Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Supt. Davis - ill at board meeting

Apparently, Supt. Davis became ill at tonight's board meeting. I had left after the Public Participation.

Later I began watching the livestream recording and then decided to watch the remainder tomorrow. I received a text that Supt. Davis had become ill and that the meeting had adjourned.

When I returned to the livestream recording, it was password-protected; i.e., locked. 

The District is in error to lock the video. It is a public meeting. Everything that happens in a meeting that has been properly noticed to the public, as this one was, belongs in the public view.

This is the second time that Richland 2 has locked a video. 

If South Carolina had a strong Open Meetings Act law, there would be a way to appeal decisions made by public bodies. 


1/12/22 The recording of last night's board meeting is improperly locked by the District, just as they did a couple of months ago. One viewer was quick enough to capture a short segment of the recorded meeting.

View it here: 

Click on the link above to view video

The purpose of including this is so that you can see clearly just what happened. Supt. Davis was seated in his chair. He didn't collapse. He didn't pass out, as commented on Facebook. 

You can decide for yourself who close to him responded and how much they appeared to help. 

The District will probably edit out the superintendent's health incident and then publish the meeting on YouTube. The District fails the public, when it shuts down the recording of a public meeting. 

Notice Teresa Holmes' cell phone standing on her desk, propped open. Was she again recording speakers and streaming to her personal Facebook page? I was going to ask about that in public but got distracted by the dog-and-pony show during the Consent Agenda fiasco.

Chair Mishandles Consent Agenda Item

The opening of tonight's board meeting was a complete joke, and three speakers addressed the errors during the Public Participation segment.

When the meeting arrived at the Consent Agenda item, a motion was made and seconded to approve the Consent Agenda item.

Trustee Agostini then made a motion to split the agenda. What she meant was to separate the items and not approve them as a group.

Holmes wanted to approve the consent agenda and then address the items which Agostini wanted to separate.

It would have been clearer if Trustee Agostini had made a motion to remove Item 5.2 Approval of the Minutes from the Consent Agenda. After discussion and a vote, then a motion would have been made to remove Item 5.4 Request for an Innovative CTE Course from the Consent Agenda. And it would have been discussed and voted on. And only then would the original motion, as amended, have been voted on.

If both Items 5.2 and 5.4 were removed, then the board would have voted on the Consent Agenda, which would have contained only Item 5.3. After that each of the other two Items would have been discussed and voted on.

Holmes has a lot of trouble understanding secondary motions and generally objects to them because she doesn't know how to handle them, in spite of having been educated by Trustee Manning at several previous meetings. 

Trustee Agostini stated that her motion did not require a Second. After brief discussion between the superintendent and Holmes, the superintendent agreed with Agostini that a second was not required.

What did Holmes do? She wanted to move on to a vote on the original motion. Why didn't the superintendent step up and correct her? Isn't part of his job to assist her in not making a fool out of herself?

Trustee McFadden stated that, if the orginal motion was voted on, then it would not be possible to discuss removal of the two Items. And Mrs. McFadden was exactly right.

Holmes ran all over Trustees Agostini and McFadden and bullied her way through to vote on the original motion.

Three speakers tonight attacked what had happened.

I was the final speaker. I showed my notes and said I had written comments on two topics, but I said I was going to address what had just happened in the meeting. I got away with mentioning Trustee Agostini's name but, when I mentioned Trustee McFadden's very correct comment, Holmes woke up and came out of her shell, demanding that I not mention anyone's name.

Why not? Mrs. McFadden was sitting right there and had just said what I was repeating. I was complimenting Trustee McFadden.

I think the problem is that Teresa Holmes is just ignorant of organizational procedures. She's not a completely dumb person; after all, she did get an Ed.D. degree from an online school in California. The procedures have been explained to her in public in school board meetings many times, and she is either unwilling or unable to learn them. Or maybe she just wants things her way, even when she is wrong.

Any other board would removed Holmes from the position as Chair by now. Manning made a huge mistake last June 29 when he nominated Holmes for the office of Chair. Just as the board (the Core Four) elected her last June 29, they could hold a new election and elect someone else as Board Chair.

For the good of the District, that's exactly what the board should do.

Is R2 Violating Board Policy AC?

Is the 100 Premier Men-of-Color Program ("Program") a violation of Board Policy AC?

Board Policy AC was created just three years ago, in October 2018, and it reads, in part,

"“The Board affirms the right of all individuals to be treated with respect and to be protected from intimidation, discrimination, physical harm, and/or harassment. Respect for each individual will be a consideration in the establishment of all policies by the board and in the administration of those policies by district staff.

“The district is committed to providing equal access to educational and employment opportunities regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, pregnancy (including childbith and other related medical conditions), age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity status, spousal affiliation, or any other protected characteristic as may be required by law.”

In how many ways does the Program violate not only board policy, but also Federal and State laws? Is it not discriminatory?

How do employees, including teachers and staff, feel about the 100 Premier Men-of-Color Program?

Are employees afraid to speak out? Are white men afraid to speak out? Are women afraid to speak out?

What would be the result, if the District conducted a survey of all employees (and of parents and community members) about the 100 Premier Men-of-Color Program? A survey that was 100% confidential, with absolutely no way that responses could be tracked down to those who completed a survey?

If employees were absolutely sure that they could answer honestly and without fear of retaliation or retribution, how would they answer?

How did it happen that Service Solutions decided to cough up $15,000/year, to be used in this Program?

Was it purely out of the goodness of their corporate heart?

The superintendent told the board that his performance evaluation does not include this Program. 

If he is not evaluated on it, then how is it getting so much emphasis and why is it even being conducted?

Is anyone who questions it considered to be a racist? 

Why isn't the board making a very careful examination of this Program and reporting to assure the public that it is not a racist or discriminatory project?