Thursday, June 30, 2022

Spot-on Article by Retired Education

Here is an article not to be missed. This was sent to me today by a reader, who had found it in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The author is AJ-C guest columnist Jim Arnold, an educator of 48 years' experience. His career track was teacher, assistant principal, principal and then superintendent.  He is now an adjunct professor at Columbus (Georgia) State University.

He hits the nail squarely on the head when identifying today's problems in education and why teachers have been fleeing for years. 

How does this sound to you? Familiar?

From his opinion piece in the newspaper: "Over time, the beliefs that 'all children can learn' and 'all children can succeed' translated into “'all children will succeed at high levels.' ” 

He puts "equity" right where it belongs - in the dumpster.

But what do we have here in Richland 2?

Be sure to take the time to read and digest this article. If you aren't an AJ-C subscriber, pay the 99¢ for six months and become one. It's a real newspaper.

Many thanks to the reader who sent this to me.

Wrong to hide legal information in executive session

At the last school board meeting of the 2021-2022 school year, on June 28, 2022, one of the items on the agenda for the executive session was "receipt of legal advice regarding hiring legal counsel." 

After the board re-convened at 6:30PM, Item 6.2 on the public session agenda was "Receipt of Legal Advice Regarding Hiring Legal Counsel."

Watch and listen to the discussion on
It begins at 1:22:35.

Background: Due to the chaos of the past year of the Richland 2 School Board, under the leadership of then-board chair Teresa Holmes, the S.C. state legislature pass Senate Bill 202. Gov. Henry McMaster signed it on June 17, 2022, and the new law became effective that day. On June 22, 2022 Gov. McMaster directed the State Inspector General to investigate Richland Two.

The District must anticipated the need for legal representation. It could use existing legal counsel. Note - it would not be able to use its existing attorney regarding the January 25, 2022 incident with Pamela Davis and Baron Davis, because the attorney was in the boardroom and would have witnessed the incident. But nothing ever came of that, because then-Chair (Holmes) would not open an investigation  into the behavior of the two Davises.

When it was time for Item 6.2, McKie's moved to retain The Wyche Law Firm and to approve a "special deviation" from the hourly rate.

Trustee Scott stated that the board was being offered the name of only one law firm and they had received the legal information only about 30 minutes prior.

FIRST ISSUE - What was the delay in getting the information to the board? The agenda is required to be published at least 24 hours before 5:30PM on the day before the board meeting. Usually the agenda is published on the Thursday or Friday before the Tuesday board meeting. She stated that she did not have the proper opportunity to read the information. She also questioned that the board was not being offered names of 2-3 law firms for comparison. She also made a reference to the higher cost quoted by "this firm" (The Wyche Law Firm).

Trustee McFadden agreed with Trustee Scott and also stated that "we" had received "this  information" only 30 minutes before. She expressed questions about whether the were other law firms that could have been considered and got no answers. Teresa merely listened to her and moved on. McFadden asked if everyone else received the legal information before the (executive session). 

Trustee Agostini was almost ignored by Holmes, but she was recognized for discussion. She asked why the in-house attorney was not being used and what the need was to hire outside counsel. Holmes responded that was in executive session. Holmes talked over Agostini. Agostini said, "Point of Order. I am asking the question." 

Holmes ignored the Magic Words - "Point of Order."

Agostini asked for the District's attorney, Ms. Mahoney, to answer the question and looked toward the audience. Holmes again refused, stating it was covered in executive session. Teresa said, "I am making the ruling." 

The Trustee Agostini asked whom the new attorney will represent. Teresa once again hid behind the "executive session" shield of confidentiality. Teresa said that public session is not the time to ask questions. 

Agostini stated her disappointment that she was not being allowed to ask whom the attorney will represent, whether the attorney will represent the school board, whether the attorney will be allowed to speak with individual board members (she had been told before that the attorney cannot), and the insufficient time to consider the matter.

How can the attorney represent a school board member, if the attorney cannot talk to a school board member???

Does this mean the new attorney cannot talk to Holmes? Manning? With whom  can they speak? Supt. Davis? Karla Hawkins (in-house counsel)? Kathryn Mahoney (outside counsel)?

Trustee McFadden asked for a delay and calling a special board meeting after they have had time to review the legal recommendation.

Holmes stated there was a motion on the floor and, if that motion failed, then McFadden could make a secondary motion. (1:29:45)  Holmes was WRONG! Why didn't the Superintendent or Manning correct Holmes?

Because they knew that four board members were going to approve the primary motion and then no further motion would fly.

McFadden tried to comment further, and Holmes shut her down, repeatedly saying she had already called for the vote. Listen to Holmes' tone of voice, as she speaks to McFadden. 

The vote was 4-3. Of course. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

"Sometimes ... split votes"

 During closing comments last night, James Manning said, "Sometimes our board has split votes on issues." at 3:22:00

Whom is he kidding?

Sometimes? If you went back over the past year and reviewed the votes, you will see an amazing number of 4-3 votes, with The Core Four voting as a bloc and The Minority Three (Agostini, Scott, McFadden) being out-voted.

It's not "sometimes". The Four have stuck together like Elmer's Glue. They will say they are voting independently but, when you look at the issues (as Manning calls them), there are many times when The Three chose the side of reason and student-centered interest, and The Four did not. 

At least, one of The Four should have sided with Reason. And did not.

Board Policy BD Violated last night

Why was Board Policy BD Organization of the Board violated last night?

Policy BD reads, in part, "Elected officers will take their positions immediately upon completion of the election."

What happened last night? After the elections were completed, Davis turned the meeting back over to Holmes for board and superintendent comments. See at 3:16:59

What should have happened? Holmes should have immediately turned the meeting over Manning, the incoming Chair.

Who should have known that Policy? The superintendent, who conducted the election. Teresa Holmes, the chair, who was just completing her term.  James Manning, who has been on the board since 2010, Amelia McKie, who is just completing her term as Secretary.

These are the people running a business with a $300,000,000+ annual budget. Would you want them running your company?

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Musical Chairs on the Board

No surprise at tonight's election of board officers for the 2022-2023 School Year.

Manning was elected Chair.
McKie was elected Vice-Chair.
Holmes was elected Secretary.

So the Board continues to have two officers who aren't even legal board members.

I hope the State Inspector General will have fun with this.

The Chair and the Secretary could change in November, if Richland 2 decides to begin complying with State law. South Carolina Code of Laws Section 59-19-70 will probably be new information to Richland 2, just as finding out when the term of a school board member actually began, which Richland 2 learned in 2020.

