board Still Has Two Illegitimate Members

Why has the Richland 2 school board never caused the problem of board illegitimacy to be resolved?

The problem? The Richland 2 School Board has two women on it who are not legitimate members. Why aren't they? They have never taken the oath-of-office legally.

Who are they? Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie.

On November 6, 2018 Holmes was elected to the Board and McKie was re-elected. A board meeting was held on November 13, 2018, and the oath-of-office was administered to them on that date (Nov. 13).

However, neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission! Because neither had filed the SEI by November 13th, neither was eligible to take the oath-of-office on that date. The oath they did take was only "practice"; it has no legal effect.

According to State law (Section 8-13-1110(A)) one must file the SEI before taking the oath-of-office.

The Voice of Blythewood newspaper blew the whistle on them, and both Holmes and McKie filed SEIs on December 4, 2018.

On December 4, 2018, Holmes and McKie first became eligible to take the oath-of-office, but they have never done so.

But Richland 2 has allowed them to serve and to continue to serve, even serving as officers of the board.

I have heard that the District considers that merely a "technicality". It is not. 

Their serving is a violation of law. Holmes and McKie are usurping public office. Richland 2 has been paying them a stipend (now, a per diem) for meetings and paying handsomely for expenses each year.

All Holmes and McKie have to do to become legal board members is take the oath-of-office. They have been eligible to take it since December 4, 2018. 

Every board vote they have participated in since November 13, 2018 needs to be corrected. Many decisions will change, when their votes are removed. Instead of 3-4 (Fail), the votes will become 3-2 (Approve).

Every form, document, resolution signed by them needs to be re-done. Even Bond Issue legal documents.

All the money paid to them by the District needs to be refunded to Richland 2.

This should happen before they leave office in November 2022. But, if it doesn't happen before, then it should happen after, even when they are no longer in office.

Open Letter to Richland 2 Board & Supt.

The following email has been sent today to the Richland 2 School Board and the superintendent about the BeSMART program. Agendas for board meetings are often planned on the Thursday prior to a board meeting.

Members of the Board, trustees-elect Holmes and McKie, and Supt. Davis,

On December 9, 2021 Richland 2 launched, with great fanfare, the BeSMART initiative on ending gun-violence in Richland 2 schools.

On March 7, 2022 14-year-old Trevion Fuller, a Blythewood Academy student from Richland Northeast High School, was shot to death about two blocks north of RNE.

A 16-year-old was arrested that same night, and three additional juveniles have been arrested. How many of them were RNE students?

To my knowledge, BeSMART has not been mentioned at a board meeting since December 9th.

I request an update to the Board and to the Public at the April 7, 2022 Regular Board Meeting or the following meeting. Please add this item to the agenda.


Gus Philpott

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Five Kicked Off Penna. School Board

Be sure to read this FoxNews article about the judge in Pennsylvania who booted five school board members.

A parent got sick and tired of the mask mandate and went to court. She argued that "under the Pennsylvania school code districts have no authority to require students to wear masks."

Pennsylvania must have partisan school board races, because the five who were booted were all Democrats.

Gee, what would be said if Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning got booted off the Richland 2 School Board? I'll bet at least three are Democrats; maybe all four?

Does this tell you something about the West Chester Area School District? "The board opted to continue requiring masks after Pennsylvania's state of emergency first ended in June 2021. It kept the decision in place two months after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the mandate unconstitutional in December."

How important are words?

One of the things I've learned over the years is how important each word is in a rule, regulation or policy. I notice spelling, case, number, punctuation. Maybe that's why I like editing manuscripts and proof-reading for authors. 

I recall one day at the Sears headquarters in Chicago, when I was discussing a policy with an associate in the Des Moines call center. We were having a conversation that was becoming more and more intense over one sentence in the policy, when I suggested that he fax me the page at which he was looking and I would fax him the page in my copy of the policy. The sentence in question turned out not to be identical. One of them had the word "not" that was not in the other copy. No wonder we couldn't agree!

Now to Richland 2.

In Administrative Rule KI-R the section on “No Trespass” Notices reads,

"District and school administrators, after school or after hours program managers, district security and safety staff, school resource officers or other on-duty, or extra-duty law enforcement officers assigned to work at a school or event may issue a verbal or written “no trespass” notice for the school facility, delay the entry of a person for cause, or ask for the removal any such individual as necessary. On-duty law enforcement officers patrolling a school campus after-hours may also issue a “no trespass” notice to individuals who are not in compliance with a school’s “no trespass” sign or rules, are causing a disturbance, or are not in compliance with a local law while on school property."

I've added the emphasis with yellow highlighting.

Notice the wording "for the school facility". The reference is singular. "Facility" means one building. It does not mean all the properties of the Richland 2 school district. If those who wrote the policy had meant for a trespass notice to apply to ALL buildings, property, etc., the crafters of the section would have used a plural word.

Now, look at the wording in the Trespass Notice letter issued by the District. It reads, "... you are excluded from any and ALL [emphasis in the original] Richland School District Two properties, facilities, campuses and buildings ..."

I am challenging Richland 2 on this point. Marq Claxton exceeded his authority when he broadened the Administrative Rule and banned me from ALL properties. If the District is going to hang its hat on a Board Policy or Administration Rule, they are going to follow it.

I have filed separate and distinct complaints, other than my own grievance, with Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, and Manning. None responded. When I followed up with Manning on the lack of a response from Holmes to my March 8th complaint, he wrote "You have repeatedly emailed the entire board, members of the executive staff, and Dr. Davis with your complaints. You have received formal correspondence from our board secretary notifying you that a decision has been made related to your grievance."

And right he is. And I shall continue to write and to complain on valid points. They opened the can of worms, when The Core Four failed to investigate the superintendent and his wife, Pamela Davis, for their words and actions on January 25. 

And, on a picky point, that correspondence did not come from the "board secretary". It came from the woman who is Special Assistant to School Board; i.e., secretary to the board, not "board secretary". The (acting) Board Secretary is trustee-elect Amelia McKie, and she isn't even the legal Board Secretary. You have to be a legitimate member of the board in order to be a board officer!

Monday, March 28, 2022

Shocking! Should be. Is it?

Read today's FoxNews article about the Eau Claire, Wisconsin school district and its war on parents. The title of the article is "This school district might be the worst violator of parental rights."

Compare the article closely with what you are learning about the Richland 2 school district.

Do some of these words ring the wrong bell with you?

