Monday, October 31, 2022

Integrity - hello, Ridge View?

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." C. S. Lewis

Are there more than a few people at Ridge View High School who should have read C.S. Lewis, instead of playing video games or watching the sports channels?

One of the candidates in the school board race favors a return to a classical education. 

Vote for Eric Rovelli.

R2 Man of the Year - Matt Sherman

Photo Credit :

Matt Sherman, Principal of Blythewood High School, must have had something to do with the fiasco at Ridge View High School. Not to do with it, but knowledge or suspicion about it.

And instead of keeping quiet, as so many would have done, he spoke up.

And he'll pay the price for do so.

But he did the right thing, and he deserves to be backed up by parents, school board members, Richland 2 staff, teachers, coaches and students. 

Thanks, Matt. You are a Man of Integrity.

RVHS Loses Appeal

Did you watch that nonsense of the Ridge View H.S. appeal to the S.C. High School League?

Attorney Bakari Sellers of the Strom Law Firm blew all sorts of smoke at the hearing officials. Lots of distraction and deflection. But that's what lawyers do.

The only thing that matters is if the students did or did not become legal residents with the boundary of Ridge View High School.

It doesn't matter whether any of them is a good player and has a good future.

I wanted to scream at them to speak into the microphones. All of them. And Conlin's mother. Speak INTO the microphone! Even the hearing officers turned to the Ridge View staff and spoke to them, not into the microphones.

Finally one of the hearing officers asked why Richland 2 had not brought its own staff investigator with them to the hearing. Well, I could have answered that one. Because Ridge View didn't want him to testify!

The women from the school in the front row could not be heard.

I was on the phone with the League, asking again for a note to be given to the chairman to ask ALL to speak into microphones. While I was on the phone, they voted. I think they voted to uphold the suspension on the first player and disqualify Ridge View.

Then a hearing officer asked if they still needed to hear the next two appeals. They took a five-minute break and then went back into Executive Session.

When they returned, they voted not to hear the other two appeals. And that was that.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Voice reports on McKie Ethics Comm. Hearing

Be sure to read the article on the online edition of The Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County about Amelia McKie's October 20th hearing at the S.C. Ethics Commission. You'll find it here.

I've held off on details of McKie's testimony, because I could not hear her soft voice well in the hearing room, and the recording from the Ethics Commission was of poor quality.

Needless to say, I was shocked to read of her accusations as described in the article in The Voice.

I'll be finding out on Monday if the hearing was transcribed. If so, I'll go to the Ethics Commission and read it. 

According to the article in The Voice, McKie told the hearing commissioners that she attended a conference of the South Carolina School Boards Assn. at which she learned that the $9,600 annual stipend from Richland 2 was not " reportable income". She allowed as how she might have misunderstood. I laughed at that, because she had reported it in previous years' filings of her Statement of Economic Interests Reports. And it's my belief that Richland 2 issues a W-2 to trustees (and to trustees-elect, such as McKie). Of course, it's "income"!

Of most concern to me are her accusations that I've been harassing her. Now that is serious.

More on that after I read the transcript.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Ridge View Blazers - 3 ineligible players?

Read today's article in The State newspaper about the Ridge View H.S. football team and then ask yourself, "Am I more confused after reading it?

Here's the article by reporter Lou Beziak. Click here.

Did the Blazers play three ineligible players or not?

¶3 says "an investigation" revealed the team did play three ineligible players. The reporter didn't state whose investigation.

4¶ says Richland 2 submitted its own findings that three ineligible players played. Did Richland 2 self-report?

The issue is the lack of an official change-of-address. I had heard several months ago that there were players from another school in the District who were playing on the RVHS team. It wasn't important enough to me to follow up. I don't care about any sports - high school, college, or professional.

¶7 SCHSL Commissioner Singleton says RVHS claims there were bonafide address changes. But wait! Richland 2 says there weren't.

What's the famous movie line? "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Strom Law Firm represents Ridge View High School. Wait! Not the District? How does a high school end up with a lawyer? Did the school board approve that?

Why is there an appeal if the District agrees that three players were not eligible?

Monday is a second appeal. When was the first appeal? How long has the ineligibility question been on the table?

Holmes misses last meeting of term

Why was Teresa Holmes missing from her seat at the board on Tuesday, October 25? What was the "family issue" that occasioned her absence?

Even though she has never taken the oath-of-office legitimately for her 2018-2022 term-of-office, she has been allowed to serve on the board. She remained a trustee-elect for the full term. 

I was never able to get a satisfactory answer from the Richland County Elections Commission about whether an office remains vacant until the elected person takes the oath-of-office legally

Earlier this year (January 1, 2022) Richland 2 shifted from the illegal "stipend" arrangement of compensation to the statutory per diem, and the board set the amount of the per diem for trustees at $384.00.

So, wherever she was and for whatever reason, Holmes earned 384.00 for Tuesday's meeting. At least, during this meeting that she attended by telephone, we didn't accidentally overhear side comments made to anyone in her company.

Perhaps board policy should be changed to require absent board members to attend via Zoom or Skype (or Livestream), so that the public can be sure they are giving their undivided attention to the business of the board.

Was the "family issue" excuse satisfactory to all? Are the other trustees entitled to know what the "family issue" was? Is the public entitled to know?

Why not?

That school board member was "on the move". Where was she?

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Family Assistance Fund - what is it?


What's this?

Areas residents are becoming aware of this fund through publicity involving the church and large donation to Brookland Baptist Church Northeast from a family. 

When was this venture approved by the Richland 2 School Board? Or was it? 

The type of venture cannot just be fired up by the superintendent, because it could involve liability on the part of the school district and possible disclosure of personal information pertaining to students, including minors.

One media article mentioned $50,000 from the church to help homeless students. Under what provision might the District provide information to the church about any student, homeless or otherwise?

Perhaps someone will enlighten readers here of a formalized agreement with the District that the board members have approved?