SECTION 59-19-70. Chairman and clerk of board.

The trustees shall, as soon as practicable after the appointment of any new trustee, organize by the election of one of their members as chairman and another as clerk of the board. The chairman shall preside at meetings of the board and perform other duties imposed on him under the law, and the clerk shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings in a book provided for that purpose and perform all other duties required of him by law.

Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden were wise just to sit out the election. Their votes weren't going to count, anyway.

Board (majority) refuses to support one of the Minor Three

The Core Four stuck together tonight in the final board meeting of the 2021-2022 school year. But the tide will change in November, and the Core Four (what's left of them) will learn what it's like to be on the losing end of every vote.

Trustee Agostini wanted to amend the agenda for July 12th board meeting to include a discussion of Board Policy JKE - Expulsion of  Students and its related Administrative Rule.

AR JKE-R was issued in 1996 and was last revised March 22, 2010 - more than 12 years ago. 

Manning did a good job of sabotaging the motion by wanting to know more about it, so that it would look like he had an excuse for voting against it.

He and the others would have guessed why the Minor Three might want to discuss that policy in public. At a recent board meeting there was an intense discussion about whether a student up for expulsion should have the right to be heard by the board, which presently just takes the superintendent's word for whether a student should be kicked out.

The vote was, of course, 3-4, and Agostini's Motion failed. 

The superintendent said board members can discuss issues with him. Well, they know how well that has worked out during the past year. 

As has been said at previous board meetings, when one trustee brings up a request, the other board members should support it. Why not put it on the agenda? Then, if they want to kill it, they can kill it after discussion, not kill it when the Motion is made.

But that's the way The Core Four operates.

Holmes Mercilessly Bullies Board Members

Tonight was one of the worst examples of Parliamentary abuse by Teresa Holmes that has occurred in the entire School Year of 2021-2022. And it was on a very important issue.

The Board discussed in executive session the hiring of special counsel to represent the District in the face of likely legal action by the State Inspector General.

When it was time to vote on hiring special counsel, three board members (Trustees Scott, MdFadden and Agostini) commented that they had received information only 30 minutes prior and had not had time to examine it carefully. 

Agostini wanted to hear from the District's lawyer, who was present in the audience. McFadden wanted to know why they were presented with only one law firm, The Wyche Law Firm. The motion included a deviation of the District's hourly rate, but McFadden and Agostini were unsuccessful in getting that information for the public.

Teresa Holmes was 100% wrong when she told Trustee McFadden that, if the motion failed, she could make a secondary motion. No, you make a new motion.

But one of the trustees should have made a secondary motion during discussion. 

Teresa rushed through and shut off discussion by calling for the vote.

All of the trustees, but especially the three in the minority, should know Robert's Rules of Order. When the Chair is wrong, they should know what RONR says and demand that RONR be followed.

It's simple. You study RONR. The magic words are Point-of-Order. But you have to know what to do, when the Chair ignores the call of Point-of-Order or when she overrides it. RONR provides specific guidance.

Tonight Teresa Holmes was a bully, and she got away with it. 

Why was the Wyche Law Firm tapped? Who picked it? The superintendent? Teresa Holmes Holmes and the superintendent? Why didn't the District take time to shop? 

Maybe because they are spending your money, not their own?

Incredible Gaffe at Last Meeting

After a year of running board meetings, Teresa Holmes blew it, when she attempted to convene her finally school board meeting as Board Chair.

Teresa Holmes: "Good evening. May I please have a motion to call to order the June 28, 2022 Richland 2, Richland School District Two school board meeting. May I have a motion please to go into executive session? Ms. McKie."

What in the world was that mess of words?

So she never really called the meeting to order.

Should I even bother to comment further?

Monday, June 27, 2022

Actual Scholarships or Offered?


At a recent board meeting an announcement was made of scholarships received by Richland 2 graduating seniors.

On the District's website there is now the above banner.

As soon as I saw it, I wondered whether it was correct.

When I clicked on VIEW ALL NEWS, I read the June 3, 2022 news article titled "SENIORS TO GRADUATE WITH MILLIONS IN COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP OFFERS"

The article has the same $157,957,278 amount.

OK, which is it? Scholarships or Scholarship Offers? Did the District exaggerate (in the banner) the amount of scholarship dollars actually received by Richland 2 students?

One example from the article is this: "Blythewood High School: $37,427,975 earned by 432 graduates"  The average is $86,638. If these are actual scholarshiops awarded, it seems high to me.

Blythewood High School: $37,427,975 earned by 432 graduates
Richland Northeast High School: $21,443,739 earned by 276 graduates
Ridge View High School: $27,616,089 earned by 373 graduates
Spring Valley High School: $38,757,275 earned by 464 graduates
Westwood High School: $27,712,200 earned by 344 graduates

The total scholarship offers for the five high schools are $152,957,278 (rather than the $157,957,278 in the article). That's an average of $80,972. 

That's an even $5,000,000 difference. There must be an arithmetic error or an entry error somewhere.

I emailed Supt. Davis today for clarification as to actual or offered.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Your own opinion?

How many times have we heard at Richland 2 school board meetings, "You are entitled to have your own opinion"?

Each time I heard it, I waited for the rest of the sentence. Here's how my brain heard it every time:

"You are entitled to have your own opinion, even if you are wrong."

The inference was that the (board member) speaker's opinion was the only right one. Your opinion was wrong, and you should change your opinion to agree with the speaker.

When I saw this on Facebook, I thought, "YES!"

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Congratulations, R2 School Board

I wish to offer my heartiest congratulations to the Richland 2 school board for the school year of 2021-2022.

You did it. 

You pulled off enough antics to attract the attention of the legislators, the Governor and the Inspector General.

The legislators put together a bill (Senate Bill 202) to provide for the Inspector General to investigate certain schools. S.202 was pre-filed on December 9, 2020. It stalled in the S.C. Senate after March 25, 2021.

But then, a year later on March 31, 2022, increased attention was given to it, and it is swiftly moved through the S.C. Senate and the S.C. House to a Conference Committee and to the Governor, where it was signed into law on June 17, 2022.

On June 22, 2022 Gov. McMaster directed the Inspector General to investigate Richland Two.

You'll remember that Teresa Holmes was nominated as board chair on June 29, 2021. At that same meeting James Manning was nominated as board vice chair, and Amelia McKie was nominated as board secretary. Each of the nominees was elected.

And the chaos began. The intensity of the chaos grew, and the board finally hired a consultant for "executive coaching" and parliamentary procedures. 

We know how that well worked. Soon after the second training session came April 28, 2022. A day of infamy for Richland 2. 

