Thursday, May 5, 2022

Holmes Files a "Report" with RCSD

The State newspaper reports on the April 28, 2022 Special-Called Board Meeting. At 3:22PM today reporter Bristow Marchant published an article below this headline: "Police report says one Richland 2 school board member threatened to ‘beat’ another

Read the article at:"

The article opens with "The chairwoman of the Richland 2 school board filed a police report on another board member who threatened during a heated exchange at the last board meeting to beat one of her colleagues".

My first question is, why would Teresa Holmes file a police report, if she is not involved? Was she the victim? That's not what the first sentence says. The first sentence intimates that two other board members were involved.

The reporter wrote that Holmes declined to comment to The State.

Executive Sessions are supposed to be confidential. So why did Holmes make the complaint? Seems to me that if a person was threatened, that person needs to make the complaint. Not Holmes.

Just a couple of days ago I was reminded of Holmes' "report" against me for harassing her in 2019. I'm still laughing over that one.

Holmes had a knee-jerk reaction to the emails I was sending to the board about McKie and her being illegitimate members of the board. After one of the emails, she hot-footed it down to RCSD in the middle of her workday in Blythewood and made a "report". The deputy's statement of what Holmes said was full of lies, and the "report" went nowhere. I should have had her charged with Filing a False Police Report.  You can read one of the stories I wrote about that on March 21, 2019 right here:

The article does not mention that any charges were filed, and there is no record of charges in the public record of the Fifth Judicial Circuit Public Index, as of right now.

The article mentioned that a board member recorded ("filmed")  the exchange. Wouldn't that be an improper use of cell phone on school property, according to Board Policy?

The reporter's final sentence in today's article is erroneous. He wrote, "Two people were removed from the meeting by law enforcement and formally warned not to return to the property."

After the meltdown by Pamela Davis at the January 25th board meeting, I was not removed from the meeting by law enforcement.

Illegal Executive Session, 4/28/2022?

Why was an illegal executive session held by the Richland Two school board on April 28, 2020?

This good explanation of the rule for entering executive session comes from an organization of public bodies, like school boards, in South Carolina.

"Before going into executive session, the council must vote, in open session, to enter executive session and state the specific purpose and open meeting exception for the closed door meeting. Councils must be as specific as possible without compromising the issue. The motion to enter executive session should be specific, such as 'to go into executive session to discuss applications for employment within [a specific department]' or 'to discuss negotiation of a contract and receipt of legal advice related to a building project.'" (Source: Municipal Association of South Carolina)

When trustee-elect Amelia McKie made her motion at the beginning of the Special-Called Board Meeting on April 28, 2020, she said it was for the purpose of a safety and security meeting. McKie gave no specifics.

In fact, many thought the meeting was for the purpose of organizing the work of the Committee of the Whole, which would not qualify for an executive session.

I recognized immediately that she had not stated a purpose. And she certainly did not cite the exception provided in South Carolina law.

Had there been a Parliamentarian present, that professional would have called attention to the wording of the Motion and urged the board to halt business right on the spot. Maybe this is one of the reasons that the Richland 2 school board does not utilize the services of a Parliamentarian.

Had one of the minority three on the board questioned the wording and the intention to enter into executive session, after a Second there would have been discussion. Then the board would have voted. Regardless of arguments presented, the board majority would have voted 4-3 to go into executive session. 

Because the board was about to enter an illegal, non-public session, the three members of the minority should have left the meeting. The meeting would have stopped for lack of a quorum.

What is R2's Cellphone Policy for Students?

Does Richland 2 have a cellphone policy for students?

The 2021-2022 Student Handbook can be viewed here. It's 58 pages (in .pdf). What percentage of it do you think students have read?

Electronic Communication Devices (ECDs) are covered on Page 28 of the Handbook. That's Page 36 of the .pdf version when viewed as 100%, if you want to find it quickly. 

Board Policy JICJ is the formal wording for the Policy.

I suggest reading the Board Policy first. In my opinion, there are several questionable actions in that Policy that are allowed by school personnel. Parents should review Board Policy JICJ with their children who are students and discuss the Handbook conditions with them. If you object, show up at a board meeting and speak out.

From Board Policy JICJ:

Elementary and Middle School

"Elementary and middle school students may not use or display ECDs while on school property during school hours."

High School

"High school students may use ECDs before and after school, during their lunch break, within "free zones" (as determined by the principal) for educational and/or instructional purposes only. Any other use of wireless communications is considered misuse and violations may result in disciplinary action. [emphasis added]"

How is this last part enforced? Or is it enforced? 

Is it a good practice for all students to just turn off their cell phones upon arrival at school and leave them off until departing?

What kind of emotional distress would students experience, if they did that?