A Mom Speaks out

You don't want to miss the remarks of Ms. Irina Stephens (sorry if I erred in the spelling) at the October 25, 2022 board meeting.

Her remarks begin at 1:42:18 on the recording:

She spoke about the Whole Child Survey of students (as young as fifth grade) that did not require parental consent or provide for opting out.

She particularly objected to Question 1, which was "What is your gender?" Mark one response:




Prefer Not to Say

She said that there are two genders and that "children are in school to learn and not to be subjected to liberal ideological grooming".

She asked the board to STOP gender promotion to minors in school.

Three cheers to this mother who spoke on Tuesday night. Be sure to listen to her words.

Any interesting tax question

 Is Richland School District Two a Federal tax-exempt organization?

In other words, if you donate money to RSD2, can you take a tax-deduction for it?

A donation to a church is tax-deductible, assuming IRS regulations are followed.

But, if RSD2 is not a tax-exempt organization and money is donated to a church is intended FOR a school district, could the donor lose his tax deduction?

Somewhere in the world there is probably a CPA who knows the answer.

Anyone else confused?

Photo credit:

On Chris Leevy Johnson's Facebook page today is a picture of a group at Brookland Baptist Church Northeast at a check-donation ceremony. Johnson wrote: "Church donates more than $100K to Richland Two for school meals and homeless students."

The caption under the photo is "Church donates more than $100K to Richland Two for school meals and homeless students." There is a large (display) check "signed" by Michael and Jennifer Boynton. 

There is just one "huge" problem. The check is made out to Brookland Baptist Church. The generosity of the Boyntons is surely to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Reference in the associated WIS-TV (friend of Richland 2) story was made to the school meal debt that was discussed at school board meetings earlier this year.

That debt arose because of mismanagement by Richland 2. It's hard to know yet whether the Boyntons are bailing out Richland 2 or if the money is for students going hungry today.

No students are going hungry. Many get free meals and many more get reduced-price meals. Others pay for meals, if they want to eat. If they spend their lunch money at GameStop, they can go hungry.

The District never should have gone begging for money. The superintendent should have "bitten the bullet" and should have acknowledged the internal accounting errors that allowed the meal debt to accumulate to $100,000.

As to the donation, Supt. Davis said today, "Brookland Baptist will be the custodian of the funds for the time being."

What in the world does that mean? Well, for starters, it means that the money has not reached Richland 2!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The State bashes Trustee McFadden today

The State newspaper got all hot and bothered about spending at an Atlanta conference in September that school board members attended. The article is here.

Holmes and Caution-Parker have ragged on Lashonda McFadden, as usual.

Lashonda incurred personal expenses of some $425 for the September 7-10 conference and has reimbursed the District for them.

The reporter didn't mention Teresa Holmes' over-spending of almost $3,000 as of 5/10/2022. Has Holmes paid that back?

The following email has been sent to reporter Bristow Marchant.

Regarding today's story on

If you would like to do a real story on Richland 2, rather than a bash job on Mrs. McFadden, write about former board chair Teresa Holmes and her irresponsible use of taxpayer money. Each School Year (ending June 30th) a trustee is allowed $7,000 for travel and training.

As of 5/10/2022 Teresa's spending total for travel and training was at $9,729.27, and she may have spent more by going to Myrtle Beach in June. 

The District paid $587.30 for her April 2022 car rental in San Diego at the National School Boards Assn. conference. Plus $220 for four nights' of valet parking. Want the receipts?

She put out some defensive "smoke-and-mirrors" at a previous board meeting about "sharing" the car with other board members. She didn't. Of the five who attended that conference, at least two of them didn't know about it. A third may not have known about it.

The hotel was four miles from the airport. The conference center was 0.2 miles from the hotel. The car would have remained parked during the three days of the conference. It was a personal-use rental. It never should have appeared on her reimbursement request. She should have paid the Overnight Valet Parking $220 bill by personal credit card as she checked out. 

Instead, the superintendent approved reimbursing her for the car and paying the hotel bill in full.

The District should demand repayment of every penny over $7,000 for 2021-2022 expenses. And they should collect it!

Caution-Parker getting on her high horse about Advances last night was nothing but a continuation of her disrespect for Mrs. McFadden. The District is better off for her departure from the board.


Gus Philpott

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Three Trustees should walk out tonight

Item 10.1 "8% Bond Resolution" is on tonight's agenda as New Business - Action Requested.

This is a First Reading, and The Core Four (and the superintendent) want to jam this through before they leave office. Tonight is the final meeting for McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning and hopefully will be the final meeting for Holmes.

The normal process is a First Reading and then a vote at a subsequent meeting. What's the rush about tonight - except for the anticipated shift in the quality of the majority of the board.

The Core Four will also approve Item 9.1 Policy BK revisions and Item 9.2 Policy BID revisions.

All three of these should be tabled until the new board is seated on November 18.

The only way to stop this stampede is for Trustees Agostini, Scott and McFadden to leave the meeting, so that a quorum is no longer present. It shouldn't require this extreme action, but tonight it is again warranted.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

McKie Ethics Hearing 10/20/2022

On Thursday, October 20, the S.C. Ethics Commission held a hearing on a violation of the ethics laws by Amelia McKie. The hearing started promptly at 9:30AM.

The complaint was that McKie had failed to report her Richland 2 School District income, received in the year 2020, on her 2021 Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI). On that Report, she indicated only Personal Income from some entity identified as NLLC.

You can view that Original SEI, for Report Year 2021, filed on January 12, 2021, at

After the ethics complaint was filed, she amended her 2021 SEI and reported $9,600 income from Richland School District Two.

The chairman spoke into his microphone and requested those giving testimony to do likewise. McKie spoke it a low voice and, at the beginning of her direct testimony (about 11 minutes into the hearing), the chairman again asked her to speak up. 

Three people in the gallery, behind her, could not hear all of what she said. At times, I thought I heard "stipend", "income", "sheriff's department" , "school boards association workshop".

I think she offered some excuse to the hearing commissioners. I'm not sure how she could have explained it away, because in previous years she reported her Richland 2 income on her SEIs.

