Friday, December 22, 2023

Michael Leven on Capitalism, American, and high school and college teachings


Be sure to watch this 2019 PragerU Fireside Chat (No. 81), which is an interview by Dennis Prager with Michael Leven, then-Chairman and CEO of the Georgia Aquarium.

They discuss capitalism, learning, giving and other topics.

I'm binge-watching Fireside Chats and started with Number 1 on November 2, 2023, when Dennis said he wondered how many viewers had watched all 312 of the Fireside Chats.

Do you have family members, neighbors, co-workers who think there is nothing wrong with the slide of America toward socialism? What do you understand about big government and loss of freedoms?

I urge you to make PragerU videos a part of your daily life.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Cursive Writing to make Come-back?

One of today's headlines on reads, "Bill proposed to mandate cursive writing in SC public schools."

Why is a Bill even needed for that? How stupid was it for schools to stop teaching cursive?

I recall a special ed teacher in Illinois telling me 20 years ago that

1. your stepson doesn't need to know how to add and subtract; he has a calculator. Strike 1;

2. your stepson doesn't need to know how to spell; he can use spellcheck. Strike 2; and

3. your stepson doesn't need to know how to write; he has a keyboard. STRIKE 3.

Today? Twenty years later? He can't add, spell or write legibly.

When did SC public schools stop requiring cursive writing? Why didn't parents say "Whoa!" then?

Thank S.C. House Rep. Michael Rivers (D-Beaufort) for H.B. 4709.

That teacher who was interviewed, Pam Light, is totally out-of-touch. I pity her students.

Contact your State Rep. today! Ask him to support HB 4709. And then find out whether he did!

Friday, December 15, 2023

Can This Be True? Sworn in on Gay Porn?

Check out this article on The Daily Wire about the Fairfax County (Va.) School District.

The title of the article is "School Board Member Sworn In On Stack Of Gay Porn Instead Of Bible".

Does this make you sick?

You know where Fairfax County is; right? Pretty close to Washington, D.C., the hub of government for our country. You can't get any closer!

In case you are wondering about the Oath of Office in Virginia, here it is:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties incumbent upon me as ____________________ according to the best of my ability, (so help me God)." (Code of Virginia, §49-1)

What kind of people elected that guy to the school district's board in 2019? What kind of people on the board elected him as chairman?

Don't miss the last paragraph in the story about the book used by a previous school board chair, as she took the oath. She put her hand on Howard Zinn's controversial "history" of the U.S. 

If you are waiting for the right time for The People to take back our country, your wait is over!

Va. Teacher Wins - Read This

Peter Vlaming (credit Alliance Defending Freedom)

In 2018 Virginia teacher Peter Vlaming was fired for refusing to use a student's preferred pronouns. He referred to the student by name and would not use the biological girl's demand of he/his/him.

Vlaming sued and eventually prevailed in a case heard by the Virginia Supreme Court.

Read this article about that win.

Is any of this nonsense happening in Richland 2? Are teachers under a directive to refer to students by their preferred identity, not their biological gender?

If you are a teacher, I suspect you fear for your job and well-being, if you buck the system. Is the DEI Department running (ruining!) your life? Could you afford a four-year court battle and possibly be out-of-work?

You can contact me "off the record" by email at or phone (847.971.7083 (cell)) and be assured of confidentiality. Nothing from me will ever reach the light of day about you.

How can I say this?

In Illinois I refused to comply with a subpoena in a Federal court case. A deputy had filed a wrongful termination case against the sheriff. I got sucked into it because of my local blog, for which some deputies were feeding me "the dirt". The sheriff was trying to plug the leaks.

I filed a Motion to Quash pro se. To make a long story short, I won. I was well aware that the Federal Magistrate could have jailed me until I identified the deputies. I guess I'd still be sitting in jail, because they counted on me not to "out" them.

The Magistrate's words now, years later, still warm my heart. "Mr. Philpott, you have won your Motion."

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

RCSD wrong not to charge night security guard

Read this WIS-TV story about the night Richland 2 security guard at Round Top Elementary School whose personal loaded firearm was found in the teacher's lounge.

While I can certainly understand his feeling that he is safer with gun in the middle of the night at a closed school, rules are rules. 

And why would he put it down and not pick it up? Did he take a nap in the teacher's lounge while he was supposed to be working and forget to pick it up?

If the custodian found the gun in the late afternoon and the guard had worked the previous overnight shift, was the gun left unattended in the teacher's lounge all day?

South Carolina gun laws are clear.

It was illegal to have his gun at school. It doesn't matter at all that he had a concealed carry permit. It's the "on-school-property" part of the law that counts.

Why would the sheriff give that guy a pass?