"Woke bureaucrats" (recall Teresa Holmes' urging about "woke")

"white privilege tests"

"heterosexual privilege checklists"

"hide gender transitions from their parents"

"progressive playbook for hijacking education"

Teacher training that " '...parents are not entitled to know their kids’ identities. That knowledge must be earned.' Stunningly, both the superintendent and the school board president fully defended the training."

Read the entire article. Remember to speak out here. Attend school board meetings in-person. Send emails. Make phone calls. Write Letters to the Editor. Remember the majority of the Richland 2 board that they are not bureaucrats or autocrats; they are elected.

Don't expect board members to consider your opinions, if all you do is post on social media and watch board meetings on your computer. That is NOT good enough.

You know that the Richland 2 board chair is one of the loudest cheerleaders of the superintendent. Is she really your elected representative? 

Remember, Teresa Holmes could have called a special board meeting to investigate the bruhaha that occurred on January 25th in the board room. She could have had Mrs. Baron (Pamela) Davis investigated for disrupting schools and conduct unbecoming a teacher, when Pamela Davis cursed out a 14-year-old student.

Teresa Holmes did not. Some leader, eh?

Saturday, March 26, 2022

And school districts wonder ...

 ... why the public is all over them?

Check out this story about the Georgia mom who began reading at a school board meeting from a book from a school's library. For the FoxNews story, click here.

Michelle Brown, of Cherokee County, Georgia, was at a school board meeting, when she was interrupted while reading a passage from a school library's book. The book title is not mentioned in the article, but the passage is described as "sexually-explicit".

A board member told her, "Excuse me, we have children at home."

Does that sound familiar? Haven't Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie said that? I've wondered, "Really?" Students at home are going to waste their time watching the chaos of a school board meeting? Out of 28,000 students in Richland 2, how many watch board meetings? I'll bet you could count them on the fingers of one hand (and not even use all the fingers).

As I recall, a Loudoun County, Va. parent was shut down at a board meeting there for attempting to read from a book in a school's library or classroom.

I wish I could find one of those books in a Richland 2 library. I'd read from it at the July 12th board meeting.

Put this date on your calendar. I'll see you there. Should I reserve a meeting room for the party? Order cake and coffee? Before or after the meeting? Join me in celebrating the end of Teresa Holmes' Reign of Chaos.

A Richland 2 parent had this to say about this story and Richland 2: "I think the story reflects R2,  if a student or parent uses mild profanity, R2 is outraged. If faculty or staff screams profanity at student or parent, it is acceptable."

Edited: A later FoxNews story identified the book as other than the book mentioned in the Facebook post that I had copied here.

Board Policy KE summary

This morning I posted this summary on Facebook of last Tuesday's discussion of Board Policy KE.

"I was very disappointed in the gross representation of the former Policy KE. It did NOT allow a person to go straight to the BOARD with a complaint. A person could complain to a Board MEMBER (that's not "to the BOARD"). That board member was required to forward the complaint to the supt. If the supt's decision was unsatisfactory to the person, then the person could appeal to the BOARD, and the Board HAD TO hear the complaint. That "right" for the complaint to be heard by the Board is gone now. Thanks to the SCSBA, the Core Four, and the supt. Board Policy KE had finally become known to the public, and the board ran for cover. (Important: I was first told there was no appeal procedure. I appealed my Trespass Notice, anyway, and KE popped up.)"

What is a Woman? Anyone?

Pres. Biden's pick for a U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, wouldn't even say what she thinks a woman is.

Now, is that someone whom anyone wants on the Supreme Court? 

That not only reflects poorly on her, but it reflects poorly on Biden for nominating her. Did he actually talk to her, or did his minions put her up and say, "Pick her. Pick her"?

People keep telling me not to judge (no pun intended) a book by its cover. As a photographer, I realize that any photograph is just 1/1,000th second of a person's expression. In Jackson's case, I do so judge.

The photographs circulating in conservative news scream at me, "Not that one. Not that one."

Biden previously announced he intended to nominate a black woman to the SCOTUS. That's about as stupid as Richland Two's 100 Premier Men of Color project.

There are ways for a high court's nominee to avoid answering questions that could come up before her in an official capacity later on. Refusing to say what a "woman" is, is probably not one of them.

OK, is Lia Thomas a woman?

All this nonsense suggests to me that I ought to put on a brassiere and stroll into the April 7th school board meeting. When Marq Claxton grabs me and tries to have me arrested, I'll just say, "I am not Gus Philpott, to whom y'all issued a Trespass Notice. I am Frankie Philpott. Now get your grimy paws off me before I have you arrested for sexual harassment!"

If you can get at it, read today's Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation. There are two great articles. One is about Jackson.

The other is by Hans Spankovsky and the attempt of the League of Women Voters to cancel him in Akron, Ohio.

If you aren't yet a supporter of the Heritage Foundation, I strongly encourage you to become a member.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Why I write this blog

See this symbol at the bottom of each article?

This means you can email the article to someone you'd like to know about it. Please click on it often and forward article. Invite your friends, family, neighbors, and work colleagues to follow this blog. It is my hope that they will be able to make better decisions at the polls on November 9th.

If you owned the $1,000,000,000 that Richland 2 is, would you keep the four who constitute the majority of the board around much longer? Would you tell them to stop bickering and start working together?

I don't see any record of who forwards articles. No email addresses (yours or that of the person to whom you forward an article) are mined or used for anything. I don't care who forwards articles, and I appreciate you if you do.

What I do see is the counter on this blog. Today it is at 46,760. These are pageviews, not unique visitors. That's up substantially from a few months ago. 

Why have I continued to write this blog?

1. McKie has not paid down her $57,100 fine to the S.C. Ethics Commission!

2. Holmes and McKie have never taken the oath-of-office legally. They are not legitimate members of the school board.

3. The school board is in chaos. In all my years in business I have never seen anything like it. The disrespect shown by the majority to the minority (three) members on the board is inexcusable.

4. In spite of two workshops that were to heal the chaos, the chaos and disorder on March 22 were as bad as they have ever been.

You may have noticed that this blog is not monetized. It's free. Please spread the word.

Lies & Omissions on March 22

What were some of the lies and omissions at the March 22 Richland 2 school board meeting?

The discussion of Board Policy KE - Public Concerns and Complaints was, to say the least, contentious.