The audio recording of the meeting is very difficult to understand, because McKie did not speak clearly into the microphone. When a transcript of the hearing is available, I'll read it and learn the content of her testimony.

The chairman of the hearing announced that a decision would be announced within two weeks. That'll make it by November 3rd, before she completes her term of office. McKie is not running for re-election. She still owes $57,100 to the S.C. Ethics Commission, and a judgment for $51,750 is on file with the Richland County Common Pleas Court.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Open Letter to the Board re 10/25

 The following email has been sent to the full Board.

Members of the Board,

On the 10/25/2022 Agenda is Item 10 - New Business, Action Requested - 8% Bond Resolution.

Why is this item coming to the Board at the last meeting of 3-4 trustees, who hold the majority of the board and who will pass this item?

Why is this not coming up for a First Reading, with time for public inspection and comment?

In view of the push to pass Item 9.1 Policy BK and Item 9.2 Policy BID before you (the four) leave office and now the Item 10, 8% Bond Resolution, it may be necessary for three trustees to walk out to stop the irresponsible actions by the four in the majority.

Is this part of the $468MM bonds that were approved by taxpayers in 2018?

Why the rush? How can trustees, including the four who are leaving, study this Item with the necessary thoroughness and ask questions and get answers on or before Tuesday night, especially with the school district holiday on Monday?

I urge you to table Item 10 or amend the agenda to make Item 10 - New Business, No Action Requested.


Gus Philpott

Be sure to sign up to speak on Oct. 25

The next school board meeting is Tuesday, October 25th. Sign-up for public participation is now open. But where is it?

Executive session at 5:30PM. Open meeting begins at 6:30PM

There is no mention of it on the District's homepage. 

If you click on the Calendar for the October 25th board meeting, there is no sign-up button.

If you go to the agenda, there is no sign-up button.

If you click on Public Participation in the Agenda, there is no sign-up button.

Is there some conspiracy to keep the public from signing up?

Here is where you'll find the sign-up page:

From the homepage, click on EXPLORE;

Then click on School Board;



Could be a lot easier; right?

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Ethics Commission SEI Woes - Holmes

Teresa Holmes, proud advertiser on a LAMAR billboard containing the line "Difference Don't [sic] Matter ... Kids Do", has more than spelling or grammatical problems.

Her 2022 Statement of Economic Interests Report, as filed with the S.C. Ethics Commission for the Calendar Year 2021, contains errors. 

It's a simple form that is filed electronically. You can view it (it's a public record) at  Go the the homepage, then click on Public Reporting.

Under Ethics Filing Activity, click on Statements of Economic Interests.

Type in Holmes as the Filer, and select 2022 for the Report Year.

At the top left, notice the Viewing Version. It will show Amendment 1 (filed 9/29/2022). If you want to see the Original Version (filed 3/22/2022), just change the Viewing Version.

Two positions are reported: Candidate and Elected Official.

First, notice when she registered to run for office. "9/2023"

Private Income is what you earn if you are working (not as a school board member). Notice her two answers there. Apparently, she had no Private Income (non-school district earnings).

Then examine her Income from an SC Governmental Entity. 

If you believe what's listed, she earned $139,000 in 2021 ($12,000 + $9,000 + $59,000 + $59,000).

But did she? Wasn't it closer to $69,800 ($10,800 + $59,000)?

How important is it for a public official to have halfway decent comprehension and arithmetic skills? As School Board Chair for the 2021-2022 School Year, she led (if you want to call it that) a business with almost a billion dollars in assets and an annual budget of $300,000. 

And she blew right past her $7,000 annual travel allowance for the year ending June 30, 2022. Will she repay the $3,000 excess that she received from RSD2? Will the superintendent send her a bill and tell her to pay it? 

If she doesn't repay it, will the District send it to collection and report the debt to the major credit bureaus? If she doesn't repay it, does it become taxable income?

[Published 10/20/2022 9:30AM]

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Critical Race Theory - Eric Rovelli Weighs In

Eric Rovelli is a candidate for the Richland 2 School Board. 

Why should you consider him?

Isn't he the one candidate who is talking about specifics? Go to his website at and watch his several videos.

This morning I watched his 21-minute video on Critical Race Theory. He acknowledges that it's a little long. How long is your attention span? This video includes three five-minute videos by other speakers.

Is CRT here in Richland 2? Remember the school board meeting when the chief of diversity, equity and inclusion couldn't tell the board what CRT is? That was at a meeting where her charge was to explain to the board what the difference was between CRT and Culturally Relevant Teaching (or Pedagogy), the brainchild of a USC professor. She couldn't define CRT.

Of course, CRT is here. No, it's not being "taught". Defenders are quick to say it's a graduate school-level course. But it is being applied here.

Rovelli meets the hard questions head on. Elect Eric to the board in November and there will be a board member who can and will tell the truth, clearly and directly. 

The board has an opportunity to do what it is supposed to do. Be Trustees. Be Directors. Be executives. Direct the business of education in Richland 2 schools.

That has not been the case for the past four years, when the board (majority (The Core Four)) let the superintendent run the whole show. When did the The Core Four ever criticize the superintendent? Certainly not after the Jan. 25th 2022 fiasco. Certainly not after the superintendent let trustees (and trustees-elect) over-spend their $7,000 annual travel allowances. Certainly not when his planned trip to Australia hit the news.

Eric Rovelli is desperately needed on the board. Cast one of your votes FOR Eric Rovelli.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Chamber Candidates' Forum

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Richland 2 Candidates' Forum this morning at the beautiful auditorium of the South Carolina Archives and History Center.

Ten candidates appeared and conducted themselves with professionalism. Seven questions were asked by the moderator, and each candidate had one minute to respond. Candidates did a great job of staying within their time limits, and the forum ran smoothly and efficiently.

Two candidates were No-Shows. Incumbent Teresa Holmes did not show up, and James Mobley did not appear. Their name plates were left in place, and their chairs remained empty.

