Wednesday, August 31, 2022

WIS-TV on R2 meal mess

WIS-TV weighed in on Richland Two's meal debt mess on August 29th. Read it here.

Supt. Davis told WIS-TV: "Students were not, and will not be, denied food, regardless of their debt status."

In other words, free meals for all. Just start running up your debt, kiddo.

Wrong! Those that can pay, should pay. If they spend their lunch money elsewhere (at the Apple Store (and I don't mean on apples), at Chick-fil-A, at McDonald's, at GameStop), they don't get lunch.

Those that can't pay need to fill out the forms for free or reduced-price meals. Otherwise, they pay or they don't eat.

Kids (and parents) learn today that they don't have to follow the rules. Just ignore them; you'll get food, anyway.

What are they learning about budgeting and responsibility in Richland Two schools? Nothing!

Gun Safety at Richland 2. What's Next?

Is anything happening with gun safety at Richland 2?

Earlier this year the school board created a Committee of the Whole for Safety & Security. If you didn't show up at any meetings, it's hard to know what is going on. There don't seem to be any Minutes of meetings that are available for public viewing. One meeting was livestreamed (at the last minute). 

Trustee Monica Scott is the chairperson of the Committee.

The Committee had several meetings, and then ...  nothing. Was the last meeting on June 14, 2022?

Why weren't there any meetings in July or August? When will the next meeting be?

Richland One just had another gun incident, when a 17-year-old was arrested today at C.A. Johnson High School, 2219 Barhamville Road. A pistol was in his book bag. See this article in The State newspaper for details.

The City of Columbia is looking into how to slow down gun violence. Mayor Rickenmann announced that the City Council is exploring the creation of a new department.

From The State newspaper, "Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann is hoping his colleagues on council will approve spending $803,000 on a new four-person office of gun violence prevention that he hopes will cut shootings in half over the next three years."  

But what about Richland Two's efforts? 

As long as only the District personnel are involved, nothing new will happen. They should have been already working hard on the problem and solutions. New creative ideas and action are needed.

Here's a novel idea: Make a list of all the kids who are likely to bring guns or other weapons to school. Make a list of all the kids who are being bullied and who might react one of these days. Then work those lists.

The first claim will be Profiling.

Well, do you want to stop the problem or not?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Why She Stopped Teaching


This video was produced in May 2020, and it is as true today as it was then. Even more so.

This former teacher was in California, but you'll recognize everything she says as being true right here in Richland 2.

Take five minutes right now. Watch this video. Then share it with teachers and other parents, with family, co-workers, neighbors. With all voters.

Get involved. Stay involved. Election Day is only 74 days from now. Meet the candidates. View their websites and platforms.

You can narrow your choices quickly from 12 down to 5-6, maybe all the way down to four.

Cross off the Leader of Chaos, Disruption, and Disrespect. You know, the one who told parents to "Stay Woke".

Friday, August 26, 2022

Meal Debt Collection - Part 5

Be sure to listen to and watch the 8/25/2022 Special-Called Board Meeting at

What Richland 2 has is a progressive superintendent who believes "equity" is providing free meals for all, and he intends to find a way to implement it.

Not only was last night's meeting about collecting old debt, it was the beginning of Free Meals for All.

Progressive doesn't just mean looking forward. It has a particular meaning of liberal, for all, "equity". And don't forget diversity and inclusion.
This must be controlled by the board, but it will take the new board to rein him in.

Chair Manning thinks a Pay-for-Meals student should be able to run up a $100 bill. I think not. If the student and his parent(s) can't/won't pay $4/day for a meal, how are they going to pay off a $100 charge balance? And stay current on meals wanted by the kid?

You've got to catch it sooner. 

I'll tell you what the "hardship" is for most parents. $100-150 monthly cable bills. $150/month cell phone bills. That extra $100-150/month for the insurance for the kid's car. Alll those must-have video games. The iPhone. The AppleWatch.

Stop the special deals, payment plans, and other garbage. Nip it in the bud. All the District is doing is enabling bad habits that will mushroom in the future.

Meal Debt Collection - Part 4

Should the Richland Two Educational Foundation bail out the District on the meal debt?

The only answer should be a resounding NO.

The Mission of the Foundation is to "encourage and support excellence in Richland School District Two by enhancing educational opportunities for students, fostering community involvement, and providing resources that promote success in the district."

Forking over money to the school district for its poor oversight of the growing debt is not a responsibility of the Foundation.

The directors of the Foundation are listed here. Let them know how you feel abut this.

Meal Debt Collection - Part 3

CFO Will Anderson gave an interesting presentation about the meal debt accounts.

You can watch it on, starting at "6:00". 