What did the RCSD spokesperson mean when she said, "...after consulting with both legal teams and their administrative staff."

Both legal teams? Does that mean the prosecutor's office and the RCSD's staff lawyer? And the RCSD admin staff? Was another lawyer involved?

No doubt the guy is in the unemployment line today, because the Richland 2 school board decided sometime back that no one could carry a gun at work. Two employees (both were former law enforcement officers) of the District's security staff lost their "carry" privilege, when the woke school board at the time expressed their fear of guns.

A popular, national, talk show host asked the question recently, "If you were planning to shoot up a school, which one would you go to?

A. The school in a declared gun-free zone?

B. The school that posted a sign at the front of the school that read, 'Staff at this school are armed and will protect students'?"

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Solving America's Problem with Illegals

Watch this important video about solving America's problem with 11,000,000 illegal aliens. What? Only 11,000,000? (That was in 2017.)

That was when Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) gave this 5-minute talk for PragerU on June 5, 2017 - SIX years ago. Look up Mr. Krauthammer on Wikipedia. Did you know he was paralyzed in a diving accident at age 22, when he was a first-year medical student?

How big is the problem now, due to Joe Biden's open-door policy? MUCH bigger. And getting worse daily.

Beat-down at/near Dent MS

This video is posted on by LaTasha Hicks. 

Somewhere down in the comments Dent Middle School is mentioned. This incident may have occurred off Richland 2 property and across the street.

Isn't there something in the Student or Parent Manual that gives Richland 2 some authority over students off-campus?

I'm inquiring about the exact location and the date and time.

Thursday, December 7, 2023

R2 Website refresh

I had occasion to visit Richland 2's website today.

I'm so glad to know that Richland 2 has so much extra money to change the website.

My first reaction isn't fit to print here.

I wonder how much was spent to revise the website. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Illegal Aliens - how many in Richland 2? Any?

How bad is the illegal entry problem at the southern border? What effect is it having on the USA?

Is there any impact on Richland 2 School District? How many illegal aliens are there within the boundaries of the Richland 2 School District, and are any families attending Richland 2 schools?

Watch this important interview with Rodney Scott, former chief of the Border Patrol. He was hired under former Pres. Trump and cut loose by Joe Biden.

This information will shock you.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Do you know Richland Two's TransGender Policy?

Read this shocking article about an 11-year-old, fifth-grade, Colorado girl being set up to sleep with a boy on a long-distance field trip. The title of the article is "School Assigned Girl to Sleep with Boy Who Identifies as Trans Without Parental Consent".

Fortunately the girl's mother was on the field trip.

Are you a parent of a Richland Two student? Are you clear on exactly what the Trans policy is at Richland Two? Are you having any trouble finding out exactly what the policy is and how it is applied?

Should the School Board get a report at a public school board meeting from the Superintendent on what the field-trip policy is? How about bathroom use? How about showers after gym? How about boys participating in girls' sports? And on teams?

This is all in national news. Where is the local news?

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

This Book Ought to Scare You

This week I began reading The Marxification of Education: Paulo Freire's Critical Marxism and the Theft of Education, by James Lindsay. If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read it for free.

The Richland Library doesn't carry it. No surprise there.

Read the description of the book on Amazon here.

Students are learning how to be activists but they are failing at reading, writing and arithmetic. 

Richland 2 is heavy into SEL, CRT, Cultural Relevancy Pedagogy. What are students learning about history, truth, values?

At one of the first school board meetings I attended, there was a large group of people who wanted Restorative Justice. They worried about the school-to-prison pipeline.

I have a novel idea about how to break that pipeline. Stay in school. Pay attention. Do your homework. Don't commit crimes. Actually plan to succeed and achieve. Stop playing victim.

Read James Lindsay's book. Then show up at school board meetings and remind the board what's important. Tell them to spend their time on important matters.

The recording of the November 14th school board meeting was 4:38:20. That's over FOUR and a half hours, including the Executive Session at 5:30PM.

"Purpose Driven, Future Ready" - Really?

Just how poorly do many Richland 2 students perform on tests for determining whether they are at grade-level in core subjects, such as reading, writing, and math?

Staff shows up at a board meeting with graphs and charts. Local papers hammer Richland 2 and other districts for a day or two. And then the poor test results are "old news".

Richland 2 proclaims "Purpose Driven, Future Ready" on its homepage. 

But is it?

PragerForce Chapter?

Is there a PragerForce chapter in the Richland 2 School District? If there isn't, there should be.

Who views PragerU videos and/or watches Dennis Prager's Fireside Chats on Thursdays?

A few weeks ago Dennis asked how many people have watched all the Fireside Chats? That was during Episode 313.

