Wrong explanation, Teresa.
The April 28, 2022 board meeting was broadcast on livestream.com/richland2 After the board meeting was called to order at 4:30PM, instead of just calling for the motion to go into executive session, Teresa Holmes gave an explanation of the meeting. She gave a misleading one, at that.
Holmes said, "Let me take a point-of-order here. (Wrong term; she meant point of personal privilege which she, as chair, did not even need to claim). I want to make a little clarity to the public tonight. This meeting is the way that we have to get to the public forum that we do plan to have later on. We have to go through committee first, which is what we are doing tonight, and then we'll talk about the things that we want to do. Dr. Davis and I will come back out later after and give a little brief update. I want the public to understand that this is the process that we have to go through first, before we go into private things of having people come in and however we are going to format that."
Then a motion to go into executive session was made and seconded, and off they went.
Did the Board hold an illegal executive session tonight?
After I wrote the above, I began thinking more about Executive Sessions. The reasons proscribed in State law that allow a public body to meet in secret are very limited. These can be read in the South Carolina Code of Laws, Title 30 Public Records, Chapter 4 Freedom of Information Act. Specifically, see 30-4-70.
Forming a Committee and discussing rules by which a committee might operate is not eligible for meeting out of public sight. They won't be discussing specific steps to improving safety and security.
When Holmes said that they had to met in private to set the rules, she was wrong. Did they ask the in-house general counsel for a green light on that? Would that attorney, who is an employee of the District and who reports directly to the superintendent, say, "No, you can't do that"?
And then, when she said Dr. Davis and she would come out and give an update, did she mean they would disclose what was talked about in executive session? Somewhere, in all the fine print of the statute, I think it says that no one can talk in public about what was discussed in executive session. That point has been made very clear in previous board meetings.
The meeting re-convened on livestream.com/richland2 at 1:25:28.
What was the promised "little brief update"? Holmes said, "We appreciate you tonight. We covered a lot of ground. Parents, we want you to know we hear you. We're doing the work. We're doing the work to make sure that your children are safe."
That's an update? Was anyone there in person who stuck around to the end to hear that?
At that point Manning enters the board room and takes his seat. Apparently, Trustee McFadden had departed.
Then trustee-elect McKie made a motion was made to come out of executive session.