The biggest deception came from Supt. Davis' explanation of the existing Policy. Davis will never be accused of being at a loss for words. Or of being a Man of Few Words. If something can be said in ten words, you can count on him to use 100 or more.

Davis said repeatedly that the Board could be swamped with complaints from the public. He even read the Policy out loud. Yet no one said, "You have told us about the policy, and what you just read is not what you said." Why not?

Certainly the Core Four (Holmes, McKie, Manning, Caution-Parker) would never say that. And Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden are too polite to say that. But it needed to be said.

The old Police KE did not say the public could go straight to the Board. It said a person with a complaint could file the complaint with a board member. That board member then was required to forward the complaint to the superintendent. And the superintendent would be expected to investigate it.

What Supt. Davis never said was that people with complaints probably had already started with the "chain-of-command", as he preferred to call the pecking order. A parent probably started with the teacher and maybe went up to the Assistant Principal and even the Principal, before feeling blown off and then going to a board member for help.

What Supt. Davis did not say is that he would have reached down for all the information before making a decision. At least, he should have. What he did say is that he shouldn't have to make a decision without all the information. And he was correct.

But he would NOT have made a decision without "all the information". Nothing prevented him from getting information from staff or teachers.

Under the old Policy KE, the person who was then dissatisfied with the superintendent's decision had the right to appeal to the Board. And the Board had to hear the complaint. 

When the Board voted 4-3 on Tuesday night, it stripped that required hearing of an appeal from the revised Policy. It stripped the public's RIGHT from the policy.

Why would Holmes, McKie, Manning and Caution-Parker want to strip that right from a parent (or even from a community member)?

Ask them. And let us know what they say.

COVID "guidance" - unbiased?

Parents ought to be interested in this FoxNews article about COVID-19, the CDC, and school re-opening data.

The FoxNews headline is: "Biden admin operated with missing data as CDC iisued pandemic guidance, emails show". Check it out right here.

How involved in writing school re-opening guidance were teachers' unions?

What about learning loss?

You know that famous phrase, don't you? "I'm from the Government. You can trust me."

The next Richland 2 school board meeting will be Thursday, April 7. Following that, board meetings return to Tuesdays, April 26, and May 10. Put these meetings in your schedule and show up in-person. Watching online is not good enough. Let the board meetings see your faces.

Are you sick and tired of the chaos and the lies? The March 22 meeting had both. Don't settle for it. Pay attention. 

And post comments here and write Letters to the Editor of The State, the Post and Courier, and The Voice of Blythewood. Get your letters out where people will see and read them. Post comments on Facebook and NextDoor.

It is imperative that you understand the lies that were told on March 22. Ask the Core Four (Holmes, McKie, Manning and Caution-Parker) why they tolerated the lies! Demand answers.

Demand Corrections.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

4 Hrs. 26 Min. - 3/22/22 - Whew!

NOTE: This post was written on Wed., March 23, and held, as I intended to insert links to the comments made by two speakers. The District appears to have eliminated the option of selecting specific portions of the recording. The links now are to the recording and it will be necessary to move the timer bar to the time shown. (3/24/2022)

Last night's school board meeting ran, from start to finish, for FOUR (4) hours 26 minutes. What in the world is wrong with the Board leadership (or lack thereof)?

I stuck it out through Item 8.3 (revision to Board Policy KE) and then bailed out, only to return later during the board and superintendent comments.

Why won't Holmes tell McKie to just introduce the Inspirational Moment? A good introduction would be about 30 seconds. Is McKie practicing her Toastmasters' skills and preparing to host the next Academy Awards? Sheesh! Just introduce the speaker! A good introduction would have been, "Tonight's inspirational moment will be presented by Jaiden Bostic, a 5th Grade student at Round Top Elementary." To hear McKie tell it, Jaiden is an "award-winning actor". Seriously? "Published author". Seriously? And calling a 10-year-old "sir"? What nonsense!

And who set up Jaiden? He is an accomplished student, but did he write his entire act? Two-three minutes of inspiration would have been sufficient, rather than the commercials for his website, book and book-signing. (1:07.19)

Holmes had already thanked Jaiden, in her overly-gushing manner, and then McKie delayed the Pledge of Allegiance with her own unnecessary comments. And referring to him as "Mr. Bostic"? Dumb. Absolutely dumb! I'll tell you - November won't come soon enough for Richland 2!!! 

Question for Holmes? After a Motion is seconded, she calls for discussion. When there is none, she says, "Seeing none ..." and calls for the vote. How does one see discussion? How about "hearing none...", Teresa?

There were only three speakers last night. Holmes couldn't even read the first speaker's name correctly. Manuel Cabrera. She read his first name as Marvin. If she needs glasses, Teresa should get over her vanity and wear them! Is it carelessness? uncaring? or just plain disrespect on her part? 

And isn't Larry's last name "Smalls"? Not Small. Again, carelessness on Teresa's part?

Perhaps I should start referring to "Theresa Homes". Would she even notice?

Somebody should explain to Mr. Cabrera that it is not the District's responsibility to provide a safe walking route through his neighborhood. Buses? Yes, maybe. Sidewalks or path through the woods? No.

Joe Trapp and Larry Smalls spoke on the topic on the agenda item, Board Police KE. Listen to them here:

Joe Trapp: (1:27:00)

Larry Smalls:  (1:30:00)

The Core Four had their minds made up on KE, but thanks to Joe and Larry for speaking up and trying to remind the The Core Four that the Public is still present and accounted for.

Richland 2 - playing a new game?

Something has changed in the past two weeks! Through the date of the previous board meeting, it was possible to watch the YouTube version of the meeting video and snag out a segment, using a webtool called Vibby. This allowed copying a portion of the meeting, such as the remarks of a speaker during Public Participation, and placing a link in a webpost or blog.

This allowed me (and others) to write: "Look at this" and all the reader would have to do is click on the link. The link would take the viewer directly to that portion of the meeting video.

And now? Look what shows up when the District's video link is pasted into the Vibby webtool.

An email will be on the way this afternoon to Richland 2 to ask if they placed that restriction and, if so, why?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Agostini & Scott wanted more time on Policy KE

As the discussion to revise Board Policy KE continued at the March 22, 2022 board meeting, Trustee Scott said she would like the board to have more time to discuss and revise Policy KE.

Pick up her statement on at (2:04:00). 

What she should have done is make a motion. Saying "What I would like ..." doesn't make anything happen. Most probably, she would have been outvoted by Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning. But the only way to make something happen is to make a motion.