Holmes was quick to run to the Sheriff's Department. It wasn't her first trip. On March 20, 2019, she had filed a complaint against me. Her report, as written by a deputy, was full of false statements, and her allegations went nowhere. 

Another board member filed a complaint against me with the sheriff's department on June 17, 2022. That one went nowhere. It too contained false statements.

There ought to be a law against filing false police reports. But wait; there IS a law. Unfortunately, in both cases RCSD failed to collect handwritten statements to back up the reports at RCSD. 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Post and Courier reports on Gov. and I.G.

The Post and Courier newspaper published an article today about Gov. McMaster's directive to the State Inspector General to investigate Richland School District Two.

The following sentences were in that article.

"McFadden turned herself in to authorities two weeks later and was arrested and charged with threatening the life of a public employee. She still serves on the board despite calls for her resignation. The governor weighed removing McFadden from office but now is waiting for completion of the investigation to make that call, Symmes said." 

Now is the time to write to the Inspector General in Lashonda McFadden's defense. There is not a single person on the planet who believes that Lashonda was threatening Teresa Holmes' life.

Teresa's bringing charges against Lashonda was one of those "Getcha [sic] moments" that Caution-Parker talked about a few months ago.

I have attended and watched many board meetings. I have observed how Teresa interacted with Lashonda. How many adjectives would you like me to drag out here to describe why Lashonda hit the boiling point on April 28?

I cannot describe it any better than the fifth speaker in Public Participation did on May 25, 2022. Watch her comments here: Listen to her remarks on beginning at 1:25:00

I intend to submit this recording to the Inspector General. 

When Lashonda ran for office, I'm sure she had no idea that she was stepping into a snakepit. I had considered running for the school board in 2020, but only briefly. I spoke with a wise attorney in Columbia, who told me that I'd have a good platform for airing my complaints about the board. He added, "But you don't want to win." 

I had pretty much decided that the Richmond 2 school board was no place for me. Sure, I could have done the job. But I never would have put up the the drivel and nonsense that was occurring. 

I have high admiration for Lindsay Agostini, Monica Scott and Lashonda McFadden. Frankly, I don't know how they put up with the (horse manure) that goes on at board meetings and, I'm sure, in executive sessions. I'd be on my feet and walking out after 1½ hours. Craig Plank knew how to run a board meeting. Meetngs were friendly and tightly-run.

Now, look at the chaos that has taken place in this school year. Manning never should have nominated Holmes as Board Chair; she is not even a legal board member. Usually, when a board member serves a Vice Chair, s/he learns how to run a meeting. Holmes served a year as board vice chair. Did she learn anything, except how to pound the gavel six times to call the meeting to order? One time would have been sufficient. 

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting?

Is the Committee of the Whole for Safety & Security really just the bastard child of Richland 2?

Looking at the District's website today, the meeting of this Committee still shows as for June 14th at 3:30PM. That was ten days ago.

Does this really show the level of importance being given to the Committee by the Board and Administration of the District?

Why didn't Media Relations update the website once the meeting date had passed? Why wasn't the announccement of the meeting changed to a Notice of the past meeting with a link to the the livestream recording of the meeting?

Has the Committee acted to involve parents, teachers, staff, and community members in the Committee's planning? Or will it be "same ol', same ol' " - just the same staff people from before who were supposed to be improving safety and security?

Do community participants want some "say" in what is happening, or are they just willing to be spoon-fed by the Administration? Did you notice the number of times that the staffer said "our survey" during the presentation on June 14th? And the staff's assumption that guns were the most important issue in safety?

What if "guns" are not the most important issue in school safety? The District did not learn that, because it did not ask in the survey!

OIG's website not quite ready

The Office of the S.C. Inspector General is hard at work to update its online complaint form to accept complaints about the Richland 2 School District (and Board). Please have patience; they are working on it.

Get your complaints ready. You might draft them in Word and then copy and paste them into the online complaint form at

If you are really in a hurry to submit them, you can mail them to the address on the website.

If you wish to email your complaints, send them to

I intend to separate my complaints by topic and to submit them as separate emails or webform submissions. This should make it easier for the office to place them in categories to be investigated.

When you submit your complaint by mail or email, be sure to indicate whether you waive confidentiality. The webform will ask you the question.

Me? I put my name on everything. "Anonymous" does not exist for me when I have something to say.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

How Will Richland 2 Respond?

Will Richland 2 lawyers be hard at work this morning to craft a worthy response to the Governor's directive to the Inspector General to investigate Richland 2?

I could save them a lot of time. Just say this:

"Richland 2 has no comment on the Governor's directive, except that the Board and the District have done nothing wrong."

Well, that settles it, then. The I.G. won't have a thing to do.

Will all the videos disappear from and YouTube? 

Will Richland 2's Media Release after the disruptions on January 25 magically vanish? Will WIS-TV lose the videos of Holmes and Manning and Pamela Davis from January 28, 2022?

Thank goodness for screen-captures and printers. The proof has been saved.

Who will be elected as Board President on June 28 (Tuesday)? That person will end up with the "fun" of trying to deny all the dysfunction that has taken place in the School Year just past.

S.C. Governor Orders Probe of Richland 2

YES! Yesterday, June 22, 2022, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered the South Carolina Inspector General, Brian Lamkin, to initiate a probe into the affairs of Richland School District Two.

Thanks to the new law signed on June 17, 2022, which started as Senate Bill 202, Gov. McMaster didn't waste any time asking Inspector Lamkin to get started.

Will Mr. Lamkin have any difficulty finding mismanagement, misconduct or wrongdoing? Once you stop laughing over this question, make your list. Be specific. Cite examples. Refer to with the date of the board meeting and the counter/timer. 

Has there been organizational dysfuction by elected officials? 

Send your letters to Hon. Brian Lamkin, State Inspector General, 111 Executive Center Drive, Suite 204, Columbia, SC 29210. Or you can use the webform at (NOTE: the OIG webform has not yet been updated to accept school district complaints)

My complaints will include 1) failure of Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie to take the oath-of-office after filing their Statements of Economic Interests and illegitimately usurping public office since November 13, 2018; 2) Teresa Holmes' filing a false police report against me with the Richland County Sheriff's Department on March 20, 2019; 3) Teresa Holmes' failing to call for an investigation of the disruptions in the board room on January 25, 2022; 4) failure of  RSD2 to investigate my complaint against Pamela Davis for her misconduct on January 25, 2022; 5) Teresa Holmes' failing to call for an investigation after the disruptions in the executive session on April 28, 2022. 