I accepted the challenge, created a chart, and began watching from Ep. 1. I'm already up to Ep. 36, plus the current ones.

Watch this promo for PragerForce. It's hilarious.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

13-year-old carjacker killed in D.C.

Watch this video about a 13-year-old, middle school student in Washington, D.C. who was killed when he attempted to carjack an off-duty detective.

The kid's school people drooled all over themselves about what a nice kid he was. But he wasn't such a "nice kid", when you know about all the other carjackings and crimes he allegedly committed as a 12- and 13-year-old.

Remind you of anyone?

Remember when the principal and staff at Summit Parkway Middle School fell all over themselves after their 14-year-old student was shot as he ran from a convenience store? That was May 26, 2023.

What have you read in the news about where Cyrus got the gun he was carrying? Whose gun was it? How long had he had it? Who knew he had it? How long had he been carrying it?

That's all information that the Richland County Sheriff's Department should know by now. They probably knew it within a week. Has anyone been arrested in regard to that gun?

Where was the gun found? Sheriff Lott said it was found "near the body". That would lead people to think that it might have been on the ground near a hand. Or by an out-stretched arm.

Detectives pretty quickly said they were sure the gun had never been pointed at anyone. 

Where was the gun really found? 

Why did Cyrus run from the store? We'll never know. He can't tell us. My guess is that he ran because he knew, if deputies showed up and searched him, they'd find the gun on him. So he ran. 

When he fell and the gun became visible as he got up, Rick Chow's son reportedly called out to his dad, "He's got a gun."

Should every Richland 2 middle- and high-school student have to watch this 13-minute video?

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Will Woke Literature Kill Western Society?

This is a long video, but watching the conversation between James Lindsay and Marissa Streit is worth the time.

Should published studies in journals be believed?

Lindsay, who has a Ph.D. in Mathematics, left education, and spent ten years as a massage therapist, is author of The Marxification of Education: Paulo Freire's Critical Marxism and the Theft of Education, and  Race Marxism: The Truth About Critical Race Theory and Praxis, and co-author of Counter Wokecraft: A Field Manual for Combatting the Woke in the University and Beyond. 

Streit is CEO of PragerU.

Give it 10-15 minutes and I think you'll stick with it.

7-year-old Identifies as a Cat???

This morning I chatted with a neighbor, who asked me about the Richland 2 school board. She told me she was not impressed.

I'm often asked if I think "this" school board is better than the last. My answer is, "Different; not better." 

Why is that? Too few trustees on the school board who think like the executives they are supposed to be.

Then this neighbor mentioned a nearby school district where a 7-year-old student identifies as a cat. And then she told me that there is a litter box in the classroom!

Was she pulling my leg? I didn't think so!

Is there any chance that such a dumb stunt could be happening right here in Richland 2?

Is this where diversity, equity and inclusion are dragging this country?

What teacher would allow that? What Principal? What Administrator? What Superintendent? What school board?

Is this happening in Richland 2?

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Rare Opportunity - Ski Lift Chair


Once in a lifetime opportunity. FOR SALE. One used ski-lift chair. WYSIWYG. Probably the only one in Columbia; maybe even the only one in the entire State of South Carolina.

Vintage chair for two, with cushion and back rest. This is the genuine article - from the ski area in Alta, Utah. 

Comes complete with bragging rights. Let your ego run wild. 

Snow not included.

Asking the outrageous price of $500 OBO. Sharpen up your negotiating skills, but don't beat around the bush or someone else will buy it right out from under your nose.

Pick up in White Rock (north side of Lake Murray) by Halloween or near Peak (east side of I-26) on or after November 1. 

Friday, October 27, 2023

What Are You Telling Kids about Hamas vs. Israel?

Watch this PragerU video, which is a conversation between Marissa Streit and Jill Simonian. Marissa is the CEO of PragerU, and Jill is associated with PragerU Kids. 

The video is Mom-to-Mom Parenting: Israel, Education, and Resilience.

Are you wondering what to tell your kids about the war between Israel and Hamas?

What is happening right here in Richland 2 schools and in Columbia that is affecting all children?

Importantly, do you know what is being said in Richland 2 schools about this war?

To what extent is the NEA agenda being crammed down the throats of teachers and staff in Richland 2?

Monday, October 23, 2023

Diplomas out; Participation Prize, in

 FoxNews headline today:

Blue state suspends basic skills graduation requirement again, citing harm to students of color

I didn't even have to read the article. 

Can you believe this nonsense?

How will those Oregon students ever get jobs? They won't be able to read, write, add, subtract.

Didn't Washington go that way a couple of years ago?

What kind of idiots are in the State's Department of Education? And in many of the schools?