After Trustee Scott finished speaking, the superintendent butted in without asking to be recognized. (2:05:20) He re-stated that a community member or parent still has the right to complain to a board member. And the board member must refer the complaint "to the Office of the Superintendent".

Ahh, there's the third-person reference. Why doesn't he just say "to me" or "to my office"?

He said, "... the current policy allows the person to skip the chain-of-command and bring the grievance directly to the board."      WRONG!

He erred in his explanation of how a complaint to the board is handled by him. He inferred that he must make a decision based only on the information forwarded to him by a board member. That is just plain stupid. Of course, he would investigate it before making a decision. Who is he kidding? But no one challenged him!!!!

Here is where it got personal, although Baron didn't mention me by name.

(2:09:00) He said, in his experience, this Policy was brought up only one time. "And it was when we brought it to the attention of one constituent, who is now attempting to use it multiple times to inundate the work.. " 

And then he subjugates the District to the SCSBA...

Here's the deal ...  When the District mailed me the Trespass Notice, it contained NO appeal process. I inquired and was told there was NO appeal process. At that time I was NOT informed of Policy KE. But I did not let a little thing like no-appeal-process stop me. I filed an appeal, anyway!

I started up the food chain. Will Anderson, COO is Marq Claxton's immediate superior. Above him was Harry Miley, CFO. Then Marshalynn Franklin, Deputy Superintendent. Then Baron Davis, Superintendent. NOTE: I followed the chain-of-command. Exactly!!!

When Will Anderson received my appeal of the Trespass Notice and handled it, he denied my appeal and did so as the Designee of the Superintendent. So there was no need to climb the chain-of-command. I had the Superintendent's decision, and it was unsatisfactory. So then I filed my complaint with the board.

They chose to hear it in private and refused to allow me to attend. How's THAT for Due Process, Doctor. Cheryl. Caution. Parker??? And then they voted in public, also without allowing me to attend and speak. Was that fair to me, Doctor. Cheryl. Caution. Parker? 

(2:09:25) Then Baron said, "We presented this Policy to the Board two weeks ago. There was no input from the community regarding this policy until today. We received two emails today (!) before this board meeting about this policy. But for two weeks after presenting first reading there was no comment from members of the board, nor were there comments from members of the public about concerns this policy at that time."

So my question to Supt. Davis is, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY EMAIL ON FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2022 AT 9:56AM? Did not any member of the board forward that email to you? Didn't the Chair forward her copy to you? Didn't the Vice-Chair forward his copy to you? Didn't the Secretary forward her copy to you? Didn't Cheryl (Due Process, former Deputy Supt.) Caution-Parker forward her copy to you?

Here is what I wrote to the Board on March 18, 2022 about proposed revisions to Board Policy KE.

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

At the March 22, 2022 board meeting Administration brings to you a revision to Board Policy KE Public Concerns and Complaints.

I urge you to reject the revisions to Board Policy KE. The existing Policy KE is sufficient to give the "Public" a right that is proper.

This revision would likely not even be on the Agenda but for the disruption that occurred on January 25th and the fact that Gary Ginn and I are not quietly sulking in a corner. You know who caused that disruption. That is the elephant in the room.

The revision, following the Model South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) policy serves the administration, not the public. Beginning in the first sentence the word "patron" shows up. Who is that in the school district? That reflects bureaucratic design and influence and it disrespects and diminishes the "Public".

Why should Public Concerns and Complaints be resolved in "as informal a manner as possible"? Complaints should be properly accepted, registered and resolved by a formal policy. A Complaint is just that, and it should be taken seriously.

How can the Human Resources Director be tasked under Board Policy AC with resolving Public Concerns and Complaints which, by definition, are not personnel issues.

The SCSBA represents the bureaucratic arm of school boards (the board and the Administration), not the Public.

Board Policy KE should represent the Public.

The paragraph addressing defamation of a staff member is completely unnecessary. That employee is adequately protected under common law. That paragraph is just a bullying technique or hammer to warn off the public. There again is the influence of the SCSBA. The SCSBA does not run the Richland 2 school board. You do.

The superintendent is accountable to the school board. Removing the board's obligation to ultimately resolve a complaint is unfair to the public. If you approve the revision to Policy KE, you abdicate your responsibility as elected officials. 

When Item 8.3 comes up on Tuesday, please vote NO.

Gus Philpott

How (old) Policy KE worked

Continued from for March 22, 2022 at (1:56:35 )

Contrary to the explanation of the superintendent, here's how old Policy KE worked. A member of the public could complain to any board member, and that board member had to forward the complaint to the superintendent. 

A complaint to a board member is not a complaint to the board.

Upon receipt of the complaint, the superintendent should investigate it and respond to the board member. If the member of the public was not satisfied with the superintendent's decision, then he could register a complaint with the Board, and the Board was required to hear the grievance at the next Board meeting or a special-called board meeting.

This forced the superintendent to be accountable to the board. As he should be!!!

The chain-of-command was not violated, because the superintendent could always reach down for information. Presumably, the person complaining had already started up the food chain.

At 1:57:00 the superintendent unnecessarily referred to a past meeting when a person spoke at a board meeting and made some very harmful statements about an employee. What he failed to say was that the person had contacted the school over the prior week-end and, by the time of the following Tuesday night's board meeting, no one from the school or the district had contacted him. That's two business days!

The revised policy would not have helped at all, because the parent HAD contacted the school!!!

At 1:59:20 the superintendent again said that the (now-old) Policy KE lets a complaint go straight to the board. This is where I would have pulled a "Joe Wilson" and shouted "LIAR". That is simply untrue. More than "simply" untrue. It is a lie. 

Re-stated - the old KE allowed a person to complain to a board member. The board member had to forward it to the superintendent. If the superintendent's decision was unsatisfactory, the person then could file a complaint with the Board, and the Board was required to hear it. Under the new KE, now the board has the option to hear it or not.

Then Trustee McFadden asked how long the entire appeal process might take. The answer? Up to ten days at each step. Then the superintendent said it's not an unreasonable period of time because, in my words, people are busy.

Then Trustee Scott stated that Richland 2 runs Richland 2, and it doesn't have to accept the model policies from the SCSBA. She stated the proposed revisions were not in the best interests of the community, teachers, school board members. And she is concerned that the board is NOT obligated to address the complaint. RIGHT!!! 

What Trustee Scott should have done is make two motions. One: removed the defamation clause; Two: remove the option for the board not to address the complaint.