There is a rumor that a recording of the forum may be posted on the YouTube channel of the Columbia (SC) Chamber of Commerce. 

[Edited] Watch the Chamber's forum here:

Difference Don't Matter

Can you believe this?

"Difference Don't Matter"

It sho' don't.

Proud "product" of Spring Valley High School (as she often claims) and holder of an Ed.D. degree from an online school in California, and she announces, "Difference Don't Matter"?

Is that how she submitted it to LAMAR? Didn't they give her a proof to approve, before they created the bulletin board signage? Didn't she sign it and approve it? Didn't LAMAR tell her about the grammatical error?

Needless to say, this article is NOT a statement of support for Teresa. I wish her well in her campaign, and I sincerely hope that she comes in no worse than 12th. Of course, they are only 12 candidates in the race.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Voters, examine qualifications

VOTERS, please examine carefully the qualifications and experience of the candidates for the Richland 2 School Board.

In this race, there are more than four good candidates. It may be hard to select THE four who will be the best board members.

So, do your homework. Don't just say, "Well, I like ____."

Remember, a lot of people "liked" the four who are leaving the board. And look what the District ended up with.

The dynamics on the board WILL change after November 8. When two, three or four of the top candidates take their seats on the board on November 18, you can be sure they will not shun the "minority" (and I don't mean, by race of color).

We can hope that there will be one board - one cohesive, collaborative, cooperative, unified board - unlike what existed for the past two years or more. 

The rudeness, disrespect and incivility of The Core Four (of 2018-2022 infamy) will be history. Especially during the 2021-2022 School Year. That's the one that resulted in drastic action by the State Legislature, the Governor, and the State Inspector General. 

Meet the candidates. Study their websites and Facebook pages. 

It's too bad that the Sandhills Library is waiting until November 2nd to hold its candidates' forum. Many will have already voted. 

Don't vote too soon. You could hear something at the last minute that sways your vote.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Voter Guide by League of Women Voters

Use this Voter Guide to learn more about the candidates in the Richland 2 School Board race.

The Columbia League of Women Voters has published candidates' answers to three questions at

Early voting starts October 24th, and you can vote at R2i2. But don't vote too soon.  Early Voting ends on Saturday, November 5th. Election Day is November 8.

If you vote too soon and change your mind, you can't change your vote.

Vote for Eric Rovelli for Richland 2 School Board


Go to and watch his video on "School Board Management". You can get to the video right from his homepage. It is short and to the point.

Eric understands the function of a board. He is a businessman with business experience, which is just what the Richland 2 School Board needs.

Read over his website and watch his other videos. Mark your ballot FOR Eric Rovelli.

Early voting starts October 24, but don't vote too soon. Do your homework.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Index of the Richland 2 Clown Show

 This Index will help you find comments, but watch the whole 35 minutes.

View the Richland 2 Clown Show at

1:25 Holmes. Stay Woke

1:38 Old news about Trustee Scott who was accosted and baited in the R2i2 lobby in Jan. 2019.

2:20 Parent speaking on 6/29/21

2:38 Chair cuts off parent at 3:00 mark

2:47 Larry Smalls. Hands off my kids about gender. Chair cuts him off as soon as time expires.

3:18 Holmes adjourns to Executive Session without acknowledging “No” votes. Argues with Agostini. Holmes says she will conduct meeting as she sees fit.

4:04 Trustee Scott departs 9/14/21 (before vote on supt. contract)

4:14 Trustee Agostini agrees with Dr. Scott and departs

4:20 Holmes delays calling on Trustee McFadden, disrespectfully saying “I’m sure you are going to join the rest.” Holmes interrupts and argues with McFadden.

4:48 Caution-Parker says, “You do not want to hear what I’m going to say.”

5:00 Manning refers to email from a community member (me) asking board members to walk out of a meeting.

5:40 Holmes argues with Trustee Scott.

6:16 Trustee Agostini calls a Point-0f-Order. Holmes ignores it. Agostini again calls a Point of Order. Holmes says, “Mrs. Agostini, I AM the point of order at this time. I’m speaking.”

6:29 Philpott reads bitter email from Holmes on 10/26/21.

8:17 Monica Glowinski speaks on 10/26/21 about disrupting and stifling public participation.

8:45 Holmes uses the Royal “We” in a patronizing tone.

9:30 Philpott speaks at public participation on 10/26/21 while wearing t-shirt, “I’m a Dad, not a domestic terrorist”. McKie not paying attention.

10:10 Joe Trapp speaks on 10/26/21

10:28 Agostini questions Holmes’ vote in favor of a motion. Holmes unilaterally changed her vote, improperly per Robert’s Rules of Order. Holmes said she had a right to change her mind. NO, not after the vote was announced. RONR provides the way to do, which Holmes did not follow.

11:05 Several speakers on 10/26/21 criticize the board to task for so much adverse news in media, for CRT indoctrination, sexualization of children.

12:36 Philpott addresses board on 11/16/21. Caution-Parker inattentive.

12:40 Supt. Davis said that two years ago he didn’t know what CRT was.

13:25 David Oberly challenged Privilege.

14:10 Holmes improperly talks over Trustee McFadden, who had the floor.

14:50 Many talking at the same time. Chaos!

15:05 Caution-Parker calls out Trustee Scott, pointing her finger in a scolding manner.

15:35 Larry Smalls addresses board regarding poor relationships with parents.

15:45 Ethan Lopez addresses board on 1/11/22 about respect between trustees.

16:12 Philpott addresses board on 1/11/22. Holmes improperly corrected Philpott about attempting to say that Trustee McFadden had correctly (done something). Holmes was wrong AT MANY MEETINGS about the speaking of names. Board Policy does not prohibit mentioning names.

15:30 Media report about 1/25/22 event, but incorrect date of 1/11/22 embedded in video.

18:00 Mary Livermore speaks to board.

18:39 Larry Smalls speaks to board. Manning cuts him off at end of time and cuts off microphone.

