Thursday, January 27, 2022

Some good news; some bad news

WIS-TV announced tonight that no charges will be filed after the bruhaha at the January 25th board meeting.

The good news? Philpott and Ginn won't be charged.

The bad news: Pamela Davis and Baron Davis won't be charged.

WIS-TV covered the story at 5 and at 6. Following the 6:00PM News I emailed the reporter with these corrections to her 6:15PM website posting. You can view the website posting here. You can read my statement that I gave to RCSD Tuesday night and the District's "Update" today. 

Reporter Lauren Adams had asked if the three emails furnished by Richland 2 were from me. Here are the corrections I sent her.

None of those emails was from me.

I wonder if you might be open to editing your 6:15PM story.

- "The argument" did not involve "the superintendent, his wife, and three people"

- I did not "try to talk to the superintendent's wife". As provided in my statement below to RCSD, I did not know who she was. I'm a friendly guy, and I said, "Hello, I'm Gus Philpott." With only those words from me, she blew up.

-- A lot happened between her initial reaction and "that person (Gus) was escorted out and told not to return"

- There wasn't an "argument". She was yelling for people not to talk to her, and no one trying to talk to her.

- No argument escalated while I was there; I was seated three chairs away,  with a security officer standing by me, and the superintendent never came over. I don't even think the supt. was in the room. The board meeting had not yet started. He must have been involved in the second incident.

--"After that, the two members of the public were asked to leave and placed on trespass notice."  That would mean three people got booted. I was already gone by the time Mrs. Davis resumed shouting and told Ethan Lopez that he was "a piece of shit". (pardon my repeating the profanity that I was told she said)  It was after that that the Supt. came over (I've been told) and the second man was booted.

- It was about ten minutes after I said "Hello, I'm Gus Philpott" that a security officer finally told me that the woman was Mrs. Davis.

- The statement posted by Richland 2 today is not honest.

Thanks, Lauren. This whole thing is not that complicated, except Richland Two is not telling the truth.

Later I received an text from a person in Columbia. He wrote: "If those 3 emails that the district just talked about on wis are threatening then we REALLY have a problem!! They are really trying to find straws. No smoking gun there!!"

I hope there is someone on the planet who can explain to me why Mrs. Davis wasn't put on Trespass Notice and why the Superintendent wasn't asked to leave the meeting.

Trespass Notice - Expired?

Tonight I sent the following email to the security director, the board, the superintendent and a few other staff members.

Marq Claxton, Security Director, Richland 2

Mr. Claxton,

Since I have not received a written Trespass Notice, I shall assume that your verbal Trespass Notice on January 25, 2022 has expired, and I shall feel free to visit any Richland 2 property at any time. I am planning to attend the February 4th board workshop, which was posted on the District's homepage recently (but is not posted there now) and the February 8 Regular Board meeting. 

Should Mrs. Davis approach me and attempt to engage in discussion or confrontation, I shall immediately seek protection from a RCSD deputy without speaking to her.

Thank you for telling me your name, when I asked in the hallway outside the meeting room. Your two security officers, who walked with me to the front door, refused to identify themselves. One officer did tell me his name was "Officer", but I did not think that was his true name.

Most sincerely,

Gus Philpott

Richland 2 sez: (be sure to read this)

Richland 2's Libby Roof sent this out via the Smore channel. Somebody help me sit down. I'm getting dizzy from the spin. Watch for a future article, correcting the errors in the Richland 2 statement.

Richland School District Two disputes any statement that Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis was the aggressor or instigator in an incident that occurred prior to the school board meeting on January 25, 2022.


The two adults involved, who were escorted from the room and notified that they were being put on trespass notice, have a history of outbursts, disruptive and adversarial behavior at and following school board meetings. One individual also has a documented history of sending emails of a threatening nature to Dr. Davis.


Prior to the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday, one of the individuals approached Mrs. Davis. She firmly declined to engage in conversation. He refused to respect her boundary and continued trying to engage her. Security personnel intervened and directed the individual to a seat. A short time later, the individual continued to try to engage Mrs. Davis. At this time the second individual joined the conversation. Security personnel intervened. The individual who first engaged Mrs. Davis refused several commands by security to take a seat and insisted on continuing to speak with Mrs. Davis. This resulted in the first individual being escorted from the room and informed he would be placed on trespass notice.


Once Dr. Davis became aware that his wife had been harassed, and with the past inappropriate behavior of these individuals in mind, he became concerned for the safety of Mrs. Davis and others in the room. As he checked on her, he observed that she was visibly shaken. Dr. Davis then asked the second individual if he had questions to direct them to him. The individual took a step forward and responded loudly. Security personnel were nearby because of the earlier interaction, and they created a barrier between Dr. Davis and the second individual. At no time did Dr. Davis make any physical or verbal threats toward the individual. Following this, the second individual was escorted from the room and informed he would be put on trespass notice.