First of all, notice Supt. Davis' introduction. He could have just said, "Will Anderson will lead off our discussion. Mr. Anderson." 
Instead, as usual, Davis took a deep breath and away he went.

Anderson set the stage for use of the General Fund to spring for over $4,000,000 in meal costs to feed all Richland 2 students.  

Davis had alluded to General Fund use for Meal Debt at the August 23 board meeting. No Way!

Taxpayers don't pay taxes to the school district to feed students who can pay for their own meals. 

The USDA has guidelines for Free and Reduced-Price lunches. If you don't qualify for free or reduced, then you pay.

If you spend your lunch money on other things, you go hungry.

It is NOT the District's responsibility to feed this last group of students - those who do not qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

Responsible trustees (three of them) can keep that from happening, when the motion is made on September 13th, by walking out and preventing a vote. 

Meal Debt Collection - Part 2

Why I walked out at 6:30PM?

I got fed up several times during the meeting, which started at 5:30PM, when the superintendent took a deep breath and then talked and talked and talked. And Chairman Manning let him. And no board member called a "Point of Order".

Davis had already apologized on Tuesday night for the District's error in putting out a message that meals would be thrown away. Why did he go on and on and on about it again. The trustees had already heard it. 

But what really got me was the discussion about a Meal Debt Account set up by the Richland Two Educational Foundation. A question came up whether a person or business making a donation could designate his donation to apply to the account of a particular school

For example, could graduates of Spring Valley High School donate to reduce or clear the meal account debt of Spring Valley students?

When Supt. Davis said they could not because that would not be "equity", I stood up and walk out in disgust!

He said a donation would have to applied to the total meal debt account of the District. He didn't ask the trustees what they thought. 

I am not the only one in the District who is sick and tired of hearing about "equity". 

Meal Debt Collection - Part 1

The school board held a special-called meeting last night on the Meal Debt Collection topic.

It was a waste of everyone's time.

Trustee Agostini asked how high the debt was. There was no specific answer. Maybe $100,000.

She asked how many students owed money. No specific answer.

Aren't those the first two reports that should have been run Wednesday morning, after the special-called meeting was announced at the regular board meeting the night before.

What did not make sense to me:

The District is worried about a $100,000 debt, and a trustee-elect who owes $57,100 to the S.C. Ethics Commission is one of the decision-makers???

The $100,000 debt includes money owed from previous years. So the District spends about $2,500 to assemble the trustees for the first meeting.

How many $80,000/year administrators will be spending time to resolve a $100,000 debt, most of which is likely uncollectable?

This is why voters had better elect some school board members in November with common sense and business experience!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Equity Grading - at Richland 2?

Does Richland 2 allow, or require, "equity grading"?

What is equity grading? It is giving a student a higher grade on a paper, assignment, test, etc, than he earned.

Let's say a student doesn't show up for a test or takes a test and answers every question incorrectly. What should his grade be? Zero. F.

But under an equity grading scheme, that student might be given a 40 or a 50. Still an F, but not a zero.

See today's article on titled "Teachers weigh in on grading policies, debate 'no-zero' trend: 'Patently idiotic idea' " To read that article, just click on the title.

What does a kid learn, when he gets a 50, instead of a 0, for no work. Nothing. He hasn't learned to read, understand, repeat, test, etc. He hasn't learned anything except that he got a hand-out.

And what happens later in life, when the hand-outs stop? Rough waters, when there is no one there to bail him out.

So, is equity grading a "patently idiotic idea"? Yes, indeed.

Teachers and staff at Richland 2, let me know if it is in play at Richland 2. Is it in writing anywhere that you must follow such an idiotic policy?

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Kudos for Agostini's closing comment

Near the end of last night's marathon board meeting, when Board and Superintendent Comments were begun, Trustee Agostini led the way with, "Good night".

It's too bad everyone else didn't follow her lead.

Especially Teresa Holmes. I lost track at how many times she said "political" and then made snide comments clearly favoring her buddies on The Squad.

Hopefully, Chair Manning will cut off any future politicking by Holmes from her seat on the board. Remember - she still has never taken the oath-of-office legally.

The rest of the board should have forced her to step away from the board or take the oath-of-office legally, after she filed her SEI on December 4, 2018.

Free Lunch? Special Meeting 8/25/22

Yes, Virginia, there is a free lunch.

Whoever said there is  no such thing as a free lunch?

If you stuck around to the end of last night's board meeting and heard what the superintendent had to say in his closing remarks (starting at 3:43:25), you heard him say, among other, usual, elaborate remarks that he has a plan to provide free lunch from the General Fund to students who don't qualify for free and reduced-price lunch.

The superintendent continues to be a man who, if something can be said in a few words, will take a few hundred words to say it.