Equity grading is mentioned. Don't Richland 2 schools use that? Can a kid get a Zero on a test or a paper now?

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Furor in Richland One

What's it all about?

You've read about teacher reassignments in Richland One. It's all over local news. Get the details there.

Richland One says "it made the decision based on class sizes and teacher-student ratios", according to an article on

Now comes Patrick Kelly, member of Palmetto State Teachers Association and Richland Two teacher, who is quoted, "Teaching is about more than just standing and delivering instruction. It’s not just putting a robot in front of someone. It’s about building deep human relationships."

While he's right, the reassignments don't have anything to do with teaching. Read again the reason given by Richland One: "it made the decision based on class sizes and teacher-student ratios".

Building "deep human relationships"? Give me a break. 

Take a look at Richland Two scores, as recently released by the SCDE. Do they reflect "deep human relationship"-building? OK, Richland Two teachers, stand up and deliver instruction.

Running a school district is a business. If management needs to move resources around, the sooner the better. 

The kids will be just fine. In fact, they might just start learning resiliency and adjusting to change.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Report Cards for Schools - Find the Paddle

Grades are out. Isn't it the day everyone waits for? "How'd I do, Mom?"

If the schools' grades had been student report cards' going home, the kids would have dropped them by the back door and lit out for the woods!

According to The State newspaper on October 12, "Every high school, elementary and middle school in the state received ratings on a 100-point scale."

Then you read that local schools in the Excellent category (13) had points ranging from 74-61, with Richland One Middle College being the outlier with 95 points.

Local "Good" schools (13) ranged from 66-51.

Local "Average" schools (39) ranged from 58-38.

Local "Below Average" schools (10) ranged from 49-31.

Local "Unsatisfactory" schools (6) ranged from 39-23.

Question: If schools are ranked by Points, how did some schools with more points end up in a lower category? Maybe somebody in the SCDE failed math? or Reading? or Sorting?

If The State had created a spreadsheet and listed schools by points, its article would have fallen apart. Why didn't The State article list the schools in descending order of points?

Were some schools graded on the curve?

Monday, October 9, 2023

Title IX: do you understand it?

Do you understand Title IX?

What is happening right here in Richland 2? Do, or will, boys compete girls' sports? Do boys use girls' changing rooms in sports?

Are there even "boys" and "girls" anymore?

What are the proposed changes in Title IX that might destroy girls' sports?

Watch this interesting five-minute video from PragerU.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Following the CCSB Mess?

Have you been following the mess with the Charleston County School Board (CCSB)?

Could Richland Two be heading for a similar cliff?

Post and Courier reporter Brian Hicks has been reporting on CCSB. This article is his latest. 

The CCSB suspended its new superintendent and quickly found itself the target of a breach-of-contract lawsuit. The superintendent had fired the lawyer for the District. That apparently displeased the board, and he found himself in hot water. And, as there always is, there is more.

Hicks mentions the social media activity of CCSB board members, and that reminded me of the high level of Facebook activity of some Richland 2 School Board members on social media about school district matters.

Do some of the Richland 2 trustees spend too much time on Facebook? Should they spend more time  studying Robert's Rules of Order and executive business practices?

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Cancel Meal Plan Debt?

Just when I thought stupidity had hit its limit in Congress, now comes Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) with a plan to knock out all school meal plan debt.

You know you can trust a guy who wears shorts and a hoodie to the U.S. Senate; right?

About as much as you can trust a guy who pulls a Fire Alarm and says he thought it would open a locked door.

Here's the Philpott Plan to abolish school meal plan debt in Richland 2. It's simple.

Tell the debtors that they have 30 days to pay the debt or the District will send their bill to collection.

That reminds me. What did Richland 2 do about the $500,000 in meal plan debt? That sure fell off the radar. The District should have taken it out of Davis' settlement, since he was the one who let it grow.

Maybe somebody will post the answer below in a comment. Or file a FOIA request.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Richland 2 pays out $285,000 to settle

Yesterday's The State newspaper reports that Richland 2 School District has agreed to pay out $285,000 to settle a sexual assault lawsuit from a January 2020 locker-room assault.

The current article does not name the victim or the punks who assaulted him. Four were arrested by RCSD. An earlier article reported that the four boys were 14- and 15-years-old.

Since they were juvies, their names were withheld, and we'll never know if they skated on the charges. 

The actions of those punks sort of makes you want to vomit, don't they? 

Was there really a "history of hazing and violent abuse" in the RVHS boys' athletic programs, as the lawsuit claimed?

Was it cheaper for Richland 2 to settle than risk a court decision? Shouldn't the four kids be the ones to pay and not the taxpayers?