Unfortunately, this incident has become a distraction and overshadows the accomplishments of Richland Two teachers and students. Dr. Davis and district leaders recognize and appreciate how diligently teachers, administrators and school staff are working during these unprecedented times and ask that for the community’s continued support of the teaching and learning taking place at Richland Two schools.


Richland Two parents and community members have a right and are encouraged to be active partners, to ask questions and to express their concerns. The district facilitates numerous opportunities for input via surveys, committees, advisory groups, the district website, ombudsman, social media platforms and public participation at school board meetings. However, these conversations must be conducted respectfully and through the appropriate channels. Further, employees nor their families should be subject to emails, comments and encounters of a threatening nature when individuals disagree with a district policy or direction.

Blogger Stalks Sheriff - Seriously?

This week I was reminded of an incident in 2010 (or was it 2009?) in Woodstock, Ill.

I had been writing a blog and writing many articles about the sheriff's department and several local police departments.

The sheriff was desperate to discover the leaks, because I was getting first-hand news about inside problems.

On a Monday morning, the local daily newspaper's headline was something like "BLOGGER STALKS SHERIFF".

What in the world had happened?

The previous Thursday I had pulled into the parking lot of a large grocery story to make a phone call. I often make calls while driving, but I needed to look up the number. I parked way out at the end of an aisle; there were no cars near me for at least 15 spaces.

While I was talking, I became aware of a large white vehicle pulling in alongside me. I looked over and it was a big Chevy Tahoe. The front passenger-side window was down. Guess who it was? The Sheriff. I waved. Did he wave back? Not at all. He sat there and glared at me for about 30 seconds and then drove away.

I thought, "No way am I going to let him get away with that!", and I dialed Woodstock P.D. and requested an officer. A few minutes later a squad car pulled up.

I told the officer what had happened and added, "I refuse to be intimidated. He could have shot me with a throw-away pistol and driven off. Then all you'd have is a body in a red VW Beetle and an unsolved crime. I told the officer I wanted to make a report, but I was not requesting any action. In other words, don't go and arrest the Sheriff today. Just file the report.

The cop said he would write it up at the station and started to leave. I stopped him and asked for the Report Number. Again he said he'd write it up at the station (which meant it was never going to happen). I asked again for the Report Number. Again he started to leave. And again I asked, more demanding that time, for the Report Number.

Finally, he obtained a Report Number over the radio from the dispatcher, which meant he was going to have to write it up. Somebody at the department must have tipped a reporter, who called the sheriff, who apparently said I was stalking him.

Amazing, eh? Probably the first ever that a stalker has been sitting, parked in a grocery store parking lot, making a phone call, and the stalkee pulled up, stopped for 30 seconds and drove away.

A year later, I heard just how lucky I had really been that day.

The morale of the story. If you have any doubt that a cop is actually going to write up a report, demand the Report Number.

Lights, Camera, Action

OK, folks, here's the new rule for attending board meetings.

Have your cell phone in your hands throughout the meeting. Learn how to begin recording quickly. Be familiar with the sequence of steps so that, in an instant, you can aim your phone, hit Record, and preserve what happens.

I was caught flat-footed Tuesday night. I admit it. But never again. I have already completed this morning's practice with my phone. With four taps, I can be recording. No scrolling. No hunting. No delay,

Your phone might even have a voice-actuated Unlock feature. Or voice-actuated Record function.

You can believe that I wish I had recorded Pamela Davis' outburst.

I wasn't there to personally witness Pamela's verbal display of bad manners toward the 14-year-old student or Baron Davis' rush that worried Gary Ginn so much that he filed a complaint with RCSD. 

And what about when Baron Davis was asked to have his wife leave the meeting room? What was his response to that?

Who is in control? Is the Board in control, or does the board (the majority, in the form of The Core Four) kowtow to Baron?

If you want to, bring your video camera or still camera with telephoto lens. Snap away throughout the meeting.

Public Participation at 1/25/2022 Board Meeting

Be sure to watch the Public Participation segment of the January 25th board meeting.

Go to and select the January 25th meeting. Then fast-forward to the 1:55.46 mark.

Each speaker gets three minutes. There is a timer right in front of the speaker and also projected on the screen, so that Holmes can be ready to smack down her gavel, should a speaker attempt to utter a word past the 3:00:00 mark.

At 1:55:46 Holmes begins her lecture about what speakers can and cannot do. I don't know who wrote that for her; maybe her $45,000/year secretary that Baron Davis arranged. Holmes didn't even understand what she was reading. More about that, but first the speakers

2:00:49 Kimberly Mingo. When she mentioned that her child attended Lake Carolina Upper, Holmes pounced. The mom is addressing the board about how the school is prohibiting her 5th Grade child from using a medically-prescribed nebulize, and Holmes is worried about the name of the school. How stupid!

2:04:11 Jonathan (last name unintelligible by Holmes)  About the damaging effects of the masks

2:07:30 Melissa McFadden

2:13:45 Crytsal Masincupp

2:17:10 Ethan Lopez

Ethan is a student at Ridge View High School. Notice his composure. This is after Baron Davis rushed Garry Ginn and after Pamela Davis cursed at him. He didn't even get rattled when Holmes rudely interrupted after Ethan spoke the forbidden words, "Dr. Davis".