                                                                  (Click to enlarge)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Here Comes the Inspector General - hopefully

On June 17, 2022 Gov. Henry McMaster signed S.202 into law. What was this Bill?

S. 202, when signed, allows the Governor to go after Richland Two School District. He can direct the South Carolina Inspector General to investigate Richland 2.

You're familiar with all the chaos and antics of the past year. Things got so bad in the fall that the board decided to hire an outside consultant to help them. No doubt she tried. And failed. Within a matter of days things got worse. And then worse after that.

January 25, 2022 Before the board meeting started, I attempted to introduce myself to a black woman I did not know and had never seen before. As soon as I said, "Hello, I'm Gus Philpott", she shouted, "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! DON'T TALK TO ME! GET AWAY FROM ME!" Two Richland 2 security officers came over and within minutes I was on my way out of the building - banned until June 30, 2022 at 11:59PM.

Then she turned on a 14-year-old student and cussed him out. The student told me what she said. A white man intervened on the young man's behalf, and then Baron Davis came barreling over and had to be restrained. The white man was the second man kicked out of the meeting. He said he was told by the Director of Safety & Security that Davis said to put him on No-Trespass Notice.

Who was that woman? Pamela Davis, wife of Supt. Baron Davis and teacher at Blythewood High School.

I filed a complaint against her with the Blythewood H.S. Principal, and I have never heard one word from the District. Where did they bury my complaint? Probably in the same place where they have bury most of my complaints.

There has been more chaos, disorder, upsets, antics. 

Hopefully, the South Carolina Inspector General will swoop in and clean house. One person in the spotlight, who should not be cleaned out, is Lashonda McFadden. She made a mistake, for which she has apologized, but she was teased and taunted. McFadden has endured disrespect from Teresa Holmes since almost the beginning of her term in November 2020. Listen to the remarks of the fifth speaker in Public Participation on May 25, 2022. This speaker nailed what has been going on with The Core Four on this year's school board.

Listen to her remarks on beginning at 1:25:00

I wish I had been present that night. I would have been on my feet, applauding her remarks.

Why Does Teresa Holmes lie?

                                                                    (Click to enlarge)

This post appeared last week on the private Facebook group of "DrTeresa Holmes". My thanks to one of her friends who emailed it to me.

Why would Teresa Holmes, sitting as Chair of the Richland 2 School Board, post this? In case you can't read it, under her name it reads

"This man is asking people to follow board members. He also previously asked people to sit outside of James Manning's home to take pictures, knowing he has a young daughter at home..."

The truth? I have never asked people to follow board members.

The truth? I have never asked people to sit outside of James Manning's home to take pictures.

Since I never asked people to follow board members or to sit outside James Manning's home to take pictures, is Holmes' post actually libelous and defamatory? I feel like she is accusing me of stalking board members and endangering a child.

Is this conduct unbecoming a board member and board officer? 

Perhaps Teresa thought I wouldn't see that post, because she has blocked me from her private group. 

Should I trot right down to Richland County Sheriff's Department and file a complaint against her for Harassment? If I do, my report will not be full of lies, as was hers against me on March 20, 2019.

Who, me? Confused?

Is there any confusion about the reason that kids are confused? Who am I? What am I? Am I really a (fill-in-the-blank)?

Is it true that, at Disney, greeters no longer can call out "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls..."?

What do they say? "Y'all standin' there, listen up."

If Richland 2 would add two more rows of symbols to that chart, it would make a Bingo card. Then it might at least be worth something.

Richland 2 ought to be teaching Reading, Writing and Arithmatic. Checkbook balancing. Budgeting. Wise Use of Credit. Spelling. Reading and writing comprehension. Grammar (he/she/it). How to prepare for a job in the real world. True history. 

And, most importantly, how to think for yourself.

Monday, June 20, 2022

McKie and the S.C. Ethics Commission

There was a hearing scheduled for last Thursday, June 16, for Amelia McKie at the office of the South Carolina Ethics Commission. The Commission charged her with failing to report her 2020 Richland 2 income on her 2021 Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI). She was to appear on Thursday at 9:30AM.

On Wednesday afternoon McKie notified the Ethics Commission that she would not appear because she had COVID-like symptoms. 

What the Commission should have done is told her to log into their livestream service and appear virtually. What they did was grant a one-time continuance. Her hearing has been re-scheduled to October  20, 2022 at 9:30AM. OCTOBER 20. Four months from now. (And 2½ weeks before Election Day.)

So, how sick was she? Did she notify everyone who was at the Committee of the Whole meeting and the Board Meeting on June 14 that she might have COVID? Did she notify everyone who attended Mia McLeod's not-victory celebration on June 14? Did she quarantine and skip all the Juneteeth celebrations over the week-end?

Or did her "symptoms" miraculously disappear and turn out just to be a common cold or nothing at all?

McKie owes $57,100 to the Ethics Commission.

If the legislature does its duty and passes a pending bill that will prevent McKie from filing for re-election, McKie won't be able to run for re-election. If I were to guess at the chances for that bill to pass, I'd say "About 0.00001%." Why? Because it would keep S.C. Representatives and S.C. Senators from running for re-election, if they owe money to their respective Ethics Commissions.

The S.C. Ethics Commission does not report ethics fines/debts of S.C. Representatives and S.C. Senators. How likely is it that they will vote against their own interests?

Friday, June 17, 2022

Holmes lights a fire under son, friends

Richland 2 Board Chair Teresa Holmes lit a fire under her son and friends by taking one of my Facebook posts out of context and posting it on her private DrTeresa Holmes Facebook page., 

The post from my personal FB page read, "I've been wanting an AK-47 for some time now. Maybe I should brush up my Russian and buy a ticket to Ukraine. I wonder how much Richland 2 would chip in, if I promised not to come back."

The context was the war in Ukraine. I was a Russian major in college and am a former deputy sheriff, a veteran, and a person who gets involved. I was investigating how to get to Ukraine to help drive out the Russians. 

By taking my post out of context and putting it on her page, she riled up a bunch of her followers.

Chris Leevy Johnson thought I ought to be reported to Sheriff Lott. (Remember Chris' FB comment after James Shadd became Board Chair? Chris called Lindsay Agostini a "Karen" for not voting for Shadd.)