There will be a Special-Called Board Meeting on Thursday, August 25th, at 5:30PM to discuss meal funding. Chair Manning said he will allow for public input. The agenda provides for Public Participation.

What will that meeting cost the District? Six trustees at $340 and one chair at $400, plus staff? Looks like $2,440 plus dinner plus employee and security time. For a deal that the superintendent should be figuring out and just presenting to the board for a decision. Sheesh!!!

Manning thanked the staff. How many were there last night? Twenty? For what reason?

What a waste of resources to have so many Richland 2 staff at board meetings? Why isn't any board member addressing that waste?

Employee Grievance - how resolved?

On the agenda for last night's board meeting (8/23/2022) was Item 16.2 Employee Grievance, which was to be heard in Executive Session 2.

At 3:33:40 on the Livestream recording of the meeting, Chair Manning said "Item 17.1 is not needed. We were able to resolve that without a vote". 

Slight error there. Item 16.1 is the Grievance, scheduled for Executive Session 2. If Manning knew at the beginning of the meeting that the Grievance had been resolved, then the Agenda for the meeting should have been amended to remove that item.

To state merely that the item was no longer needed is a failure in transparency.

A second item (16.3) Superintendent Evaluation Process was on the agenda for Executive Session 2. Manning blew right by that without mentioning it. What happened to that item?

Why did no Trustee question that?

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

McKie Ethics Debt - Still $57,100

Why hasn't Amelia McKie been paying off her $57,100 debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission?

Does she think that "running out the clock" on her term-of-office will impact the debt?

According to the Ethics Commission, she still owes $57,100.

A judgment was filed in the Richland County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2019. That's more than three years ago. The State's collection agent is the S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR). 

What grade has it earned for collecting this debt?    F

Why hasn't the DOR taken action? Hasn't there been ANY collection attempt? Hasn't it collected even $50 or $100?

Amelia appears to have money. She looks presentable at board meetings. Hair done. Clothing looks new. Jewelry in place.

When she doesn't look up during public participation, is she writing out her budget plan for paying off her ethics debt?

Monday, August 22, 2022


August 9, 2022 Convocation. - Not Available -

Supt. Davis (at 1:00) "Public education is under attack."

There is no "A" in Superintendent. A "Premier" school district. Right? And Richland 2 can't spell "Superintendent"?

The District had from August 9th to August 19th to review that video and correct it, while it withheld it from the public. Or was it embedded on August 9 as the superintendent spoke?

Well, is there any reason it should not be? There he stands. At a podium. In front of a red curtain. To the side of a projected image on a screen that cries out

Protecting the Brand


Culture / Environment


Supt. Davis continued, "Public education teachers are under attack. Administrators are under attack." 

Referring to the logo of the Richland 2 flame, "2. That logo is under attack."

Didn't anyone proof the video?

Listen to his comments about the "world stage". Replay the video and note on the very first slide. The Mission is to "develop global citizens of tomorrow."

Shouldn't the mission be to develop students who can read, write, spell, add and subtract, and who know how to learn?

Was the superintendent practicing for a Ted Talk?

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Meet School Board Candidates - Sept. 8th

It is critical that credible candidates for the Richland 2 School Board be supported.

There will be a gathering of some of the candidates at Doko Manor on Thursday, September 8th, at 6:00PM. This gathering is being planned by Common Sense Conservatives for R2. SEE here.

Even though you may have already selected those for whom you will, show up to hear what they have to say and learn what YOU can do to help them win.

Sure, each will benefit from donations. Just as important is your effort to help them win. Talk with your family, your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers,  and with everyone you encounter between now and Election Day, November 8.

Early voting starts two weeks before Election Day. October 24 - November 5, 2022

NOTE: In-Person Absentee Voting is no longer authorized by law. Source:

Extras at 8/23/2022 Board Meeting - Be there!

You'll want to show up at Tuesday's school board meeting at 6:30PM on August 23, 2022.

First, there will be public input on ESSER. That will be at 6:30PM, right after the board reconvenes following the first executive session. Has there been any information released by the District, so that the public will know on what to comment? I haven't seen any. Have you?

An unusual item appears on the agenda for the executive session - Item 2.2 Athletics Appeal. Then, at Item 8.1, the board will vote in public on that appeal. 

Thanks to the trustees who believed it was fair to give a person under threat of discipline the right to be heard. (Note: they didn't do that with me in February, when I filed a grievance about the No Trespass Notice issue after Pamela Davis blew a gasket when I introduced myself to her.) Three trustees at that time did think it was fair to hear my side of the story, but Holmes, Manning, McKie and Caution-Parker voted against them (and me).

An irregularity in board procedures will occur Tuesday night, when the board is asked to consider Board Policy BAA - Board Self-Evaluation - and to suspend it temporarily. You can read this Policy on the District's website and in the attachment to the Agenda.