When Holmes read the rules for speaking, she didn't even realize she was addressing the portion of Board Policy BEDH that covers "Agenda Items". That policy provision is never used, because this board never allows speakers to sign up, in advance of the meering, to address a specific Agenda Item at the time it is discussed. So she rattled on and on about a provision that doesn't apply.

Holmes also said that the Board doesn't have to allow Public Participation. In other words, you boys and girls had better mind your Ps & Qs, or we won't let you speak at meetings. What gall the board chair displayed with such a comment! And notice how often she used the "royal We".

Maybe we should all bow down to the King and Queen before we begin our comments and definitely again at the end, after we have received their grace and benevolence and been "allowed" to speak.

Speaker, state your name clearly at the beginning of your remarks. 

What is RCSD's role at school board meetings

The RCSD deputies did a fine job Tuesday night at the disruptive meeting, when Mrs. Pamela Davis was emotionally out-of-control.. 

Throughout their entire interaction with me, the deputies were completely professional, courteous and appropriate. They observed only. And that's their role. They are not there as additional security for Richland 2. 

They are probably there under a Special-Duty Agreement between the Sheriff's Department and the Richland 2 School District. If the Agreement is anything like the same-named Agreement with the Summit homeowners' association, deputies are not at R2i2 to enforce the rules and procedures of Richland 2 School District.

Deputies are there to enforce the laws of the County and of the State. 

That's why I was escorted off the property by R2 security officers, not by a deputy. 

I laugh at the "escort" part of that sentence. The R2 security officers were over their heads and didn't have a clue what to do. After I picked up my materials from the chair in the meeting room, two of them were standing there. I asked, "Are you going to escort me off the property?"

Who was in control then? I was. 

When I walked out of the room, they followed. Some "escort", right? Baron Davis ought to hire me to run his security department, not whoever didn't train the security officers! They followed me across the second floor hallway and onto the escalator. As we rode down to the first floor, I asked them for their names. When we got to first floor, I stopped to write down their names.

One of them stood there, dumb (speechless). The other said, "Officer." Seriously? Did his mommy name him "Officer" at birth, forseeing his future employment? Both refused their names. Maybe they weren't trained to remember their names? Maybe they were new. They were not security officers I had seen before.

If Baron Davis and Teresa Holmes are concerned about safety and security at school board meetings, they need look no further than Baron Davis and Pamela Davis. THEY are the ones who should have been ejected and placed on Trespass Notice.

Did RCSD deputies witness Pamela being disruptive toward me and conducting herself in a disorderly manner? Perhaps they were out of the meeting room. Did they observe her cursing at the 14-year-old? Did they observe Baron rushing towared Gary Ginn? Those were crimes.

Who caused the problems Tuesday night?

Who was it who caused the problem at the school board meeting on January 25th?

Well, I guess I must take the blame and the responsibility. I confess. I did it. I started it.

What horrible thing did I do, just before the board meeting convened at 5:30PM?

Ready for it? 

I noticed a black woman (color will be important; wait for it - future article) sitting alone in the front row of chairs. I made the horrendous, grievous error of attempting to be friendly. I stepped in front of her, so as not to surprise her by speaking from behind her, and I said those terrible words, "Hello, I'm Gus Philpott."

Little did I know that those four words would strike such terror and fear in her heart. You'd have thought the Devil was on her doorstep.

She abruptly and rigidly turned away from me, and then turned back, shouting, "I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. DON'T TALK TO ME. GET AWAY FROM ME!"

It was almost like, "Satan, get thee behind me!"

I did step away and get behind her (well, not directly behind her), but she turned around and kept shouting, creating great disruption, upset and disorder right in front of two other men and a 14-year-old student from Ridge View High School.

R2 security officers came over and one of them pointed me to a chair about 15 feet away, telling me to calm down and be seated.

Calm down? I was calm. That woman, whose name I did not know, was the one creating the disorder.

They must have know that she was Pamela Davis, wife of Supt. Baron Davis. I didn't know that, and I didn't learn that for about ten more minutes.

My thanks to Gary Ginn (who was later ejected from the meeting). What evil deed did he commit? According to reports, he intervened between Pamela Davis and the 14-year-old studnet, at whom Pamela was cursing.

What's wrong with this picture? Pamela is cursing a minor in a school board meeting on school property, and Ginn get ejected from the meeting?

Why do I thank Gary? When the R2 security guard was asking me to have a seat (and calm down (although I was calm and always had been)), Gary came over and told me to just sit down. Sit down. I'm appreciative of Gary for doing that. Thank you, Gary.

Who continued to cause a problem and who added to the disorder and disruption?

I've read some of the police reports and media reports. The answer is: Pamela Davis and Baron Davis. 

But I wasn't there to see it, because R2 Security Director Marq Claxton had put me on Trespass Notice and ordered me out of the building and off school property.

For what? I'll be calling Claxton today to find out.