Chaos continues as KE discussion progresses

Continued from first segment on Board Policy KE revisions.

When Trustee Scott suggested that Trustee Agostini had had the floor for her motion, Holmes said she had not called for a motion. That was correct, because Agostini had beaten her to the punch. Agostini began reading her motion to continue Policy KE and not hear it last night.

At that point Holmes forgot she had recognized Agostini and blew right past the interruption by McKie. 

One of the problems Holmes has is that she cannot keep track of parliamentary procedure, and this is why she should not be Chair.

On the recording at 1:52:10, after Trustee Scott speaks, Holmes says that Ms. Agostini was "out of line". Then, after Manning speaks, saying Trustee Agostini should be allowed to continue with her Motion. (McKie's motion was made after Agostini started her motion.) Holmes says (about Agostini), I didn't know what she was gonna [sic] say. I couldn't hear what she was saying."

If Holmes could not hear Agostini after she had called on her, she should have said so immediately. As Chair, she is supposed to be running the meeting and listening to what is said!

Trustee Scott then said, in effect, that Trustee Agostini should have the floor. 

After more back and forth, Trustee McFadden jumped into the fray. She brought up the defamatory language in the Policy KE revision. She asked if the defamatory language would be applied to the public who spoke during Public Participation. Holmes said she "was going to let Dr. Davis" answer. How kind of her to "let" the superintendent speak.

Supt. Davis said the Policy (KE) has nothing to do with Public Participation. WRONG. Inserting the defamation language in the Policy revision does apply. If a person stands up in Public Participation and defames an district employee, it could apply. But that language doesn't even belong in Policy KE. Any employee has the legal right to seek redress, if s/he is defamed.

The he said, unnecessarily, that the Policy does not prevent any member of the public from emailing the board with questions or concerns. 

The superintendent said, INCORRECTLY, that the old (existing) Policy KE allows the public to supersede the chain-of-command ... going directly to the board to have their concern heard, without going to the teacher (or through the chain-of-command). 

This is WRONG. Under the old Policy, the public only goes directly to the board when the superintendent's decision is unsatisfactory. Either he doesn't even understand KE as it was, or he deliberately attempted to mislead the board members. He said the public can go directly to the board. That is FALSE.

1:56:35 Continued in next article.

Policy KE completely revamped, weakened; Holmes lies

At the March 22, 2022 board meeting Board Policy KE came up on the agenda as Item 8.3. On the recording the discussion begins at 1:50:50. It didn't take long for the discussion to dissolve into the chaos so familiar to all who have been attending and watching meetings for months.

As soon as the Chair called Item 8.3, Trustee Agostini asked to be recognized, and she was. (Holmes had not yet called for a motion.)

Trustee Agostini made a motion to continue Policy KE; that is, not to hold the discussion at that meeting.

As Trustee Agostini was reading her Motion, McKie butted in and began addressing the chair, asking the chair if she wanted the superintendent to explain Policy KE. This was TOTALLY OUT-OF-ORDER

First, McKie should not have interrupted Trustee Agostini. Robert's Rules of Order is very clear on that point. Secondly, McKie continued speaking without being recognized by the chair. Thirdly, McKie doesn't need to tell the chair how to run the meeting. (Somebody should, but not McKie.) Fourth, everyone there understood what KE is about and the superintendent's introduction was unnecessary. Fifth, McKie was just plain rude and unprofessional.

After the superintendent explained Item 8.3, Holmes asked for a motion to approve the revisions and recognized her buddy, Amelia McKie. McKie made a motion, and Holmes asked for a second.

BUT there was already a motion on the floor, started by Trustee Agostini before McKie so rudely butted in. I think it was Trustee Scott who tried to direct Holmes back to Trustee Agostini. Holmes made some reference to "she was out of line"; I think Holmes was referring to Agostini. WHAT?

This is where Holmes lost control and reverted to her autocratic, bullying tactics. Any progress made toward civility in a board meeting up until that point ended right there. Holmes again called for a Second, and McKie's sidekick, Caution-Parker, chimed in to second McKie's motion.

WAIT! What about Agostini's original motion???

Discussion was opened, and Manning was recognized. Manning finally addressed Agostini's start of a motion and said she should be allowed to continue. Then he said, "We're beyond that now", referring to McKie's motion which had been seconded. What he should have said was the McKie and Caution-Parker were wrong and that the correct motion on the floor was the one started by Agostini.

McKie's motion was out-of-order, because she had interrupted Agostini.

Then Holmes committed the unpardonable sin by saying that she didn't know what Agostini was going to say and couldn't hear what she was saying. That's because Holmes doesn't listen when Agostini begins speaking. Holmes should have shut down McKie, when McKie first opened her mouth, and Holmes should have asked Trustee Agostini to continue.

McKie said she was happy to defer, and Holmes did not accept that.

This Item 8.3 would be a great Case Study for how NOT to run a board meeting. It gets worse after this.

The Trustee Scott was recognized (1:53:27). She said that Holmes had called for a motion. Holmes actually had not called for a motion, because Agostini beat her to the punch, was recognized, and began reading her motion.

This thread will pick up with Trustee Scott's comment and Holmes' blatant lie. The lie? Holmes said she had not called for a motion (which is correct), but then she said she had called on the superintendent.

That's the lie. She had called on Trustee Agostini, who was interrupted by McKie and then Holmes called on the superintendent.

To be continued. 

Manning barks during setting of board calender

As the board calendar for 2022-2023 got further discussion in the March 22nd board meeting, Trustee Scott asked about the Winter Retreat on the calendar for Friday, February 3, 2023. The superintendent said he did that, because staff works all week and shouldn't have to work on a week-end (or words to that effect).

Trustee Agostini said she is a "planner" and, if a date goes on a calendar, she'd like to have whatever is planned to happen on that date.

Manning felt obliged to get long-winded about people who aren't flexible and won't change plans they might have. A self-employed person who plans meetings and events out into the future may not want to bear the expense and inconvenience of changing business plans that were made months before, just because the board majority wants to change a date. He was taking a direct shot at Trustee Agostini. A back-handed shot, but still a direct shot. He didn't mention her name, although he did later in the meeting.

This exchange can be viewed on the recording (March 22, 2022 meeting), beginning at 1:44:50.

Nov. 18th board meeting will waste $2,400+

At Item 8.2 on last night's agenda (3/22/2022), first called by Holmes at Item 5.2 ("I need my glasses on"), the school board discussed the 2022-2023 board calendar.  