The irregularity is that the board is being asked to vote on it at its first reading. Normally, a vote is taken at the second reading.

It makes sense to suspend it "temporarily". Better would be to postpone it, not suspend it. Three board members (Manning, Caution-Parker and trustee-elect McKie) will leave the board at the beginning of November, because they did not file for re-election. Their last meeting will be October 25, 2022. 

Why waste time asking them to say good things about themselves on the way out the door?

Friday, August 19, 2022

Advertising the brand - $175,000?


How much did Richland 2 spend on billboard advertising earlier this year to promote its "brand"?

A Facebook comment today caused me to think that Richland 2 forked out $175,000.


Did they spend taxpayer cash or was some portion comped by Lamar, the billboard advertising company?

2022 Convocation Released

Finally. The August 9th Convocation has been unlocked. See it (part of it) on YouTube at

NOTE: The Superintendent's remarks cannot be viewed on There is no re-direction there to YouTube.

According to the District today, "Due to a technical problem, the Livestream site did not record the event but we started a backup recording a few minutes after the convocation had started."

Sometimes, those "technical problems" are called operator error. 

The Livestream message on the District's website indicates the convocation started at 8:30AM and ended at 10:00AM. That's 90 minutes.

The recording that is available on YouTube now is 12:37 minutes in length. What are we missing?

But you'll clearly hear the superintendent say public education and Richland 2 are under attack. I'll say that he considers any remarks opposing his position on anything as an "attack". That's the Left's response to suggestions, requests, complaints. "You're attacking...." 

The superintendent asked each to assess how he did in these areas:

I'd like to see the board's grades on those items. Three of them earned grades of A. Three of them got Fs. 

Many thanks to those who sent me the YouTube link.

The real reason?

What is the real reason that Baron Davis won't OK removing the password-protection lock on his August 9th Convocation remarks?

His speech on that morning was to staff, and apparently he must have said some things he doesn't want parents and the public to know. The recording of those comments is at, but it is password-protected, which means we/you cannot see or hear it.

If you feel that keeping it locked for ten days (or at all) is improper, please send an email to

My FOIA Request for those remarks was dated August 11, 2022, and the clock is ticking.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

And 8/9/22 Convocation STILL Locked

Hope is on the way. Maybe. The Richland 2 Ombudsman has replied that all my inquiries about the locked August 9th Convocation have been consolidated and "... Libby Roof, the Senior Chief Communications Officer, (has been asked) to respond. She has indicated that she hopes to be able to respond to you by Friday of this week."

Now, isn't that a great customer-centric response?

Ombudsman, in Richland 2 language, is a traffic cop, not a problem solver. That's by design, of course. She has no authority to investigate and correct maladministration. Do you think she can go into Baron's office and say, "Listen, boss. Philpott is right. The best thing would be to just remove the password-protection lock from the Convocation file on Livestream."

Where would she like to work next? How would she get a job without a good recommendation?

The convocation recording never should have been locked in the first place. On Tuesday, August 9th, Libby Roof could have, and should have, removed the password lock. Of course, she wouldn't dare. 

Just exactly why did Baron Davis want his comments kept private? And why did Board Chair Jams Manning blink, when asked to help?

File your complaints with the Office of the State Inspector General, folks. Send them to  Include whether you agree to waive confidentiality. Or use the webform at 

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Convocation - same remarks as at Retreat

I have received credible information that Supt. Davis made the same remarks at the August 9th Convocation as he made at the August 5th Board Retreat.

If you were at the Retreat, which was not broadcast live on livestream or recorded, then you heard what he said. So, if he said it at an open public meeting of the school board, why won't he unlock the password-protected recording at

Supposedly, he said that the District is 'under attack". Well, with the (lack of) transparency that exists, should he be surprised?

Isn't that like taping a sign "Kick me" to your backside? And then whining when you get kicked?

New Board Officers, November 2022

The Richland 2 school board will have all new officers after the election in November 2022.

The Core Four has maintained a stranglehold on officer positions for too long. On June 28, 2022 the following officers were elected: Chair - James Manning; Vice Chair - Amelia McKie (proud owner of a huge debt to the S.C. Ethics Commission for fines); Secretary - Teresa Holmes.

Manning and McKie did not file for re-election. Their terms-of-office end on November 8, 2022. Or maybe on November 17, 2022, one week after the election is certified.

State law S.C. Code of Laws reads, 
"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."

This is a law that Richland 2 has not followed, like the law regarding the beginning of a term-of-office (until their error was pointed out to them and corrected in November 2020).

When the board meets at the first meeting after the election, the new board members will be sworn in and will take their seats. They will join Trustees Agostini, Scott, and McFadden. Then the trustees will elect the officers for the remainder of the School Year. to June 30, 2023. So long, Teresa.