Lawsuits typically allege everything except rust in the kitchen sink, hoping that some of the allegations might stick. 


Friday, September 15, 2023


Board members,

When a point-of-order is called, all - ALL - conversation stops. 

It need be said only in a normal voice. All the other board members should hear it, recognize it, and honor it.

Business stops.

If the Chair doesn't hear it, repeat it. If necessary, repeat it more loudly.

If that doesn't work, stand up and say loudly, "Mr. Chair. POINT-OF-ORDER!!!"

The Chair should know what to do next.

If the Chair doesn't, then any board member should hold up a copy of Robert's Rules of Order and offer it to the Chair.

The board needs a Parliamentarian. In more ways than one. The District does not have one or anyone familiar enough with Robert's Rules to serve as one.

How do you adjourn a meeting?

As last Tuesday's school board meeting was winding up, one trustee was packing up and preparing to head out the door.

Chairman Joe Trapp called for a Motion to Adjourn. It was made (Washington) and seconded (Scott). When the vote was called for, here's what happened during the hand vote.

Six trustees voted Yes.

Chairman Trapp noticed that Trustee Washington hadn't voted. She was busy packing up and getting ready to leave. When he inquired, she raised her left hand.

Here is another way it could have gone.

Chair: "We'll take a hand vote. All in favor, raise your right hands." (6)

"All opposed?"  (none)

"Have all voted who wish to vote?" (no response)

"The vote is 6 Yes, 0 No, 1 Not Voting. The meeting is adjourned."

Release Time item removed from Agenda

Last Tuesday's school board meeting (September 12, 2023) has resulted in many people coming unglued over the Release Time for Religious Instruction (RTRI) proposal.

Trustee Angela Nash has taken to Facebook to "explain" what happened.

For simplicity, here is what happened. The Board voted to remove Item 8.1 RTRI from that night's agenda. The vote was 4-3. 

That's all that happened, but people are blowing it up all out of proportion.

Read the following from Facebook:

Jeffrey Zell

The fact of the matter, regardless of the process or technicalities of the processes (and yes, the process does matter), is that four individuals on your board killed the elective opportunity for parents to exercise their God-given, constitutionally protected, and lawfully structured freedom of religion.
That was the outcome, and no amount of technical dithering, convolution of process, and nuance will change that fact.
If those four actually believe in the Constitution and their oaths of office, one of those four will make a motion to bring this back on the agenda in the very near future for a full vote.
I have a feeling that’s not going to happen.
Whether it’s fear, hostility towards Christianity or religion in general, simple partisan politics, or personal vendettas, those four board members said collectively; ‘R2 parents, we do not value your first amendment rights, or established state law, or your right to choose.’

They can reconcile this, but if they don’t, those four “Trustees,” as far as I’m concerned, are no longer to be trusted with their word or their adherence to our founding principles. 

This is what the "Cancel Culture" does. It shames others. It does not respect "process". It reachs out far beyond reasonable lengths to blame, shame, disrespect, accuse, and irrationally question, when it disagrees with a decision.

The fact is that removing the Item 8.1 from the agenda did not kill it. It only removed it from that night's agenda. Had the Board "tabled" it, that might have killed it (for a while).

My own opinion is that RTRI is a terrible idea. I support religious instruction, if you want it for your child. There are many hours available - before school, after school, evenings, nights, and week-ends. 

Nationally, according to the proposing group's own numbers, 0.7% (350,000/4,500,000) of K-12 students in the United States take advantage of RTRI. 0.7% is less than 1 in 100. If that percentage holds true for Richland 2, then out of 28,000 students, 196 students may enroll in RTRI.

How much more time will be devoted to the desires of 196 students?

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Armed guards - every school

Texas recently passed a state law that mandates armed security in every school in the state.

That requirement can be fulfilled by a cop or even  "a school district employee who has completed school safety training and carries a handgun on their [sic] person on school premises."

The estimated cost there is $80,000/year per school. The state provides $15,000/year; the District pays the rest.

What does a Richland County Sheriff's Department SRO cost Richland 2? During one staff presentation to a past board, I recall the price tag of $150,000/year. Was that correct then? Is it correct now? Forty SROs would cost $6,000,000. That's per year.

Richland 2 used to have two employees who carried guns while working. At a school board meeting that contained an item to give the then-superintendent the authority over approvals to carry, the liberal majority on the school board decided to ban the guns from school property. Both employees were former police officers working in the District's security department. Neither works for the District now.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Richland 2 Board Meeting - the Fangs Came Out

Trustee Monica Scott

Tonight's meeting was one not to be missed! Thank goodness for Livestream.

I had registered to speak; then yesterday I canceled my registration because the Release Time for Religious Instruction item was a No Action Requested item on the agenda.