Teresa's son, Jai Austin, posted this rant on Facebook:

"Attention Columbia SC
I have stood silent long enough watching all this shit and I don’t even live there anymore..
1. When will these racist in Columbia realize you don’t run us..
2. When will racist in Columbia stop making up blatant lies and stories just to downgraded the fact the African Americans run the community and are on top of their game making sure that these kids have a healthy, happy, productive education.
3. To the dumb bitch who took a photo of what was supposed to be my moms cars but wasn’ you’re just dumb ��.
4. To Gus Philpot the White supremicist version of Mr. Rogers, you can take your ass to Alaska with Sarah Palen and them and enjoy all your guns. But to say something like that when you show true hate towards the black community is disgusting.
5. To a nameless nobody who likes to threaten my mother In meetings and continuously have a agenda for my mother…All I will say to that is, was the first orange suit not enough baby?

I kept my mouth shut cause I’m not the one, call these racist out and put them on blast. Call out these these crazy ass people who pretend to care about your kids education but don’t and put them on BLAST.. Thats all I have to say ❤️ "

Do you suppose Teresa is proud of her son's literary prowess? His command of the English language? His ability to express himself clearly?

Where'd he go to high school? A Richland 2 high school? Is he, like his mother, a "product" of the Richland 2 School District?

Time's Almost Up, Teresa

The 2021-2022 School Year ends on June 30, which means new officers of the board for the next school year. In fact, board-officers terms for this year run out on Tuesday, June 28, when next year's officers are elected.

For the past year two women have been on the board who are NOT legitimate board members and were not eligible to serve as officers. Each was elected in 2021 to serve as an Officer of the Board. Teresa Holmes was elected Board Chair, and Amelia McKie (recordholder of highest-ever Ethics fines of a Richland 2 school board member) was elected Board Secretary. They should not have been nominated (thanks, James Manning and Dr. Cheryl. Caution. Parker., respectively). They were elected by The Core Four - no surprise there.

What's important?

I have been addressing their illegitimacy since February 2019, when I first spoke to the School Board on that issue.

Both violated S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-1110(A).

Disclosure of Economic Interests
SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file statement of economic interests.
(A) No public official, regardless of compensation, and no public member or public employee as designated in subsection (B) may take the oath of office or enter upon his official responsibilities unless he has filed a statement of economic interests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate supervisory office.

The School District and the Board have never explained to the public or to me why they are not violating this law.

Both have been usupring public office since November 13, 2018.

Neither should be elected as a board officer on June 28, 2022. 

Show up at the June 28, 2022 and speak at Public Participation. Request the board to honor the law and to nominate and elect only fully-qualified board members as officers. That will eliminate Holmes and McKie from consideration. An additional reason not to nominate McKie is her $57,100 debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission.and the judgment against her in Richland County Common Pleas Court for that debt.

"DrTeresa Holmes" rants on Facebook

This week you will not want to miss the rants by "DrTeresa Holmes" on Facebook. She refers to herself as "YOUR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER ON THE MOVE". To find her, be sure to omit the space between Dr and Teresa.

If you don't find that page, you're blocked. I will address that in the near future.

Her crosshairs swept past me, but I accept her for who she is. Teresa displays her "real" self at many school board meetings, when she taunts, teases, disrespects, interrupts, cuts off, over-rides other board members and speaks (knowingly in her own mind) as if she is queen of the roost, when in fact, it is obvious that she knows not of which she speaks.

Look for her post, "IMPORTANT POST: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH". See her examples of "HATE /LIES /THREATS"

Keep in mind that is the woman who left work one day in early 2019, after reading an email I sent to the entire board, and ran straight to the sheriff's department to file a report that I was harassing her. When I read the report, I pointed out to the officer and the deputy in the Criminal Investigations Division that her report to the deputy was full of false statements. .She should have been charged with filing a false police report.

So there is a very good example of HATE /LIES /THREATS against me. Interesting that she did not mention that in her rant.

Teresa refers to her "dignified silence". When has she ever been dignified or silent? Does anyone have an example? I can think of one - silent, but not dignified. That was when she, as Board Chair, allowed Craig Khanwell/Conwell a full three minutes to threaten white people and me at the February 8, 2022 school board meeting. Later I saw a "friendly" photo of Teresa and Craig. Why would she allow a Louis Farrakhan follower to threaten white people, or anyone, at a school board meeting? And then she thanked him for speaking.

Is that Teresa's style of dignity?

Teresa claims to have been threatened. Is that why a deputy was posted along the wall at the June 14, 2022 school board meeting? Me? I don't believe she has been threatened.

But I know I was threatened on February 8, 2022, and she did nothing to stop Conwell (that's his name in the Richland County Fifth Judicial District Public Index). And so were white people in the school board audience that night. If Teresa wants to talk about racism anytime, let's do it. In public. At a school board meeting. Recorded.

Pitiful. Be glad her term as Board Chair is over on June 28, 2022. 

Why has she never even taken the oath-of-office legally and become a legitimate member of the school board? Look what she turned a simple oversight into. Four years of chaos. She may have been ignorant of the law in November 2018, when she failed to file her Statement of Economic Interests with the S.C.Ethics Commission and when an oath-of-office was improperly administered to her on November 18, 2018. 

She could have been honorable, admitted her mistake (instead of blaming it on "Nobody told me"), and taken the oath then. But she wasn't and she didn't. 

Now, she is playing the victim role. Sorry, Teresa. No pass.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

McKie - COVID? Ethics hearing off

If you see Amelia McKie out and about today thru some days following, please take a photo and send it to me. Her hearing at the Ethics Commission was scheduled for today (June 16) at 9:30AM. Late yesterday she reported COVID-like symptoms and the Commission granted her a one-time continuance. She was perfectly fine on Tuesday at the Committee meeting, Board meeting, and Mia McLeod's watch party. Does she have COVID?

How many could have been exposed at the Committee and Board meetings? Has she informed any of the exposure?

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Committee Meeting WAS recorded

 Surprise, surprise.

The homepage now shows a recorded meeting of the June 14, 2022 Committee of the Whole on Safety & Security. That meeting, which shows a recorded length of 1:52:44, was announced without a Livestream notice. See the June 14th "livestream" here. The audio seems to begin at 08:14, and the video camera was added at 08:27.

What's the real meaning of this? Viewers could not watch the meeting as it happened and then show up at the board meeting at 6:30PM and ask questions. Sneaky, eh? The Committee Chair, Trustee Monica Scott, had requested that the meeting be livestreamed. It was not. It was recorded, and it is the recording that now makes its way to the livestreeam platform.

Present: Scott, Agostini, Caution-Parker, Holmes, Davis, Manning (late)

Absent: Caution-Parker, McFadden

First up was the recent school survey. (11:22) The staffer said there were four questions. The first two were demographics (What school? What level (grade) was the student at?). The next two questions were, as the speaker said, the "meat of the survey". THEY DO A SURVEY AND ASK ONLY TWO SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS?