19:23 Student Ethan Lopez addresses board on 3/8/22 about being cussed out by Mrs. Davis on 1/25/22. Holmes cautions him after he says “district leader’s wife” and tells Lopez “no names”. Manning interrupted, calling it a “personnel matter”. McFadden stood up for Lopez. Holmes says she would “let” Lopez continue.

21:10 WIS-TV clip of interview on 1/25/22 with Pamela Davis. Says she did not use any profanity. Says a board member’s comment was “very hurtful.”

22:00 Ethan Lopez addresses board on 3/8/22 about Pamela Davis’ comments to him on 1/25/22. Say District pushed it (the 1/25/22 incident) under the rug. He had watched a cop and school board (member) restrain him (Supt. Davis).

22:50 TV reporter says Mrs. Davis said she didn’t do anything inappropriate on 1/25/22. [Shouting “I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. DON’T TALK TO ME! GET AWAY FROM ME!” at a man who was politely introducing himself is “not doing anything inappropriate”?]

23:15 More by Ethan Lopez on 2/8/22.

23.38 David Gayle addresses the board on 2/8/22.

23:48 Conclusion of Craig Conwell’s (Khanwell) vicious, racist, threatening remarks at the 2/8/22 board meeting. No challenge at all from Holmes or Davis. Had a white man spoken that way at the meeting, he would have been carried out!!!

23:56 McKie expresse being offended. Oh, sob, sob, sob. Pass the Kleenex.

24:12 President Bush. Hard work.

24:35 Caution-Parker complains about the “git-cha” [sic] (Most people call it a “gotcha”). Trustee McFadden commits the unpardonable sin of addressing Caution-Parker as “Ms. Parker”. Caution-Parker responds nastily and disrespectfully with “It’s Dr. Parker. Doctor Parker. DOCTOR. CHERYL. CAUTION. PARKER !!!”

24:57 Holmes. “Stay woke”

25:06 Audio recording of 4/28/22 executive session, recorded in violation of Board Policy by (I have the name but have not been able to confirm it with him.) Holmes is clearly baiting and patronizing Trustee McFadden.

25:40 Woman speaker at 5/24/22 board meeting about the 4/28/22 executive session, referring to Holmes’ “taunting” of Trustee McFadden.

27:35 Blythewood Academy student speaks to board about discipline problems at school and profane language used by teachers.

28:11 Philpott addresses board on 10/11/22. “Richland 2 school district is about to take a huge leap forward.”

28:30 McFadden was speaking. Scott interrupted. Chair further interrupted and chastised Trustee Scott. McKie then spoke unnecessarily, acting like she was the board chair.

29:10 Caution-Parker speaks on 10/11/22 against Cash Advances to board members for travel. Scott brings up unnecessary car rentals, referring to Holmes’ $807.30 car rental and parking at the April NASB conference in San Diego. Caution-Parker doesn’t understand Advances. Manning makes irrelevant comment about per-diem. Agostini asked who approves expenses after travel. Agostini had the floor, but Manning continued to interrupt and argue with her.

34:00 Manning made a completely irrelevant, improper and racially-oriented comment about what he thought was a different standard for travel permissions between previous white superintendents and Supt. Davis, who is black. Manning said that was a statement of fact. Trustee Scott objected strong to his statement. Caution-Parker chimed in with support for Manning’s statement.

35:00 Holmes: “You need to Stay Woke”

And with that the Clown Show ended. Will there be a sequel?

Friday, October 14, 2022

McKie Ethics Debt - Still $57,100


What is Amelia McKie doing about settling her $57,100 debt with the South Carolina Ethics Commission?

When the Ethics Commission filed a judgment against her in Richland County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2019, her debt was $51,700. Now it's $57,100. (No, this is not a typo.) And it may go up next Thursday, if she is found liable on another violation of ethics laws.

McKie's debt is owed for Default Years 2016, 2020 and 2021.

Why isn't she paying? She seems to have money for new clothing, hair styling, pearls, jewelry.

And more importantly, why isn't the South Carolina Department of Revenue, which is the State's collection agent, pursuing collection?

If she hasn't been paying on her debt during her term of public office, what is the chance that she will pay on it after she leaves office next month? Somewhere between slim and none would be my guess.

Remember her frequent statements during the past month that she will fulfill her duties as long as she is a sitting member of the board?

What about her ethical responsibility to pay off this debt?

Out of 26 pages of debtors, McKie is Number 10 on the Debtors' List. 

This is the person elected by the board (majority) last June to be Board Vice Chair. This is the trustee-elect who, after she was re-elected in November 2018, never took the oath-of-office legally for the current term-of-office.

How much do the Top Ten owe? 
which is 44% of the Total Debts of $2,751,668.

Presenting ... the Richland 2 Clown Show

Be absolutely sure to watch this video, which was published yesterday. The Richland 2 Clown Show!

See it at

Everything is there but the clown car.

Somebody spent a lot of time culling through livestream videos and putting this 35-minute video together. It shows the chaos of the school board. Be sure to see the segments when Teresa Holmes continually interrupts board members who are speaking.

One of Teresa's most-memorable statements occurs on September 22, 2021, when Trustee Agostini is calling a Point-of-Order. After Agostini's third call Teresa says, "Mrs. Agostini, I AM the point-of-order at this point. I'm talking...". See that, starting at 6:00.

Email this article or forward the video link far and wide.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Item 10.2 - Board Comp and Expenses

 At 2:01:39 on the recording of last night's meeting, Item 10.2 Board Member Compensation and Expenses came up.

In that Policy we are reminded that board members are paid $384 (per diem) for meetings and the board chair is paid $480. Are we getting our money's worth? If you measure it by the number of words spoken, maybe we are.

The Core Four and the Superintendent want to control which meetings future board members can attend at District expense. The Core Four want to, in effect, rule from the grave by shoving through this change with their dying breaths.

Paragraph 3 was quite visible but was not on the agenda for discussion. It reads, in part, "Each board member will be designated an equal and specific amount for travel and development opportunities..."