I watched from home. The first, usually brief, public session before going into Executive Session was not brief. Be sure to watch it.

The first item was to approve the agenda. Trustee Agostini made a comment and then made a Motion to remove Item 8.1 from the Agenda.

The fangs came out. Be sure to watch it. Discussion was lively and, at times, accusatory and unfriendly. Trustee Scott was dressed to the nines; not sure whether she had just come from a cocktail party or was headed to one after the meeting. 

Chair Trapp stated that a motion to remove the Item was actually a decision to kill the Release Time program. I disagree. The Motion was merely to remove it from tonight's agenda. Where did he get the idea that removing it was killing it? "Tabling" might be the equivalent of killing it, but merely removing it was not.

Item 8.1 was a No Action Required item on the Agenda. The trustees did not kill it. They voted 4-3 to remove it from the agenda. That's all they did.

Chair Trapp did a good job at riding herd on the mob tonight. He displayed his strongest stance as Chair since November. 

When he was challenged over having been one of three trustees to request the Release Time item to be on the agenda, he explained the Policy. My opinion is that, just because, as Chair, he and the superintendent create the agenda for the next meeting, why shouldn't he be able to be one of the three needed to request an item to be on the agenda? He is a trustee equal to the other six. 

Then came the absolutely best Public Participation segment I have witnessed in five years! Speakers were pro and con and because 21 speakers had signed up, each was limited to two minutes (not the usual three), by the decision of the Chair and the Superintendent. Several students spoke - and spoke very well!!! Rabbi Jonathan Case spoke again tonight and made complete sense.

The tide has changed. Whereas on previous nights, most speakers were in favor of Release Time, that was not the case tonight. Be sure to watch the Public Participation portion of the meeting. That portion starts at 1:29:13 on 

Released Time Questions for the Board

At tonight's school board meeting Release Time (R/T) will once again be on the menu (err, Agenda) for discussion. Under Old Business - No Action Requested is Item 8.1 Release Time for Religious Instruction.

This means another night of discussion or, as some might call it, argument and division. No vote tonight. How much time will be used to repeat what has been said at previous meetings? Will the Board Chair ask speakers during Public Participation to speak about "new" issues or concerns, rather than wasting everybody's time with points that have already been raised?

And will the Board  Chair do the same with the Trustees? When they drag out words and thoughts that have already been pointed out, which they ought to remember as they move toward a future night when they will actually vote on it, will the Board Chair say, "We've already heard that. Do you have something new?"

Q. How many Richland 2 students are expected to take advantage of Release Time for Religious Instruction?

Q. How many students at which schools are expected to be involved?

Q. What is the District's estimate of the cost to implement and administer the Release Time Program?

Q. What has been the cost so far?

Q. What is the real liability? The District's lawyer should provide a written opinion. The statute does not eliminate the district's liability. It says only that the (religious) sponsoring entity will be liable during the time the student is with it. A plaintiff's attorney will quickly see the District's deep pocket, when anything goes awry.

Q. What impact on teachers and staff is expected?

Q. What will be the cost for teachers to help R/T students make up their homework and missed instructional time in the classroom?

Q. How many teachers are expected to quit over the extra workload?

The school board is expected to be executives who make decisions. Why are so many trustees down in the weeds, poking around, and doing the job that staff is supposed to be doing?

Cut out the campaign speeches. Ask short, direct questions of the staff and listen to their answers.

Is all this time and expense worth letting a student out of school for one hour of religious instruction per week??? 

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Record Ethics Fine?

In an email from today I learned of an article in The State newspaper yesterday about former Richland County Councilwoman Gwendolyn Kennedy. Reporter Bristow Marchant did a great job of reporting on that case.

Kennedy hit rough waters with the S.C. Ethics Commission and got socked with a fine and penalties of $298,544.07 on August 17. She did not appear at her hearing.

That amount might be a record. The Debtors' List at the S.C. Ethics Commission now totals $2,376,862.62, as of August 24, 2023. It contains 29 pages of names of individuals and businesses that are in debt to the State of South Carolina.

Kennedy is on that list for $10,972 for the years 2012 and 2015. The new fines have not yet been added to the List.

The Ethics Commission offered a sweetheart deal to Kennedy. If she pays $25,610 plus $2,644.07 to the Children's Trust Fund, the Ethics Commission will dismiss the balance of fees and penalties. 

While not stated in the article, the Commission usually requires that smaller payment within 90 days. A deal not to be passed up; right?

Plus there is a $48,800 penalty for her P-Card problems. She can settle that debt for $4,800, if paid within 18 months.

Whose debts are the largest?