Q. 3 was to rate their level of support on a list of safety measures. There were four choices.

Q. 4 was a list of safety concerns. Notably absent from the list was "Student bringing a gun to school". The assumption by the District was that bringing a gun to school is a major safety concern. What if it is not?

Mrs. Agostini asked the staffer if the survey had asked about race or gender. Staffer: No. Well, they missed a HUGE factor!!! Who designed the survey? Did the Committee have input on the questions or form of the survey? The staffer kept referring to "our" list. To me, that meant the staff's list, not the committee's list.

The Committee seems to sit in their "regular" board seating arrangement, with the superintendent holding the corner position, which Robert's Rules of Order designates for the Chair of a committee or board. Move him to the outside or maybe not even at the head table!

At this point Holmes spoke up for the first time. It was not her place to thank the staff for the survey (that's the role of the Chair). As she continued, her phone rang. HOLMES' PHONE RANG? Inexcusable!  She continued to hold her phone and even scrolled and began typing! Then she trashed the survey.The rest of her comments were completely unnecessary. 

This is what happened up to the 27:00 marker for the meeting.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Chaos Again! RONR - out the window!!!

Did you hear that big, ol', black steam engine roar through the boardroom tonight?

There are new Rules of Order for the Richland 2 school board. They aren't available in print yet, but the title will be Holmes' Rules of Order. Basically, they will be, "I'm Holmes, and I rule this joint."

Business fell apart during the portion of meeting devoted to student appeals. 

When Student #5's fate was to be determined, Manning made a Motion to deny the in-person appeal. 

Listen to this portion of the meeting. Go to and fast-forward to 1:24:15 for the start of the discussion about Student #5.

Trustees Agostini and Scott spoke in favor of hearing from the student in person. While just about every sane person would agree that a person ought to have the right to confront his accusers, that isn't the way the (majority of the) Richland 2 school board works. Trustee Scott stated that the board is the "stewards of the people" and that everyone deserves the oppotunity to be heard.

[I'll bet that includes Gary Ginn and me. We both requested in-person hearings on our No-Trespass Orders and were denied them.]

McKie went on record that the board should not hear an appeal due to the severity of the case. (Was this one of the guns-at-school cases?)

The vote was called. 

I expected the vote to be 4-3. HOWEVER, the vote was 3-4, with Holmes voting with Agostini, Scott and McFadden. Therefore, Motions Fails.. Imagine that! Holmes voted AGAINST her buddies, and against the Motion to deny the appeal. How did that happen?

Then Trustee Scott made a Motion to hear the case of the parent/student (#5), and Agostini seconded. Manning said there are certain cases that are so severe (that there was no point in granting a hearing). In other words, Guilty; no chance to prove innocence. (My words). Scott said everybody should have the chance to be heard. McFadden said the board should hear the "whole, entire story".

Holmes announced she was going to take a "point of privilege", which was unnecessary to state, because it was her turn to speak. She said there is a "legal law" (whatever that is) that has to happen. 

Holmes said, "I am open to hearing cases if we have leeway." RIGHT THERE IS A LIE. The board had leeway with Gary Ginn's grievance and with my grievance. Did we get hearings? NO.

So, Holmes' position seems to be, if a person is charged with Murder, he should be convicted. No need to have a trial.

At this point (1:30:48) Trustee Agostini asked Miss Lewis (Christine Lewis, the board's secretary and the recording secretary for the school board meeting) to read back the vote, saying that Holmes had voted AGAINST denying the in-person hearing; i.e., if not AGAINST it, then she was FOR it (the in-person hearing).

Holmes woke up and realized that she had voted the wrong way. Said she, "I must have hit the wrong button." Yes, indeed she had. And her vote was cast and announced by the recording secretary, by displaying it to the public. Holmes pointed her finger at Christine Lewis and said, "You cann change my vote."

No, the secretary CANNOT change Holmes' vote!!! Robert's Rules of Order is very clear about this at Section 4:42: "... a member has the right to change his vote up to the time the result is announced. After that, he can make the change only by unanimous permission of the assembly."

Well, you can't just do that. Holmes did that a few months ago. Unfortunately, the trustees are not highly educated about the finer points of Robert's Rules of Order, but at least this time they stopped her.

Manning bailed Holmes out with some "clarity" about fixing the problem without changing her vote.

Now what?

Teresa tried to excuse her mistake, but she said a second time that she pushed the wrong button. NO, SHE DID NOT PUSH THE WRONG BUTTON. She cast a "No" vote. CARELESSLY, because - well, you fill in the blank here.

The Motion was to hear the in-person hearing. (Whew! Some wording!!!) The vote was 3-4, as expected. The Core Four stuck together - again. 

Then Manning made a Motion to deny the in-person hearing for Student #5.

BUT WAIT. They have already voted on that. See above. The vote was 3-4 - Motion Fails. So they have already voted on this Motion.

I believe there is something in RONR that you can't vote a second time on the same motion.

Earlier Holmes had made a comment about certain trustees' "playing", and Agostini expressed that she was troubled by such a comment.

Holmes again mentioned "the law", and Trustee Scott explained the correct wording that applies here. 

What they are calling "the law" is Board Policy, and Trustee Scott said the superintendent or the Board can make a different decision and over-ride the wording in Policy. Board Policy is not "law".

Listen to Holmes' rudely cut off Trustee Scott and allow Caution-Parker to speak. 

Watch Caution-Parker. She began speaking and pointing her finger at Trustee Scott, but she had failed to turn on her microphone and her words cannot be heard. Caution-Parker must have asked Trustee Scott a question while her microphone was off. When Trustee Scott said she was not going to answer that question, listen to Caution-Parker's nasty, condescending remark to Trustee Scott, "Of course you are not going to answer, because you know you are wrong."

Caution-Parker deserved a time-out or to be removed from the board for violating rules of decorum and civility.

McKie said she wasn't sure "what four people" were being referred to. Of course, she is sure. "The Four" are Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning. She apparently has no clue as to how foolish she sounds, when she says "I'm not sure..."

Trustee McFadden was trying to be heard. Trustee Agostini called for the vote. At this point the person who made the Motion should have been asked to re-state it. The motion by Manning was to deny the in person hearing for student five. The vote was 4-3; Pass. Holmes found the right button (for her) this time.

That took unti 1:38:55.

6/14/22 Board Meeting 5:30PM/ Sound off?

Where was the sound when the Richland 2 school board meeting was called to order?

It looked to me like Teresa forgot to turn on her microphone. Did anyone else see the red light on her microphone that indicates it is on?