Since Holmes served for four years without ever being sworn in legally, I'd say she is ineligible to be an officer of the board. Hopefully, the new board will agree and will send her to a seat at the end of the row.

And I suspect the new board will waste no time in moving the superintendent away from the pivot point in board seating and put the Board Chair in that seat, where Robert's Rules of Road state the Chair is to sit.

8/9/22 Convocation - Still Locked

Do you wonder what Supt. Baron Davis does not want the public to know? His speech on August 9th is still password-protected. That means you cannot hear what he told employees.

What did he say?

Some nonsense about the Richland Two "brand". Come on, man. You aren't peddling soap.

And some nonsense about how the District is "under attack". 


Click on this link. If the lock has been removed, you can hear his remarks for yourself.

If the link is still locked, let him hear from you. Email  Or call him at the District office. Contact him every day until he unlocks that speech.

Remember, he spoke on paid time. He used District-funded technology. HE is in charge of the decision to unlock the link.

What is he hiding?

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Robert Lominack - Richland One

Take a look at this message from Robert Lominack, Richland School District One board member and candidate for re-election in his District. 

"I look forward to continuing to focus on the issues I have been raising for the past 10 months. 
    • We have to do more to support our teachers and staff. 
    • We have to be more transparent about what we're doing and why we're doing it.
    • We have to be willing to admit when we as a board and an administration are failing. 
"This is the only way we'll get better. It's the only way we will build back the trust we need. And it's the only way we will truly support every student in the district."

These are the words of a Servant Leader.

These words will never pass the lips of The Core Four in Richland Two.

Three of them are not running for re-election. 

Let's help the fourth come in about #12 on November 8th.

How the Board Chair Helps

This morning I emailed the Board Chair and others about the stone-walling by the superintendent to unlock his "Convocation" of last Tuesday, August 9.

Good morning, Chair Manning, members of the board, and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

Last Tuesday, August 9, 2022, Supt. Davis addressed the District staff in which is called a Convocation on

As of this morning the presentation is still password-protected (locked) and cannot be viewed by the public. 

What is the big secret? The public is anxious to hear his remarks about the District's "brand" and how the District is under attack (which it isn't).

Tuesday night Libby Roof told me it was locked, because not all staff had heard it yet. Must the public wait until every last employee has heard it?

Will you please cause the presentation to be opened to the public today?

Thank you.

Gus Philpott

James Manning replied within an hour with "This is an administrative issue and you are already in touch with the proper staff regarding your concern."

Manning sent an additional message about three hours later, in response to a Trustee's request that the password protecting the Convocation be removed. His reply to her and me was, "District staff have received a FOIA request from Mr. Philpott.  Staff will handle that request in the timeframe allowed by State law."

For whom does Manning work in his elected position on the school board? Does he represent the voters or does he represent the superintendent?

The superintendent is clearly wrong to keep his message from the people of the District. He is a public servant, paid by the public, and he spoke on the public's dime at 8:30AM on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, using public property.

Just exactly what did he say that he doesn't want the public to hear?

I guess it's a good thing that he decided not to file for re-election. Voters won't get a chance to vote him out on November 8th for his unwillingness to represent the constituents of the District, rather than siding with the superintendent.

If you think Baron Davis is wrong to hide his Convocation, email him at or telephone him at his office, 803.738.3236. His executive assistant, Georgette Council, will see that he gets your message (unless he tells her to just file it in the "round file").

Who over-spent the $7,000 allowance in 2021-2022?

In the school year just ended (2021-2022), several board members over-spent their $7,000 allowances for travel and training.

One good question is who approved reimbursing them for the excess, once they had hit their $7,000 limit.

Once they reached the maximum, a good Accounts Payable clerk would have cut them off. 

And maybe that "good A/P clerk" tried. But did someone else approve continued payments? At least two board members got more than $2,000 over the $7,000 limit. And that was for expenses before the end of the school year on June 30.

Where does the buck stop? Apparently, in Richland 2 the bucks don't stop. They just keep on rolling out. The superintendent acknowledged at one board meeting that he should have kept a closer eye on things.

But my question is, why would he even have a hand in the deal? Way down in the bowels of the accounting department, there is a clerk who does the accounting for the trustees' travel money. The limit should have been the LIMIT. But it wasn't. 

That clerk has a supervisor; the supervisor should not have approved the excess. And that supervisor has a department manager. And that manager should not have approved the excess.

I have a FOIA request in for the last two expense reports submitted by Teresa Holmes. I'm curious about the two signatures that over-ruled the A/P clerk.

Convocation still locked

On August 9, 2022 the superintendent made a speech to employees. It is at, but the recording is password-protected (locked).