Gwendolyn Kennedy $358,316.07 ($298,544.07+$48,800+$10,972)

Torlando R. Childress $211,919.07

Richard E.R. Johnson $163,200

Paul M. Rivers $153,800.00

Stanley Pasley $148,514.25

Arnold Karr $104,674.44

Patrick R. Litman $86,033.27

Keith C. Van Winkle $69,800.00

Tony E. Lewis $60,955.00

Amelia McKie $58,035.13

The debt collector for the State is the S.C. Dept. of Revenue. The Governor should fire the DOR. It is doing a terrible job of collecting debts for the Ethics Commission.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Why are kids depressed and anxious?

Here's a link to a fascinating interview with Jonathan Haidt, author of The Anxious Generation, which will be published in March 2024.

The title of the article is "Parents Need To Hear This: Why Schools Should Outlaw Cell Phones Now".

Hear what he has to say about the result of cell phones in the hands of almost every child.

A phone lockers a good idea? Haidt says phone-free schools "will promote mental health, social development and learning."

The book is already on my "must read" list.

Haidt highly recommends From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life, by Arthur C. Brooks. Check this one out, too.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Should we Go Green?


Check out this 5-minute PragerU video about wind, solar and batteries.  Share it with your friends, co-workers, family, children. Watch it with them, and then have a discussion.

Ask, "What do we think now about going green?"

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Disorderly Mobs at Sandhill Shopping Center

The following has been send to the Richland County Council, with a copy to Sheriff Lott.

Members of the County Council,

Sheriff Lott has announced that he will no longer work with the Special Duty Agreement with Sandhills Shopping Center. Pulling paid, off-duty deputies from Sandhills endangers the public. Please review immediately this decision by Sheriff Lott.

The RCSD PR person spoke on video about the importance of parental control of their children. When parents fail to control their children and the children then participate in criminal acts in public, it is a law-enforcement matter. 

Apparently, there were only two arrests Sunday night. What in the world is the policy at RCSD? Just dispatch the kids to a different location? 

We don't want L.A.-type disorder here in Columbia. RCSD can and should stop it.

Please direct the Sheriff to re-engage with Sandhills Shopping Center management and to authorize the maximum arrests to send a message to law breakers that they WILL be arrested.

CRT - Understand it?

Over the past 2-3 years you've heard a lot about CRT - Critical Race Theory.

You've heard Richland 2 claim it doesn't teach CRT. That's true; it does not teach CRT. But it's here, in all its glory, as DEI - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion.

Watch this 5-minute video.

By the way, do you know that PragerU videos can be used in the schools in Florida?

Can they be used in the schools in South Carolina?

Monday, August 28, 2023

UBI - Good? Bad?

 UBI = Universal Basic Income. Good idea? Or not?

Do you know anything about UBI? How would you like $1,000/month? Free. Really? 

Sit down with your kids and watch this 5-minute video. Then have that discussion. Tell them how you'd feel about 74% increase in your taxes.

Where is personal responsibility in the scheme of Life?

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Release Time for Religious Instruction

Do you know what this proposal is really all about? If you listened to speakers at the last two school board meetings (August 8 and August 22), you probably don't.

I'm not even sure all the board trustees understand it.

It is about time. That's all; time. It's not about religious instruction.

Many speakers during Public Participation praised the religious instruction that students can get. Some did not approve of releasing students from the school day to go to religious instruction.

It seems to me that it is not about religious instruction. It is about Release Time.

It is about approving a student's leaving the school campus during the school day to go off-campus for religious instruction.

State law (§59-1-460 (B)) reads, in part, "It is the responsibility of the student to make up any missed schoolwork."

Is that homework only? Is it classroom work only? Do that mean tutoring time or time with a teacher outside of the assigned classroom hour? What about Seat Time?

How long is the Release Time? Is it one hour? Or is it from the end of one class to the beginning of the class after the Release Time? 

How can a student get down the hallways, outside to transportation, to his place of religious study, back into transportation, back to the school entrance, through security, and into the classroom, seated, and back in the school "groove"?

Trustees should just say "No" and move on to other important school business. How many hours are trustees wasting on this? Two segments at board meetings, plus all the time for email and phone calls and stand-up visits.

Religious instruction is commendable. A student should do it on his own time, away from school. Period.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

One speaker on Release Time 8/22/2023

This speaker from last night's (August 22, 2023) school board meeting addressed the "Release Time for Religious Instruction" topic that was on the agenda.

When Chair Joe Trapp introduced him, his name sounded like Bernett Galman. If somebody will let me know the correct name, if this isn't it, I'll correct it.

His remarks can be heard on the YouTube recording of the meeting at 45:55

You can go straight to his comments by clicking on this link. Then click the Play arrow at the bottom left.