There was no chaos when the meeting was called to order but the public, as well as all board members, are entitled to hear everything said during the meeting.

Monday, June 13, 2022

This Is a GREAT Message

This is a great talk by Carol Swain.

EVERY black student needs to sit down and watch this - and study it. 

She was spared from "life-sapping, negative messages about America that are crippling a generation of young people."

She describes as "poison" such messages as "white supremacy, whiteness as a form of property, unconscious racism, reparations, micro-aggressions, police have it out for blacks, that the United States was created to create and protect slavery".

Sound familiar?

Maybe ALL kids need to watch this video, but many of Richland County's blacks definitely need to.

Open Letter to Governor and Attorney General

The following email has been sent to Gov. Henry McMaster and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson. If you agree, will you please send your own letter to them this week?
Gov. Henry McMaster:
AG Alan Wilson:

GovMcMaster and Attorney General Wilson,

On June 28, 2022 the Richand 2 School Board will elect its officers for the 2022-2023 School Year.

I ask writing to ask you to intervene and to urge or demand that the Board members nominate and elect only fully-qualified, legitimate board members as officers for the coming year.

Two women on the board are not legitimate board members, and each serves as an officer in the 2021-2022 School Year. I have addressed the school board numerous times about this issue since February 2019; it has never taken corrective action.

Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie were elected on November 6, 2018.
The election was certified on November 9, 2018.
They took office on November 13, 2018 (three days before the start of their terms). An oath-of-office was administered to each, and they were seated. They attended executive session that night and voted on board Motions.

The problem is that neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission. Neither was eligible to take the oath on November 13, 2018.

On December 4, 2018 each filed her SEI and first became eligible to take the oath of office.

Neither has taken the oath of office on or since December 4, 2018. Therefore, each is an illegitimate member of the Richland 2 school board. This is Fact.

I approached Sheriff Lott and Attorney General Wilson's office in 2019 about Holmes' and McKie's usurping public office.

On June 29, 2021 I implored the Board during Public Participation to nominate and elect only fully-qualified board members as officers. Later in the meeting when it was time for board elections, Trustee James Manning immediately nominated Teresa Holmes as Chair. Trustee Caution-Parker nominated Amelia McKie as Secretary.

Amelia McKie owes $57,100 in debt to the S.C. Ethics Commission and is subject of a Judgment in Richland County Common Pleas Court. That should eliminate her from consideration as an officer of the Board. 

Will you please take such action as you can to prevent their holding Board office in 2022-2023?

Thank you in advance for any action you will take.


Gus Philpott

What if no Holmes and no McKie?

What would the Richland 2 school board look like if

Holmes could not vote, be on the board or chair it?

McKie could not vore, be on the board of be Secretary?

The Core Four who rule the roost are Holmes, McKie, Manning, and Caution-Parker..

The Three who get out-voted on every significant issue are Agostini, Scott and McFadden.

What if Holmes and McKie were finally determined to be ineligible board members? What would the teams look like.

Legal board members: Manning, Caution-Parker (2)

Legal board members: Agostini, Scott and McFadden (3)

The board would have voted to investigate what happened on January 25, 2022.

The board would have voted to investigate what happened on April 28, 2022.

The board would have sanctioned Supt. Davis for approving excess spending by trustees on travel and training.

And many other actions of the board and district would have become transparent.

How would their replacements be selected? Would there be a Special Election? Would the seats remain empty, if their eviction occurred within a certain number of days of the November 9, 2022 election?

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Do Not Remain Silent

Take six minutes right now and watch this 5/3/2022 senior speech by Harvard University student Julie Hartman.

Watch it as a family.

Board Meeting - June 14, 2022

The next school board meeting will be this Tuesday, June 14, 2022. 5:30PM at R2i2.

Be sure to sign up to speak before the 6:15PM deadline. And do show up and speak. 

The Board must be evaluating the superintendent now. Express your opinion on his performance.

Are you unhappy about his trip to Australia? Ask how much that will cost Richland 2 and if he is going on his own time.

Are you happy about the state of security in Richland 2? Disappointed at the number of guns being found in schools?

Ask how many teachers have not renewed their contracts and what the District is doing to find out why they are leaving.

Ask why he didn't insist that the Board investigate what transpired on January 25, 2022 just before the board convened.

Ask why the Media Relations Dept. put out the statement that it did. And why it did not comment on the April 26 Executive Session.

Ask why the superintendent did not inform ALL board members of Sheriff Lott's press conference on May 26. Richland County Sheriff's Dept. told me that Notice of the meeting was provided to school superintendents. Holmes, McKie and Manning knew about it. Agostini, Scott and McFadden did not know about it. 

Remember the line in Cool Hand Luke? "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

What evaluation will the board give the superintendent this year?

And express your opinions about the board officer election to take place on June 28, 2022. Should only fully-qualified board members be nominated and elected? Remember: Holmes and McKie are not legitimate board members and are not eligible to be officers. Neither has ever taken the oath-of-office legally.

Committee of the Whole meeting: 6/14/22 3:30PM

The Committee of the Whole on Safety & Security is scheduled to meet at 3:30PM on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 (election day) at R2i2. The meeting is open to the public, and no executive session is scheduled. For some reason it is announced as a "Special Meeting" (whatever that means).

The chairperson of the Committee is School Board Trustee Monica Scott. 

It is my understanding that she requested that the meeting be livestreamed. Nothing about livestream is included in the announcement. 

Who denied her request? The superintendent? The board chair? So much for wanting to include the public!

Take a look at the bland agenda.

2.1 Safety and Security
2.2 Safety Survey Results
2.3 Presenters

I've seen many meeting agendas over the years. This gets the prize for insufficient and incomplete information.

I, of course, would like to attend. Back on February 27, 2018, just two weeks after the shootings in Parkland, Florida, I requested a survey of parents, teachers and staff on the topic of arming teachers . I also suggested a parent and community members' advisory committee on school safety.

Perhaps I shouldn't assume that a request to attend Tuesday's meeting will be denied. It seems reasonable to me for permission to attend this important meeting could be granted. (My sentence to "Richland 2 Jail" is up on June 30, 2022 at 11:59PM.) I'll submit it right now.

To view and hear my remarks on February 27, 2018, go to and fast-forward to 30:08. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

McKie Still Owes $57,100

 Why isn't Amelia McKie making any payments on her debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission?

The Commission advised yesterday that she still owes $57,100!

Is she unwilling to pay or unable to pay? There is a difference. She seems to have money to dress as she does for Richland 2 school board meetings. 

