WIS-TV weighed in on Richland Two's meal debt mess on August 29th. Read it here.
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
WIS-TV on R2 meal mess
Gun Safety at Richland 2. What's Next?
Is anything happening with gun safety at Richland 2?
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
Meal Debt Collection - Part 4
Meal Debt Collection - Part 3
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
Thursday, August 25, 2022
Equity Grading - at Richland 2?
Does Richland 2 allow, or require, "equity grading"?
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Kudos for Agostini's closing comment
Free Lunch? Special Meeting 8/25/22
Employee Grievance - how resolved?
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
McKie Ethics Debt - Still $57,100
Monday, August 22, 2022
SUPERINTENDANT ??? Seriously?
August 9, 2022 Convocation.
Livestream.com - Not Available
YouTube.com - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE_C77Dwrl8
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
Extras at 8/23/2022 Board Meeting - Be there!
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE_C77Dwrl8
NOTE: The Superintendent's remarks cannot be viewed on Lifestream.com. 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?
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 email@example.com Include whether you agree to waive confidentiality. Or use the webform at oig.sc.gov
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Convocation - same remarks as at Retreat
New Board Officers, November 2022
"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."
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
"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."
How the Board Chair Helps
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 https://livestream.com/richland2/events/10569733As 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
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
"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."
School Board Candidates
Twelve (12) candidates filed for the Richland 2 school district. Here they are, in alphabetical order:
Teresa Holmes (incumbent)
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?
Friday, August 12, 2022
Convocation still locked!
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 https://livestream.com/richland2/events/10569733
Here's what you'll see ...
What is in there that he doesn't want us to know?
Vote on the Dress Code
Secret Convocation Message?
"This FOIA Request is for documentation of the August 9, 2022, Convocation remarks delivered by Supt. Baron Davis including, but not limited to, the Livestream.com 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 Livestream.com website or provides a password to the presentation without restriction on dissemination of that password."
Oust The Core Four
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Postpone Dress Code Decision?
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
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.
Monday, August 8, 2022
Forgive Student Loans?
Reporter Michael Smith of The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County contacted me for a comment after the Richland 2 Scho...
The school board has scheduled a Special-Called Meeting for Tuesday, January 17, 2022, 4:30PM. Are you kidding me? After the marathon on Jan...
On December 14th I wrote about a Blythewood Middle School teacher, Aja Adams, who was charged with four motor vehicle violations, including ...