That amount is $7,000 per School Year, which ends June 30. 

Holmes had spent $9,529.27 as of May 10, 2022, and she still had 1½ months to go, which may include a meeting in Myrtle Beach.


Paragraph 4 reads, in part, "The district will reimburse board members for all reasonable and necessary expenses..."


The conference hotel was four miles from the airport. The conference center was two miles (or was it 0.2 mile) from the hotel. Did she drive to the conference center from the hotel each day? Is $807.30 for traveling eight (8) miles from the airport to the hotel and back "reasonable and necessary"?

At 2:01:50 Trustee Scott made a motion to table Item 10.2. Trustee Agostini seconded. There was no discussion. When such a motion is made, the Movant should provide reasons for the motion. Otherwise, it doesn't have a chance. There was a hand vote, because the recording secretary can't figure out how to enter secondary motions in the Minutes. The vote was 3-4, of course!!!!

At 2:02:27 Caution-Parker was recognized for discussion, and she moved to add language that no advance for expenses will be made to board members. This is clearly aimed at any board member who cannot afford to front her own expenses for a meeting.

Caution-Parker clearly does not understand what an Advance is for and how it is accounted for. There is a line right on the Seminar Reimbursement Form (Rev. 1/4/2016), where the employee accounts for the advance.

Caution-Parker appeared to be sniping at one board member, and she was completely out-of-order; Manning did not interrupt her. Manning works at a business where accounting is extremely important, and he must know that Advances are not "free money". Caution-Parker's remarks showed a complete ignorance of bookkeeping and accounting methods, right on the District's own form!

The vote to amend the policy to prohibit advances to board members, per Caution-Parker's request, at (2:12:34) was 6-1.

Trustee Agostini asked who approves "what is reasonable" as a board travel expense. She was asking about Teresa Holmes' $807.30 car rental and parking expense in San Diego. Supt. Davis waffled by conflating other expenses and throwing in a lot of other words to distract from the exact answer. NO "LIST" is needed. A third-grader would know that Teresa did not "need" a car in San Diego.

Trustee Agostini suggested that "common sense" is how you decide whether an expense is reasonable and necessary. That works for me!

I wanted to scream POINT-OF-ORDER when the supt. got on a roll about his expenses. All that had nothing to do with this policy.

Discussion ended on that Item at 2:32:07.  WHEW!

Chaos during Item 10.1 - Policy BK

Watch the chaos during Item 10.1 Policy BK.

It starts at 1:46:40 on

After about ten minutes of the board's babbling, Trustee Scott made a motion, which she then replaced with her own motion to table Item 10.1. 

The obstruction and palavering by Amelia McKie was astonishing. She stepped up on her soapbox in an attempt to ram through a policy change that will affect the next board, which she will not be on,  asserting that she will, in effect, do her job until the end of her term. Barf....

Whenever McKie opens her mouth and says she is going to "clarify" something, you can bet she is not.

Manning called for a vote on the secondary motion (to table Item 10.1) and the hand-vote was 3-4, which was no surprise at all. The Core Four stuck together like Elmer's Glue, once again!!! Manning should have announced the vote as 3 Yes, 4 No - Motion failed. Again, parliamentary procedure failed.

Notice how many times McKie interjected comments that rightfully belonged to Chair Manning. She just butts in and starts talking. It was sickening! He should have directed McKie NOT to speak unless and until she was recognized by the Chair.

The discussion on Item 10.1 concluded at 2:01:39

10/12/22 Board Meeting - 2nd Executive Session

The school board conducted a second Executive Session last night for the stated purpose of (Item 15.2) Investigation Update and (Item 15.3) Legal Update.

On which investigation did they get an update? Is there more than one ongoing investigation? Or is the only one the investigation by the South Carolina State Inspector General?

Presumably, the Legal Update was on the Inspector General's investigation. But there is no way of knowing.

The recording resumes at 5:03:29 on  Caution-Parker has cleared her desk. McKie is packing up.

The second Executive Session adjourned at 10:27PM, and the board members couldn't wait to clear out. 

Trustee Agostini moved to skip Board & Superintendent Comments. Supt. Davis can be seen packing up. Caution-Parker made her contribution for the evening by seconding the motion, thereby earning her $384 per diem.

Manning called for a Motion to Adjourn. McKie was busy packing up and had to be reminded by Chair Manning to raise her hand high to adjourn.

Manning didn't really need McKie's vote. He could have just ignored her disrespect and inattention and then announced the vote as 6-0-0, meaning 6 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstaining. 

If a member of a public body doesn't vote Yes or No and is not Absent, then the vote is recorded as Abstaining. The member of the public body does not have to announce that he or she is abstaining from the vote.

10/12/22 Public Participation

At last night's school board meeting, there was just one speaker during Public Participation.

My remarks are at 1:30:50 on

I spoke about how I thought the four board members (including the two who aren't even legal board members) had probably done the best they could have done.

After watching the fiasco when they tried to fix the error in the September 13th Minutes, I wondered, "Are they really doing the best they can?"

Two other speakers had apparently signed up electronically to speak but did not show up.

Where was everyone else? Eleven board candidates missed the opportunity for exposure to the Richland 2 voters. While they could not have campaigned, they could have spoken about the desperate condition of Richland 2 as the State Inspector General's investigation continues.

Last night was an opportunity for the board to act as if they were professionals and fix that error in the Minutes honestly and correctly. They missed the mark.

Board botches attempt to fix 9/13/22 Minutes

At the October 11, 2022 board meeting the board attempted to fix the Minutes of the September 13th meeting. That was the meeting where a Motion to reward the superintendent with an evaluation and contract extension ended with a sentence to "conclude" his employment contract.

The Motion on September 13th was adopted 4-3, but the Minutes did not report it correctly in the Agenda for the September 25th board meeting. The Minutes for the September 13th Minutes omitted the part about firing Supt. Davis.

Amelia McKie introduced a Motion last night (October 11). Not a woman of a few words, the board chair didn't even understand what she said or meant.