Trustee Scott questioned the need for a special-called board meeting on Friday, November 18, 2022.

The superintendent stumbled over his explanation of that date on the calendar, first referring to it only as a proposed date. Somebody, whose voice was unintelligible to the audience, prompted him, and he said he remembered. He said it (that date) is tied to the election (November 9th) and "there needs to be a special-called meeting for the purpose of inducting (swearing in) board members". Then he said there would not be time during the upcoming board meeting.


How much time does it take to swear in the four board members who will be elected on November 9th? What? About five minutes? You stand up the four people. "Raise your right hands. Repeat after me." And it's done. "Take your seats."

Why not do it during a Regular Board Meeting, when the public is in attendance?

And, most importantly, why not do it so that the District doesn't waste money on a special-called meeting?

Keep in mind. The District did it incorrectly for ten years, until Trustee McFadden was to be sworn in in November 2020. I had pointed out that the term-of-office for a Trustee did not start until one week after the election was certified - at least, according to that pesky document called State law. For ten years (except one time when the certification was delayed (2012?)), the District had improperly seated trustees before their terms-of-office legally began.

How much does the district pay a trustee to attend a board meeting? $340 per trustee? and $400 to the Chair?

So, the "party" (ceremony), if held at a special-called meeting, will cost taxpayers $340 x 6, plus $400. That's $2040 + $400 = $2440 PLUS staff time? Dumb. Really dumb.

The superintendent's explanation didn't hold any water at all; the bucket had holes it. And the trustees didn't plug the holes. It's not too late; though. The trustees can still save the day later in the year by moving the swearing-in ceremony to November 29th.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Revisions to KE - Chaos Reigns Supreme

Thank goodness for Livestream. That means everyone can listen to the chaos and the deception foisted on the public by the board tonight. Tonight's meeting was the March 22, 2022 Regular Board Meeting. It will be available on

I am not even going to try to dissect the discussion on Item 8.3 tonight.

Four pages of notes on that one Item! I'll be able to write for a week on just this one Item.

Deception? I've got Proof.

If I had been there tonight, I would have pulled a "Joe Wilson" on them and shouted "LIAR". More than once.

Come back often, starting tomorrow!!!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Richland 2 and Race

Last week a long-time friend and former co-worker asked me this question: "How can they ban someone - especially someone who is NOT disruptive, disrespectful, abusive, or violent - from the school grounds?"

My answer?

"It's easy. The woman is black. The superintendent is black. The (illegitimate) Board Chair and Board Secretary are black. The security chief is black. Almost all, if not all, the security officers are black. 80% of the students are black or brown."

Did you see the photo of the superintendent with all the Premier Men-of-Color on the escalator?
at R2i2?

Was holding a race-based meeting in a public school facility legal? What did the Premier 100 R2 Conference cost the Richland 2 School District?

Remember when the superintendent told the Board that he is not evaluated on his Premier 100 Men-of-Color initiative? If he is not, why is it even being allowed in Richland 2? We know the answer to that one. Because The Core Four won't question it.

Baron loves his Twitter, doesn't he? I may have to escape from Twitter Jail to stay abreast of his Twitter spoutings. All I have to do is recant my "Looters should be shot" tweet to Michael Smerconish in June 2020. Nah, I can do without Twitter.

Whatever happened to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Richland 2?

I'm a person-of-color. My color happens to be White. Now I'm the one who is oppressed. I'm the one who was and is a victim. Except I refuse to be a victim. And I am not oppressed; well, maybe I am - at least until July 1, 2022.

Now, tomorrow night, at the March 22nd board meeting, count the number of times you heard "y'all" from the board chair. That's class; right? That's a "product" of Spring Valley High School, as she proudly says. That's a person with an online Ed.D. from a California online school. Got it, y'all?

You want a conversation about this?

Use the Comment box below.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Why does Richland 2 Lie?

As a result of Pamela Davis' meltdown at the January 25, 2022 board meeting, I was placed on Trespass Notice by Director of Safety and Security Marq Claxton. Even though it was Pamela Davis who shouted and became disruptive, I was the one who was ordered out of the meeting room and off the R2i2 property.

On February 5th the District's letter (dated January 26th) was delivered. It began with

"This letter is to inform you that you are excluded from any and ALL [emphasis in the original] Richland School District Two properties, facilities, campuses and buildings for the 2021-2022 school year as a result of the following conduct which occurred on 1/25/22 at R2i2 [emphasis in the original]:

- Disruptive Behavior

"As of this notice, access to any Richland School District Two property must be requested at least 24 hours in advance AND you MUST receive access authorization from the Director of Safety & Security or the Director's designee."

Now, what are the lies?

Marq Claxton apparently never approves a request for access.

He denied my request to attend a press conference at R2i2. He denied my request to use the public library. 

The library intervened and got approval for my using the drive-up window, but I wanted access to the inside library.

Claxton also exceeded his authority when he sent a letter “excluding” me from ALL property. Administrative Rule KI-R allows the exclusion from “the” property; i.e., the one property where an incident occurred.

I have filed complaints with the Board. So far, no board member to whom I submitted a complaint has acknowledged it. Under Board Policy KE a Board member who receives a complaint from the public must submit it to the superintendent. Did they? 

Did the superintendent log each complaint? Is he investigating? Will he respond? Will his response be satisfactory?

If it's not, then I will complain further to the board under existing Board Policy KE and expect a grievance to be scheduled and heard.

The majority of the board will quite likely stick together and approve a revision to Board Policy KE on March 22. Attend (or watch) the meeting and see how they handle Item 8.3 on the agenda. Will they kowtow to the South Carolina School Boards Association and gut Policy KE in favor of the superintendent?

Richland 2 Student Fatally Shot

On March 7, 2022 a Richland 2 student was fatally shot about two blocks northwest of Richland North East High School. This happened off school property and after school hours.

There has been virtually nothing in the news. WIS-TV wrote a story and, in a second story, interviewed Sheriff Lott. WACH-TV published one story, and the next day removed it. 

Trevion Fuller, 14, died by gun shots on March 7, 2022. He was a Richland North East High School student who had been transferred to Blythewood Academy.

Often, when a student dies, a school will make some type of announcement (press release) and indicate whether counseling will be offered to students. If Richland 2 has made a peep, I haven't seen it. Have you?