McKie was first elected to the Richland 2 school board in November 2014, and she was re-elected to the board in November 2018. She served as Board Chair in 2018-2019 and as Board Secretary in the current year, 2021-2022.

Am I the only person in Richland County who thinks she ought to be making substantial payments on that debt, in order to eliminate it? It appears that she is not only not making substantial payments; she doesn't seem to be making any payments toward it. Every two-three months the Ethics Commission confirms that she owes the same amount.

McKie has a hearing next week at the Ethics Commission for her most recent violation of ethics laws. On her 2021 Statement of Economic Interests Report she did not report her 2020 income from the Richland 2 school district. She had reported it in previous years. Was the error carelessness? Inattentive? Something else?

Her hearing is Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 9:30AM at the offices of the Ethics Commission, 201 Executive Center Drive, First Floor. The hearing is open to the public. If you are planning to attend, you might call the Commission the day before to confirm that it will still be held. Phone: 803.253.4192

As Secretary of the Board, her job isn't just to sit there and make Motions to go into Executive Session. Or ramble on and on with unnecessary thoughts or lengthy introductions of Inspirational Moments at board meetings (which aren't inspirational).

As Secretary, she ought to be familiar with board policies and certain laws, and she ought to be saying, "Whoa! We have a problem here!" Of course, she is part of the problem - she is not even a legal board member.

There is legislation pending that, when approved, will prevent a candidate for public office from filing, if s/he owes money to the Ethics Commission. If that passes in time, McKie won't be able to file for re-election, and one of The Core Four will bite the dust.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Millage Increase Denied

The pitch by Richland 2 school district for a milllage increase to the cap was denied by Richland County Council on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

Remember that four trustees vote FOR it - Holmes, McKie, Manning, Caution-Parker.

Remember that three trustees voted AGAINST it - Agostini, Scott and McFadden.

And a lot of taxpayers spoke up and asked the County Council to deny it. Which the Council did.

Here's the response I received when I inquired today:

"No, County Council did not grant Richland 2's request for a millage increase. Like all of our millage agencies, they received a no mill increase. A no mill increase simply says if the value of the mill increases and additional revenue is generated therefrom, said agencies may receive those funds later in the fiscal year. Further, a no mill increase does not raise taxes at all."

Be sure to thank the Richland Councll Council.

Board Officers for 2022-2023

Should only fully-qualified members of the school board serve as Officers?

Board Officers will be elected at the second regular meeting in June, which will be June 28. 

The fully-qualified board members eligible for nomination are Agostini, Scott, McFadden, Manning, and Caution-Parker.

"So-called" board members not eligible for nomination are Holmes and McKie.

Why not?

Holmes and McKie have never taken the oath-of-office legally. After their election on November 6, 2018, they did take an oath on November 13. However, that was a full three weeks before they first became eligible to take it.

Holmes and McKie became eligible to take the oath-of-office legally on December 4, 2018, when they filed their Statement of Economic Interests Reports with the S.C. Ethics Commission. Neither has ever legally taken the oath-of-office.

At the June 29, 2021, I asked the board during Public Participation to nominate and elect only fully-qualified board members.

What happened?

As soon as nominations opened later n the meeting, Manning immediately nominated Holmes. The Core Four elected her.

Look what the District got. Chaos. Disrespect. Cat fights. 

If you believe that Holmes and McKie should not be nominated as officers for the next school year, email and call board members now.

This year will be especially interesting, because the November 2022 election is very likely to upset the board. If an officer is not re-elected, then the board will have to choose a new officer in November. This year the school board could end up with 2-3-4 new members.

Here's a section of law that the school board has not followed: S.C. Code of Laws Section 59-19-70. This board is really good about not following State laws.

SECTION 59-19-70. Chairman and clerk of board.

The trustees shall, as soon as practicable after the appointment of any new trustee, organize by the election of one of their members as chairman and another as clerk of the board. The chairman shall preside at meetings of the board and perform other duties imposed on him under the law, and the clerk shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings in a book provided for that purpose and perform all other duties required of him by law.

After Lashonda McFadden joined the board in November 2020, shouldn't there have been an election of the Chair and the Secretary (clerk)?

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Supt. to Australia - confirmed

Yes, taxpayers, it's true. Baron Davis is planning a junket to Melbourne, Australia, and it looks like a second Richland 2 employee, Shawn Suber, will go on the trip, too.

Richland 2 Media Dept. issued a press release today.  You can read it on the Richland 2 website at

The press release states that "CGE covers travel and accommodation expenses for participants." Are Davis and Shawn Suber incurring any expenses to be paid by Richland 2? Are they going on their own time?

When did the Board of Trustees consider Davis' request for international travel and representing the District on foreign soil?

Did the Board consider whether travel to and attending a conference on SEL and "equitable systems" at this time is proper? The District is facing a lot of heat on the CRT front and the SEL/WEL issues. And replacing equality with equity.

Digital Promise League is the organization that came to taxpayer's attention in 2020, when Davis was headed there after COVID-19 broke out. That travel was covered here at here. If I remember correctly, he ended up not going to Compton, Calif., where he was to be a speaker.

In my opinion, Richland 2 could use less of innovation and more of practical. Let's prepare students to deal with reality, not progressive ideas and programs that make them victims in the future.

Here's the June 7th press release:

Richland Two is one of 10 school districts in the United States selected to participate in the Innovation Study Tour and Working Group on Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Learning Differences. 

The Center for Global Education (CGE) at Asia Society and Digital Promise launched the innovation study tours in 2019 to give school districts the opportunity to explore different perspectives outside of their typical environments. Participants collaborate through webinars and culminating study tours.

“Being selected to participate in the first and second Innovation Study Tours is quite an honor for our school district,” said Richland Two Superintendent Dr. Baron R. Davis. “Dr. Helen Grant, our Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, and I gained a deeper understanding of the policies, systems, data and professional development needed to create more equitable school systems in the first study tour to Toronto, Ontario.”

Since 2021, Dr. Davis and Dr. Shawn Suber have represented Richland Two in an online study of the innovative system-wide SEL and Learning Difference strategies implemented by Surrey Schools in British Columbia. Dr. Davis and Dr. Suber, who is the district’s director of multi-tiered systems of support/state and federal programs, will travel to Melbourne, Australia, for an innovation study tour that brings together the work of both studies — equitable systems and SEL/learning differences.

According to Digital Promise and the CGE, “the ultimate aim of this work is to promote greater equity and to ensure all students are well prepared for college, careers and informed, active citizenship in a global era.” CGE covers travel and accommodation expenses for participants.