Friday, January 21, 2022

Open Letter to the R2 School Board

The following email has been sent to the Richland 2 School Board:

Members of the Board and trustees-elect Holmes and McKie,

On the agenda for your 1/25/2022 Executive Session is Item 2.4 Receipt of Legal Advice, including Policy BEDH - Public Participation.

Will you please ask the attorney, specifically, why members of the public cannot mention a board member by name?

I believe Chair Holmes is applying the Policy incorrectly, when she admonishes members of the public not to mention a name of a board member.

Policy BEDH, under Open Forum, reads, in part, "The board will not permit in public session any expression of personal complaints [emphasis added] about individual school personnel or any other person connected with the school system."

It does not state that a board member's name cannot be mentioned. It does not prohibit a comment about a board member's position on an issue. It does not forbid a compliment about a board member. It does not prohibit a statement in defense of a board member.

Please clarify for the Chair that she cannot make up her own rules for Public Participation. She can only apply BEDH as it is written. If she is going to quote Board Policy, please ask her to quote it accurately and not "interpret" or expand it.

Thank you.

Gus Philpott