On August 11th I emailed the superintendent and asked him to unlock it. There was no reply from his office or him.

I also filed a FOIA Request on August 11th, anticipating a delay on the District's part.

On August 15th I emailed Board Chairman James Manning and asked the board to direct the superintendent to unlock the speech. Manning replied, "This is an administrative issue and you are already in touch with the proper staff regarding your concern." Obvious, that is a totally unsatisfactory reply.

Today I emailed the superintendent again, making the same request.

I also emailed the Richland 2 Ombudsman this message:

"Good morning,

"Will you please let me know the reason that the 8/9/2022 Convocation is password-protected (locked) and when the password-protection will be removed?

"A dictionary definition of "Ombudsman" is "an official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against maladministration, especially that of public authorities."

"I hope you will be able to answer this question. Thank you."

I doubt that the Ombudsman will be able to do so, because she is a Direct Report to the superintendent. She does what she is told to do.

I doubt that the Richland 2 Ombudsman has authority to investigate anything. She is more of a "traffic cop" and merely re-directs inquiries to others, who may or may not respond. Much like a secretary or administrative assistant.

In many businesses and government agencies, an ombudsman actually has some clout. Why do I think that is not the case in Richland 2?

School Board Candidates

Twelve (12) candidates filed for the Richland 2 school district. Here they are, in alphabetical order:

Teresa Holmes (incumbent)

James Mobley

McGee Moody

Angela Nash

Niki Porter

Darrell President

Eric Rovelli

Larry Smalls

Terrance Staley

Joe Trapp

Tamika Washington

Maryann Wright

The two-week filing period closed at noon yesterday.

Of The Core Four, three did not file for re-election. They are Manning, McKie, and Caution-Parker. 

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, 2022. The election could be certified by Thursday, November 10, 2022. The term-of-office for the new board members starts one week after the election is certified, which could be Thursday, November 17.

The first scheduled board meeting after the election is certified will be a Special-Called Meeting on Friday, November 18. The four candidates elected as school board members will take the oath-of-office and enter upon their official responsibilities, IF they have filed their Statements of Economic Interests Reports with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. 

You can bet that there won't be a repeat of the fiasco that occurred after the November 2018 election!

However, watch for a wrench in the works, if the Richland County Elections Commission does not certify the election on November 10. The following day, November 11, is Veterans Day, which is a U.S. and South Carolina holiday. This could delay certification of the school board election until Monday, November 14, which would cause a last-minute re-scheduling of the Special-Called Meeting.

This means that the last school board meeting for Manning, McKie, and Caution-Parker will be Tuesday, October 25. That meeting is five days after McKie's hearing at the Ethics Commission on her latest violation. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

Do you have the Password?

The August 9th "Convocation" by the District's superintendent is still secret. If you are a staff person or employee and have the password, would you be willing to share it with me? Confidentiality is guaranteed.

To find out whether it is still secret (password-protected), click here:

And next time, be sure to turn on your tape recorders, digital recorders or phones, when there is an address by the superintendent.

To protect yourself, determine whether a large number of employees was given the same password. Or did the District issue an individual password to each employee? You do not want to risk your employment and future by being found out.

Last Tuesday (August 9) I emailed Libby Roof for the password. When I saw her at the board meeting, I mentioned having emailed her, and she told me that the convocation is locked because "not everyone has seen it yet". She probably assumed our conversation was the equivalent of a reply to my email. Fair enough.

On Thursday (August 11) I emailed the superintendent and asked him to unlock the convocation. I also filed a FOIA request, to start the clock ticking.

There has been absolutely no reply from the superintendent or his office. I'm sure he's busy. It takes a lot of time to plan a November trip to Australia. 

This morning I emailed the board and asked them to have the convocation unlocked. The Board Chair, James Manning, responded with "This is an administrative issue and you are already in touch with the proper staff regarding your concern."

Let's see: 
Email to Libby Roof. Convocation remains locked.
Email to superintendent. Convocation remains locked.
Email to board chair. Convocation remains locked.

And the board wonders why people are up in arms? (Just so the woke crowd won't feel threatened, that's up in "arms", as those which are attached to shoulders.)

Friday, August 12, 2022

Convocation still locked!

The superintendent's Tuesday "convocation" is still locked. What is he hiding from the public?

Yesterday I emailed him and requested that he unlock the speech. His office did not have the courtesy to reply.

As a back-up, I filed a FOIA request, and I'm sure the District will take the full two weeks to reply.

It's my understanding that Baron said District 2 is under attack. 

Ha-ha. Doesn't he understand why? The board (majority) played stupid games for the past school year, led by Madam Woke and her gang. She complained often about "antics" and completely ignored that they were her own antics. 

The convocation will receive very close scrutiny by many people, once it becomes public.