Richland County deputies arrested a 16-year-old a short time after Trevion was found, and that boy is in jail (juvenile detention). His identity has not been released. 

Why am I writing a story, when mainstream media did not cover this shooting in depth? Because it is news. Richland 2 made a big splash on December 9, 2021 with a photo op at R2i2, attended by officials of several school districts and law-enforcement agencies. The Richland 2 led a big signing ceremony. Has anything happened since?

Should Richland 2 have done more after I addressed the school board in February 2018, two weeks after the shootings in Parkland, Florida? Is the association with BeSMART going to be more than just one more program of "All Talk and No Walk"? Were the start-up steps already in place on December 9, 2021?

There is a GoFundMe to help with final expenses at  It's close to its goal. May I encourage you to kick in today? Few families are prepared to meet sudden expenses of this type. I had donated to the original GFM that had been mentioned in the WACH-TV article, but that one was withdrawn when current one was organized.

I urge you to demand that the Trustees direct the superintendent to report to the Board on exactly what is happening with the BeSMART initiative and what can be expected from it. I can assure you that "talk and gun locks" are not going to solve the gun violence problems in Richland County and Columbia. The solution is going to be to get right down at the ground-zero level and deal with the issues at the very core of gun violence.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Open Letter to School Board re Policy KE

The following email was sent to the school board (and others) today, March 18.

You can read the proposed revision to Board Policy KE on the Agenda for the March 22, 2022 board meeting. Scroll down to Item 8.3. Click on it, and then click on the Attachment. Note: the attachment has two pages. The first page is the existing Policy KE, which the Board will consider replacing. The second page is the proposed Policy KE.

Email and call board members before Tuesday with your comments and requests. Do you agree that the proposed revision diminishes any Complaint you might make?

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

At the March 22, 2022 board meeting Administration brings to you a revision to Board Policy KE Public Concerns and Complaints.

I urge you to reject the revisions to Board Policy KE. The existing Policy KE is sufficient to give the "Public" a right that is proper.

This revision would likely not even be on the Agenda but for the disruption that occurred on January 25th and the fact that Gary Ginn and I are not quietly sulking in a corner. You know who caused that disruption. That is the elephant in the room.

The revision, following the Model South Carolina School Boards Association (SCSBA) policy serves the administration, not the public. Beginning in the first sentence the word "patron" shows up. Who is that in the school district? That reflects bureaucratic design and influence and it disrespects and diminishes the "Public".

Why should Public Concerns and Complaints be resolved in "as informal a manner as possible"? Complaints should be properly accepted, registered and resolved by a formal policy. A Complaint is just that, and it should be taken seriously.

How can the Human Resources Director be tasked under Board Policy AC with resolving Public Concerns and Complaints which, by definition, are not personnel issues.

The SCSBA represents the bureaucratic arm of school boards (the board and the Administration), not the Public.

Board Policy KE should represent the Public.

The paragraph addressing defamation of a staff member is completely unnecessary. That employee is adequately protected under common law. That paragraph is just a bullying technique or hammer to warn off the public. There again is the influence of the SCSBA. The SCSBA does not run the Richland 2 school board. You do.

The superintendent is accountable to the school board. Removing the board's obligation to ultimately resolve a complaint is unfair to the public. If you approve the revision to Policy KE, you abdicate your responsibility as elected officials. 

When Item 8.3 comes up on Tuesday, please vote NO.

Gus Philpott

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

"Pi Day" and Ides of March

Do students learn in schools today about pi. Yesterday was "celebrated" as Pi Day (3.14 (March 14) - the pie shoppes love it). Pi. Do you know what that is?

"Succinctly, pi—which is written as the Greek letter for p, or π—is the ratio of the circumference of any circle to the diameter of that circle. Regardless of the circle's size, this ratio will always equal pi. In decimal form, the value of pi is approximately 3.14." Source:

"To only 18 decimal places, pi is 3.141592653589793238" (Thanks again to Scientific American)  Memorize that now. The test is Saturday.

Now, how about the Ides of March? Does anyone learn about that in school these days? Well, that's today, March 15.

Can't quite remember what it is or what it means? Use your friend, Google.

R2 Trespass Letter Violates Admin. Rule

Should the Richland 2 School District observe and follow Board Policies and Administrative Rules?

Board Policies are pretty easily found on the District's website at www.

It's another matter entirely to find Administrative Rules. Not so easy, but possible. The ones that may of most interest to parents and community members will be found in Section K - School-Community-Home Relations

Upon inquring about the procedure, rule, practice, regulation of District 2 pertaining to Trespass Notices, I learned of Administrative Rule KI-R Visitors. To find it,

Go to the District's website at   At the top right, click on EXPLORE. Then click on SCHOOL BOARD. Then click on BOARD POLICIES. On the left side, click on SECTION K - SCHOOL-HOME-COMMUNITY RELATIONS. 

For the Trespass Policy, scroll down and click on Policy KI Visitors. Under that AR KI-R is the Administrative Rule regarding trespass.

It reads, in part, 

“No Trespass” Notices 

  • "District and school administrators, after school or after hours program managers, district security and safety staff, school resource officers or other on-duty, or extra-duty law enforcement officers assigned to work at a school or event may issue a verbal or written “no trespass” notice for the school facility [emphasis added], delay the entry of a person for cause, or ask for the removal any such individual as necessary. On-duty law enforcement officers patrolling a school campus after-hours may also issue a “no trespass” notice to individuals who are not in compliance with a school’s “no trespass” sign or rules, are causing a disturbance, or are not in compliance with a local law while on school property."
I was especially interested in "for the school facility", because that term is singular, not plural.

The Trespass Letter issued to me reads, in part, "you are excluded from any and ALL [emphasis in the original] Richland School District Two properties, facilities, campuses and buildings for the 2021-2022 school year as a result of the following conduct which occurred on 1/25/22 at R2i2 [emphasis in the original]:  Disruptive Behavior"

Note again the singular "facility" in the AR and the use of plural in the Trespass Letter.

I have addressed this issue with the District. So far, I have not received a response.

Remembrer Trustee Caution-Parker's statement that there are rules and the District will follow the rules. Caution-Parker is aware of my complaint about this, if she reads my email. All the other trustees received a copy of my complaint that was emailed to her, just in case she doesn't read email from me.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Shooting Death near RNE

One week ago, on March 7, 2021, a 14-year-old boy was fatally shot about two blocks from Richland North East High School (RNE)

WIS-TV carried two stories and no names.

