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:  https://livestream.com/richland2/events/10569733

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  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

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  https://livestream.com/richland2/events/10569733. 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 badavis@richland2.org 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 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

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:  https://censusreporter.org/profiles/97000US4503390-richland-school-district-2-sc/

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 (www.richland2.org) 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 https://www.richland2.org/Departments/Administrative-Services/Learning-Support-Services/Social-Workers/purposity

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 livestream.com/richland2 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 lroof@richland2.org 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?

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

What's up? Public Participation Form on Retreat Agenda

On Friday, August 5, 2022 the school board will hold a "summer retreat" at the Sandhill Lake House located at Clemson University's Sandhill Research and Education Center, 900 Clemson Road, beginning at 9:00AM.

The District could livestream it but will not. 

Item 3.8 on the Agenda is "Public Participation Form". Apparently, some revision is on the way. The revised form could be attached to the agenda, but it is not.

So much for transparency in the new School Year, which started July 1.

Item 3.12 is Safety Plan. No elaboration there, either.

Why isn't the District livestreaming this event? The excuse offered of length and no action to be taken just doesn't cut it. 

The District threatens the public with this paragraph, which has become standard boiler-plate in meeting announcements:

"In an effort to effectively maintain a safe environment, any person attending the meeting who is out of order, loud, disruptive, making inappropriate comments, and/or a safety concern will be asked to be seated or leave by a security officer. If the person does not comply, the individual will be escorted off the property. No signage or other objects will be allowed into the facility that could either be a distraction or used as a weapon."

As the public knows from January 25, 2022, when an attendee shouts, "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE! DON'T TALK TO ME! GET AWAY FROM ME!", such shouting will not be considered creating an unsafe environment. It is not out of order, loud, disruptive or inappropriate. It will no lead to be escorted out.

Especially if you are married to the superintendent.