You can witness the fiasco at 1:42:20 on last night's recording, which you'll find at

Item 9.1 was on the agenda as "Clarification Regarding September 13, 2022 Board Meeting Minutes." The title of the item was their first mistake. You can't fix an error by "clarifying" it.

When Chair Manning asked for a Motion and recognized McKie, instead of making the requested Motion, she launched into "a question". How many times has the need for a Parliamentarian come up???...

She said a question had been raised about a scrivener's error" ...  It was not a scrivener's error! McKie lied in her statement to the board last night. The error was the Board's vote on a written motion that differed from the oral motion.

The Board voted on the Motion that was displayed to them on the screen. The maker (Holmes) of the Motion didn't read it carefully. No one on the board read it carefully. The superintendent did not read it carefully.

The Board voted to conclude the superintendent's employment contract. The vote was on the written motion, not the oral motion. The written motion is the official motion that was adopted by the Board on September 13, 2022.

The harder McKie tried to "clarify", the worse it got. Her motion last night should have been first to acknowledge the error in the Board's vote and to correct the wording in the September 13th Minutes. Then the board should have addressed how to correct it. 

The board needed legal advice and apparently did not get it.

The Minutes of the September 13th meeting are still wrong. Those Minutes should be corrected to include the "scrivener's error", because the Board voted on the motion that included that error.

The next step is to correct the error.

Last night the board (majority) voted 4-2-1 to obscure the lawful and correct record of action on September 13, 2022. 

Count one more complaint to the S.C. State Inspector General.

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Who is Eric Rovelli?

I met Eric Rovelli at the meet-and-greet at Doko Manor. That evening I didn't learn much about him, and he said he was just getting his website up and running.

At the Candidates' Forum on October 3, I listened carefully to Eric's remarks.

This past week I explored his website at

I urge you to visit his website. In particular, watch and listen to why he is running. He explains his four key points as

1. School Board Management
2. School Curriculum
3. School Safety
4. No CRT in our schools

That video presentation is only 10 minutes. Consider him seriously for your vote. Shortcut:

Consider this: If you owned a business with $1 Billion in Assets that cost $300 Million annually to operate, which of the 12 candidates would you want on your board of directors? THIS is the question, as you try to pick out four. Be serious in your selection.

Would you want Eric on your board? This 10-minute video just might persuade you to Elect Eric Rovelli.

Meet Col. Terrance Staley

If you don't know Col. Terrance Staley (US Army (retired)) yet, be sure to get acquainted.

Yesterday he had a meet-and-greet at North Springs Rec. Center.

Because of his military background and the assignments he had, he doesn't talk about them. Citizens and residents of the USA slept better and were safer for many years because of the work Terrance did.

He has excellent qualifications for the Richland 2 school board, with his experience in administration, management, leadership, decision-making, cooperation, collaboration.

Had he been on the board for the past four years, Richland 2 never would have experienced the chaos, disorder, disharmony, disrespect and utter rudeness and baiting that went on month after month.

Early voting starts October 24th, and you can vote at R2i2.

Election Day is November 8 - 30 days from now. Vote at your regular voting place that day

I urge every voter to mark one vote for Terrance Staley.

Consider this: If you owned a business with $1 Billion in Assets that cost $300 Million annually to operate, which of the 12 candidates would you want on your board of directors? THIS is the question, as you try to pick out four. Be serious in your selection.

You would definitely want Col. Terrance Staley on your board.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Does this make any sense - at all?

Read this carefully. Teresa Holmes posted it recently on her private Facebook page. Ask yourself: does this make any sense at all? 

Q. Who is fighting against an agenda? Names, please.

Q. What agenda exists to dismantle the Richland 2 school board?

Q. Just exactly what great work is going on?

Q. What silly speeches and false statements?

Q. What bad behavior?

Q. The "whole board" isn't going anywhere. Didn't three incumbents decide not to run for re-election?

Q. Is the reason people want Teresa off the board because of the chaos and the disrespect she showed to other board members?

Q. Does she not understand the board's election cycle?

Q. Doesn't she understand that her "Stay Woke" remarks drive away conscientious people?

Q. Why does she thank the three incumbents who chose not to run again? They are not continuing to help fight for what she thinks is right.

Q. What is a "beloved" District? It's a business!

Q. What does "I got you" mean? Does she even know?

Holmes - more campaigning in school

Teresa Holmes has had even more photo opps during her campaign for re-election. 

This post and photo shows her with a Latina in a school, supposedly honoring National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Does anyone else think she is just trying to drum up votes, so that she can survive the upcoming election?

This is clearly campaigning. Note that she misspelled the name of the school district  AND that she wants your vote.

There is every possibility that this will find its way to the State Inspector General and to the S.C. Ethics Commission in the form of a complaint.

Does this show Teresa's flagrant disregard to Board Policy and ethics laws? 

Remember her excuse when she tried to explain away the violation of State law, when she had failed to file her Statement of Economic Interests Report with the S.C. Ethics Commission before taking the oath-of-office? She said nobody told her about the filing requirement. Too bad, so sad. The rules were right on the Ethics Commission website! It was her responsibility to read them and follow them.

Open letter to R2 superintendent re Holmes

The following email has been sent to Supt. Davis regarding Teresa Holmes improper use of a school for political purposes. What action will he take immediately?

Supt. Davis,

I request a written reply to this message.    

I request - demand - that you put a stop to Teresa Holmes' political campaign stops in Richland 2 Schools. It is obvious that she is using her classroom visits for election campaign photo opportunities. It is a last-ditch effort to shore up her campaign and to recover from her chaotic, disastrous term as board chair.

Don't you require trustees to obtain your permission to visit schools? Don't they have to state the purpose of their visit? And remain within that purpose?

This must be against Board Policy. Shouldn't she have her hands at her sides? Does she have written permission from all the students to use their pictures? If any students are minors, isn't parental authorization required?

Further, it must be against ethics laws of the State of South Carolina.