RCSD reported that a 16-year-old was arrested a short time after the body of the 14-year-old was found early that Monday evening in a wooded area north of the RNE.

Was either boy a student at RNE?

WIS-TV is not releasing the name of the deceased boy, because his parents requested privacy.

The second article, on March 9, including a WIS-TV interview with Sheriff Lott, is here:
That article has been considerably shortened since last Wednesday.

I have not been able to find any follow-up stories.

Is gun violence among teens now so common in Richland County that media are no longer informing viewers and readers of key information?

Richland 2 was instrumental in forming a coalition of eight area school districts and tagged BeSMART to be involved. I heard that BeSMART had been involved with Richland 2 for two years to produce this effort. 

Well, just exactly what is the plan here? Will this just be another program that is "All Talk and No Walk"?

Having programs at schools and passing out gun locks is not going to solve the problem that has been allowed to grow for years - many years! The problem is that empty space between two ears of so many kids.

Sheriff Lott offered one answer to parents in the TV interview. "Be nosy" in your kid's life. Know who his (her) friends are. Know where he is. Know what he is posting and reading on social media. Know what's on his phone. Know what's in the book bag. 

I'll add: Know how he is doing in school. Or if he is even in school. Recognize his language and attitudes. Know where he is at night.

That area may be on of the most dangerous in Richland County. At a community meeting several years ago, I heard a parent say that she put her young children in the bathtub at night, hoping the tub would stop any bullets fired in drive-by shootings.

[EDITED 3/15/22] WACH.TV reported that the 14-year-old who died on March 7 was Trevion Fuller. Still trying to learn what school he attended. Read the 3/15/22 article here.

[EDITED 3/16/22] WACH-TV pulled their story and it is no longer available. An obiturary is posted on the website of Pressley Cares Mortuary Services. It currently reads that Trevion "peacefully transitioned on March 7, 2022." The WACH-TV print story included a reference to a Columbia anti-gun violence effort. The original GoFundMe, organized by a woman in Orangeburg, cannot now be found. A different GoFundMe has been started.

R2 Teacher Being Disciplined for Cursing Student?

At the March 8, 2022 school board meeting a 14-year-old student addressed the board about the January 25, 2022 uproar that occurred in the board room just prior to the 5:30PM start of the meeting.

Watch this 3½-minute segment of the March 8th board meeting. It begins with the introduction of the second speaker that evening. Tap this link:

Shortly after he begins, you'll hear trustee-elect and Chair Teresa Holmes interrupt the him to say "No names"; the speaker had not mentioned a name, only a title. NOTE: Board Policy BEDH does not prohibit the use of names or titles by a speaker, but Holmes continues to admonish speakers who do mention names and titles.

As the student continued and related to the board what a Blythewood High School teacher had said to him on January 25th, Trustee Manning interrupted and said he felt that the topic was a personnel matter that was being addressed by Administration. Is it really?

Then Trustee McFadden spoke about letting the student continue, and her opinion prevailed.

Now, are the profanities uttered by Pamela Davis at the January 25, 2022 actually being addressed by Richland 2 School District as a personnel issue? 

Does anyone on the planet think that the HR Department will investigate and make a finding that the wife of the superintendent disrupted the meeting and conducted herself in a manner unbecoming that of a teacher? Will the HR Department recommend a suspension or termination? And will the HR Department find against the superintendent?


If I were the superintendent, I would direct HR to make a complete investigation and report, and I would insist on honesty and transparency. I would have their report released to the public. And there would be no retribution or retaliation against those who performed their jobs responsibly and thoroughly.

The Board ducked its obligation and responsibility to investigate the totality of the January 25th disruption, when The Core Four on the board (the majority: Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, Manning) would not support a Motion to investigate. Holmes based that on the decision by the Richland County Sheriff's Department not to file charges.

Isn't there still a law about Disruption of Schools? Isn't there still a law about Disorderly Conduct? Isn't there still a law about Assault? 

I can assure you that Gus Philpott and Gary Ginn did not break any laws that night. And, if the actions of Pamela Davis and Baron Davis had been charged, it's very likely that plenty of witnesses would have been available to testify about their words and actions. Did the sheriff's department even seriously consider charges against the Davises?

Friday, March 11, 2022

Sheriff Lott on Gun Violence

Sheriff Lott 3/9/2022

Watch this interview on WIS-TV with Sheriff Lott.

A 16-year-old has been charged with murdering a 14-year-old on March 7. The body was found near 2400 Kneece Road, only a couple of blocks north of Richland North East High School (through a wooded area). Were they students at RNE?

OK, Richland 2. You announced BeSMART. What's up with that? Is anything going on at all?

Is it just another plaque on the wall? Another program of "Talk, No Walk"?

I wanted to volunteer (that was before I was banned from school property until July 1) and get involved. I was a deputy sheriff (reserve) in Colorado for almost eight years. I've been handling guns safely for many years. I wanted to know what Richland 2 is actually going to do about preventing gun violence.

What did Supt. Davis recommend? Join BeSMART. Give me a break!

BeSMART is part of the Michael Bloomberg Everytown for Gun Safety and MOMs Demand Action crowd. Those groups talk about gun violence. My opinion is that they are mostly anti-gun, and their idea of stopping gun violence is to get rid of all privately-owned guns.

Will that happen in the USA? Not likely. What if every citizen in Ukraine had had a gun? How far would the Russians have gotten?

Sheriff Lott is right. You have to get into the heads of the kids (and adults) and convince them that banging away is not the right step.

Is there any anti-gun violence group in Columbia or Richland County that is doing more than just talking about it???

In Memory of Mike Royko (1932-1997))

This morning I was thinking about the late Mike Royko, long-time columnist and humorist for the Chicago Tribune and other Chicago papers and 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner.

I lived in Chicago from 1965-1970 and enjoyed his columns. His targets were politicians, lawyers, bad cops, tow truck drivers and anyone else who cheated the public. 

When I was preparing to move from Chicago in 1970, I called Mike. He answered his phone with a gruff, "Yeah?" I told him that I had enjoyed his columns and was moving to Denver, where I probably would no longer find his columns. At the time I thought he sounded like an old man; he wasn't. He would have been about 38, only a few years old than I. 

I remember thinking that Mike sounded close to tears at the end of my call. I doubted then that very many people had ever called to thank him.

Perhaps I'll finally buy his book and learn whether some of my blogposts might get close to his writing style.