The link for the recording is here:

When it is unlocked, you'll be able to view and listen to it. 

Appreciation for dedicated, bold teachers

I want to take this opportunity to thank those Richland 2 teachers and staff who are contacting me and feeding me the dirt on the District. Your confidentiality is guaranteed. I know you care about the District and the students and that you do not like what is coming down from the top. Especially the D-E-I nonsense.

Some of you have identified yourselves; some are calling and are understandably reluctant to give me your names. I understand that completely.

You fear retaliation and retribution for speaking out about what is wrong in Richland 2. And there is a lot wrong. 

I understand the superintendent said in his so-far secret convocation on Tuesday that Richland 2 is under attack.

That's kind of like Putin says Russia is under attack, when Ukraine blows up some of its tanks.

I wrote a blog in Illinois before moving to Columbia in 2014, and the sheriff's department and several local police departments were often mentioned. Deputies and officers contacted me with the dirt, and it drove the sheriff crazy. He couldn't find the leaks.

After one deputy was fired and filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in Federal Court, the sheriff had his attorney subpoena 27 months' worth of my blog records for all communications received from any current or former employees of the sheriff's department.

I was alerted that the subpoena was on the way, and I cleaned out my computer and stored all other communications elsewhere. After I received the subpoena in the mail, I filed a Motion to Quash pro se.

When I appeared before the Federal Magistrate on my Motion, he asked me two questions, and then he sank his teeth into the sheriff's attorney, telling her she was just on a "fishing expedition" (his exact words) and that the subpoena didn't have anything to do with case.

The magistrate's words still ring in my ears. "Mr. Philpott, you have won your motion." How sweet it is!

I knew it could go the other way. I was prepared to go to jail to protect the identity of the people who had trusted me with the information.

It's the same with you. I shall never reveal your names or anything that can identify you.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

What's hidden in the Convocation address?

Three full business days have passed since the superintendent addressed the employees with his "convocation". 

You can see the link on livestream. His talk is at

Here's what you'll see ...

What is in there that he doesn't want us to know?

Vote on the Dress Code

When the Dress Code came up at the August 9th board meeting, how was it handled? (I didn't watch that part of the meeting yet.)

After a Motion and Second, when discussion started, did Holmes or McKie say, "We know how it's going to turn out, so why don't we skip the discussion and vote?"
Was the vote 4-3? 

The stage was set The Core Four (Manning, Holmes, McKie,, Caution-Parker) voted against Trustee Agostini's motion to amend the agenda and postpone the vote on the Dress Code.

I'll make the coffee extra-strong in the morning and try to watch the rest of the meeting after public participation.

Secret Convocation Message?

What did Supt. Baron Davis say in his "convocation" to Richland 2 employees on August 9 that he doesn't want the public to hear?

The "speech" location is saved at But it is password-protected. That means Locked. If you don't know the password, you can't get at it.

Email Baron Davis now at and demand that he unlock that livestream broadcast.

Before Tuesday night's board meeting I asked about it. I was told (by someone who is in a position to know) that not all employees had heard his message, and that is why the speech was locked.

My response was "We (the public) want to know what he is telling them."

Is the District "under attack"? What foolishness!

Rather than wait, I have filed a FOIA request this morning. That, of course, should not have been necessary. That livestream recording never should have been locked in the first place! Once he finished his remarks, the public is entitled to know what he said.

"This FOIA Request is for documentation of the August 9, 2022, Convocation remarks delivered by Supt. Baron Davis including, but not limited to, the recording and the written text of that presentation. 
"This FOIA Request will be considered met, if Richland School District Two unlocks the password-protected feature on the website or provides a password to the presentation without restriction on dissemination of that password."

Oust The Core Four

This morning I am thinking more about last Tuesday night's board meeting and how The Core Four stuck together to oppose Trustee Agostini's motion to amend the agenda to remove the Dress Code from a vote that night.

With 89 days to Election Day, I have re-thought my position on voting. Normally I would approach an election only with a positive thought; i.e., for whom will I vote?

But this election is different. This year I'm thinking of how important it is to replace all four of The Core Four; Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker, and Manning.

What good reason last Tuesday night was there for not postponing the vote for two weeks to allow further consideration? None!

Yet The Core Four stuck together, as they have for the last year, like peanut butter. Or like cold asphalt. So the vote on Agostini's motion was 3-4 (Fail). And then they turned right around and approved the agenda (without a delay in the vote) 4-3.

Trustees Agostini, Scott, and McFadden know that, no matter what they bring up, The Core Four will vote against them. And that is why ALL of The Core Four must go.

Pay close attention to the candidates who have already filed: McGee Moody, Angela Nash, Larry Smalls, and Joe Trapp (alphabetically by last name). Each and every one of them is a better choice than any of The Core Four.