YOU have the authority to prevent such use of schools, classrooms, students and personnel.

Please act immediately on Monday morning to stop this in its tracks!!

Gus Philpott

You might recognize the woman in the picture with Teresa. Isn't that the woman who said on WIS-TV that she was in such fear back on January 25th?

Holmes' false claims

Why would Teresa Holmes make false claims on her private Facebook page? Does she think only her Friends will see it?

1. Holmes is not a "Commissioner" of Richland 2. Richland 2 does not have any commissioners. Elected officials are called trustees. And she is not even a legal trustee, because she has never taken the oath-of-office legally!

2. She is not an Assistant Administrator at Fairfield County School District. She hasn't worked there since August 1, 2021, when she resigned after her some of her responsibilities were reduced.

3. She lists PAST positions as if they are current positions. They are not.

4. When a person lists "Studied at ...", it is usually because they did not complete a degree program at that institution. To what end are those institutions even listed?

Wise voters know how much consideration to give to Teresa's re-election bid. I wish her well. I hope she comes in no worse than 12th. Of course, there are only 12 candidates running.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Blythewood H.S. "swatted"

The whole story isn't known yet and may never be fully disclosed. The short story that the "shot(s) fired" at Blythewood High School today was false.

Will full details be released?

How quickly was it determined to be a hoax? Were all students still on campus? 

Once the complaint was determined to be unfounded, did students return to classes?

If some idiot or other miscreant phones in a "shots fired" report, wouldn't the first step at the sheriff's department be to contact the school and the SROs and learn what they have to say about it?

"The sky is falling." Really?

Westwood High School - better this week?

Are conditions better this week at Westwood High School?

Has the Principal figured out how to restore order and control the violence, so that the school is safe for all students and staff?

It was shocking to me to learn that not all the trustees were informed of the disorder at Westwood. Were any of them informed? Did any of Manning, McKie, Holmes or Caution-Parker know of the level of fighting and the lunchroom restrictions that were put in place?

Because of the importance of safety and security at this time, all the trustees should have been informed.

They need not be involved. That's the superintendent's job to quell that disorder - by whatever means necessary. If he doesn't or can't do it, then the trustees get involved.

What role did "equity" play, if a decision was made to restrict the flow of information?

We heard "More Justice" referred to on Monday night. Are the miscreants being coddled? Is Administration just saying, "Please don't fight."

We see how that's working!

What percentage of students at Westwood H.S. are the troublemakers?

What do you, the readers, think about James Manning's unilateral decision to disband the Committee of the Whole on Safety & Security?

(OK, I know many of you fear retaliation or retribution, if you speak up. Email your comments to me. I'll publish them without your name.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Timeline for Candidates' Forum

This may help you find your way through the 2+-hour Richland Two Candidates' Forum that was held October 3, 2022 at Spring Valley High School.

Go to

07:38 Recording begins with introduction by Patrick Kelly, Moderator.

One-minute opening comments

12:05 Joe Trapp

13:06 Tamika Washington

13:58 Maryann Wright

15:10 Teresa Holmes

16:27 James Mobley

17:35 McGee Moody

18:42 Angela Nash

19:39 Niki Porter

20:40 Darrell President

22:03 Eric Rovelli

23:53 Larry Smalls

24:04 Terrance Staley

25:17 Question 1 "If you are elected to the school board, what would be your top priorities and how will you encourage community support for our schools?"

26:23 McGee Moody

28:19 Angela Nash

30:06 Niki Porter

32:28 Darrell President

34:34 Eric Rovelli

36:24 Larry Smalls

38:39 Terrance Staley

40:55 Joe Trapp

43:04 Tamika Washington

45:18 Maryann Wright

47:17 Teresa Holmes

49:36 James Mobley

50:15 Question 2 "Knowing the ongoing educator shortage crisis in this state, what policies do you believe are necessary to enable Richland 2 to recruit and retain the best talent to work with our students?" (Question varied slightly between candidates.)

51:10 Maryann Wright

53:23 Teresa Holmes

55:42 James Mobley

56:20 McGee Moody

58:06 Angela Nash

59:41 Niki Porter

1:02:04 Darrell President

1:04:26 Eric Rovelli

1:06:43 Larry Smalls

1:09:01 Terrance Staley

1:11:01 Joe Trapp

1:13:13 Tamika Washington

1:15:24 Question 3 "Richland 2 is a diverse community. In your opinion, how can board members both support and enhance the experience of diverse learners, educators and families in our schools?"

1:16:08 Terrance Staley

1:18:15 Joe Trapp

1:20:30 Tamika Washington

1:22:27 Maryann Wright

1:23:57 Teresa Holmes

1:26:15 James Mobley

1:27:03 McGee Moody

1:29:08 Angela Nash

1:30:54 Niki Porter

1:33:27 Darrell President

1:35:40 Eric Rovelli

1:37:20 Larry Smalls

1:39:37 Question 4 "If elected, what skills do you have and what steps will you take to contribute to the effective operation of the board as a whole?"

1:40:20 Darrell President

1:42:31 Eric Rovelli

1:44:22 Larry Smalls

1:46:34 Terrance Staley

1:48:51 Joe Trapp

1:51:02 Tamika Washington

1:52:57 Maryann Wright

1:54:53 Teresa Holmes

1:57:07 James Mobley

1:57:53 McGee Moody

1:59:54 Angela Nash

2:01:49 Niki Porter

2:04:14 One-Minute Closing Comments

2:04:40 Tamika Washington

2:05:36 Maryann Wright

2:06:36 Teresa Holmes

2:07:52 James Mobley

2:08:37 McGee Moody

2:09:34 Angela Nash

2:10:45 Niki Porter

2:11:57 Darrell President

2:13:06 Eric Rovelli

2:14:10 Larry Smalls

2:15:21 Terrance Staley

2:16:21 Joe Trapp

2:17:28 Moderator thanked the candidates and the members of the League of Women Voters, and the Richland 2 Teachers' Forum, and the audience (in-person and online).