Watch here for more about them: photos, profiles, campaign materials, maybe interviews.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Postpone Dress Code Decision?

At last night's school board meeting, Trustee Agostini made a motion to postpone the Dress Code item on the agenda until the August 23rd meeting. This was at the beginning of the meeting when the Agenda was up for approval.

Her explanation? Teachers had contacted her with concerns.

She probably knew her motion was doomed from the start. And, sure enough, it failed on a 3-4 vote. Guess who The Four were.

The next motion was to pass the agenda as presented, and that passed 4-3. Guess who The Four were.

And the killer comment of the discussion? 

The supt. said that he had not heard from any teachers with concerns about the Dress Code.

First of all, no comment from him was needed at all. He is not on the board. And he (the head of Administration) was behind the revision to the Dress Code. The revisions show the full-Woke position of the District, confirmed by The Core Four.

Secondly, of course he hasn't heard from any teachers. What teacher, in his right mind, would jump the chain-of-command and dare to express himself directly to the superintendent?

That teacher would be drawn and quartered for insubordination and have a request sent to the S.C. Dept. of Education to have his teaching certificate revoked.

Boardroom Seating - August 9

Take a good look at the seating arrangement for last night's school board meeting.

Way, way far away (in the picture) are the white-clothed tables blocking the board desks. You can almost see them from the back of the room.

Staff is seated now to the left side of the room, instead of running interference between the public and the board. 

Seating is still arranged at COVID's "social distancing". Last night the first two rows were set up for special guests. I left before they were recognized. 

What does that seating arrangement say to me?

That the board doesn't give two hoots for the public. "Put 'em in the back where we can more easily ignore them.

Speaking of ignore, during the full three minutes that I spoke last night, Amelia McKie did not look up once from her furious writing. Is she writing her memoirs and trying to finish them before her Ethics Commission hearing on October 20 or her term-of-office expires in November?

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Richland 2 Demographics

Here is a fascinating webpage I had not visited before:

The demographics for Richland 2 are there. This is for the boundaries of the school district, not the County. It is not a Richland 2 website.

The first item that caught my attention was the Number of children in poverty: 16%.

Wasn't there a report by the School District ( that 47% of the students were in poverty? Please correct me on the number, if that is not right.

Here's the result when I searched the Richland 2 website for "poverty"? NO RESULT.

But one of the choices that appeared was "purposity"? What in the world is that? Curious? Go to

You know I'm a picky reader; right?

So, when I read "... connect people in need with those that can help ...", I immediately wondered, "When did the board approve that?" And then, "Did it?"

And then I read this on the District's website:

Did You Know?

  • During the 2018-19 school year, social workers identified 615 homeless students.
  • Richland Two’s district-wide free & reduced lunch is right at 50 percent.
  • In order to qualify for Free or Reduced Meal Program, a family must have an income of 185 percent below the federal poverty level. A family of four (4) must make less than $47,638 annually to qualify for reduced lunch and a family of four (4) must make less than $33,475 annually to qualify for free lunch.
  • Richland Two serves an estimated 600 to 700 students per week with the Backpack Program that offers food to students on the weekend.
  • The Richland Two Backpack Program is offered in every school across the district and supported by many community resources.
  • Many of our Richland Two schools have a food pantry to help families have access to an immediate food resource.
Can you figure out what the following line means? I wonder what kind of advanced degree it takes to understand what this sentence means!

"In order to qualify for Free or Reduced Meal Program, a family must have an income of 185 percent below the federal poverty level."

Do people read what they write? I can understand "10% percent below the federal poverty level." Or 20% of 50%. Even 80%. Does 100% below the federal poverty level mean Zero? 

Now, explain "185% below the federal poverty level".

Obviously, what it should say is, "a family must have an income below 185 percent of the federal poverty level." That's the federal income poverty guideline times 1.85.

Next questions. Food on week-ends? Food banks? Why aren't we promoting independence, instead of reliance on "government"?

What's that proverb? 
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him
for a lifetime.

District Convocation

This morning's District Convocation is on but it is password-protected. This means that the public cannot view what was said this morning.

I've already heard that the superintendent told everyone to "Protect the Brand."

What "brand"? Is soap being peddled? Richland 2 is not a "brand". It's a school district! Or, at least, it is supposed to be.

Will the Convocation be unlocked, so that we "common folks" can hear what was said?

If it is still locked when you click on the link, then email and ask that the video be unlocked.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Forgive Student Loans?

Is student loan forgiveness a sound program? Do you have student loans? Will you have student loans?

Cui Bono? Who benefits?

Watch this new PragerU video. Share it with all around you.

Who will pay for all those student loans that are forgiven?

You will! 

Is that fair?