Among other words he used: "imperialist attempt by fundamental Christian nationalist activists"; scorn; disrespect; kidnapping of slaves and ancestors; "racism is common in many Christian churches"; atrocities; indoctrination; overdose of religion; create religious state; misogynistic, racist, toxic, patriarchal values; Handmaiden series; disparity of black people; blatant hypocrisy ...

Do you think he had any understanding of the proposal being considered by the board?

Monday, August 21, 2023

Do school board members like 4-hour meetings?

The last school board meeting (8/8/2023) was over four hours long, including the executive session that lasted over an hour. The video on starts at 01:55

There was a sound problem until 03:47, when words can first be heard. When the sound begins, it seems that Trustee Scott was questioning an agenda item for a program that had not existed for several years. Trustee Agostini questioned another agenda item. Then Trustee Agostini made a motion to remove two items from the agenda. 

The Motion failed (3-4). Agostini, Porter, and Scott were in favor. Trapp, Nash, Washington, and McFadden voted against.

Then somebody spoke without being recognized and said she wanted Item 10.1 removed, because "that program" (f the SCSBA) is no longer operating. What she should have done was make a motion. That's how you get business done. Trapp and Scott made comments. There should have been a motion! Everything that was said, should have been said after a Motion and Second.

Finally Trustee Porter made the Motion to remove Item 10.1. The vote was 6-1. Nash voted No. The Motion passed.

How many more months will it take for Trustees to learn to ask for recognition and not just starting talking?

Do the trustees really like having four-hour meetings? By now, nine months after being elected, trustees should know how to conduct business.

The problem is there are not enough executives on the board, and there is no Parliamentarian.

A Motion was made to approve the Agenda without Item 10.2 The vote was 6-1; Agostini voted No. Motion passed.

Finally they got to the Motion to enter Executive Session, which was approved 7-0. At 17:12 the board left for Executive Session. What should have taken 2-3 minutes took 15 minutes!

Later in the meeting, during the discussion of the Release Time for Religious Instruction, again the desperate need for a Parliamentarian arose, when many comments by trustees were not germane to the issue being discussed. 

Clarification on Liability

At the August 8, 2023 school board meeting, there was a robust discussion of the Religious Instruction item on the agenda. You can watch that on, beginning at 3:06:05

Late in the discussion, Trustee Scott mentioned liability.

At 3:35:34 Supt. Moore responded to Trustee Scott and said "... the school district is not liable". She said the District is not liable for vehicle insurance or vetting people associated with the religious instruction program. "We have zero liability..."

"Once that student has signed out (for the day's religious instruction), we are no longer liable for what takes place for that student..."

That is not what the statute says. 

Mrs. Gregory read the statute earlier in the meeting. The statute (S.C. Code of Laws 59-1-460 (A)) reads, in part, "4. the sponsoring entity makes provisions for and assumes liability for the student that [sic] is excused."

The statute does not say that the District will not have any liability.

'"Wall" at school board meetings

What is the purpose of the "wall" at school board meetings?

At the August 8, 2023, three large tables were placed in front of the four board members' desks. Sure, they were covered with nice, white tablecloths.

But why were they even there?

Were they there to "protect" the board members from the public?

Were they were to protect the public from the board members?

If they were there for protection, they are useless. Anyone can see why.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Release Time for Religious Instruction?

The following email has been sent to Richland 2 board members and the superintendent:

Before more board time is devoted (wasted, in my opinion) to the Religious Instruction movement, may I suggest that a survey of parents be conducted to determine the extent of interest? offers a fast, easy survey tool.

I side with Rabbi Case and the former principal who spoke at the August 8th board meeting. This is a bad idea. Religious instruction should be conducted outside of school hours, regardless of Federal and State laws that permit school boards to allow it.

Those who spoke in favor of it would turn Richland Two into a gospel-preaching district and will vilify those who do not participate. It becomes one more division between people. 

Has Supt. Moore offered an feasibility study of the workload (and cost) on staff to implement and maintain such a program? Who is going to track the kids for timely return to campus, security screening, and re-entry to the classroom? What is the District's cost to discipline those who abuse the "choice"? The troublemakers are not going to ask to be released for religious instruction, so they won't benefit habit-wise or goals-wise.

The religious parents will love it. Will they be the ones providing on-time transportation in both directions? 

In the grand scheme of things, aren't there many more-important issues for the school board to address?

Saturday, August 19, 2023

This Mom in California got canceled

Janet Roberson

this article about Mrs. Janet Roberson, who addressed the Benicia (Calif.) Unified School District on April 20, 2023. Benicia is just southeast of Vallejo. She disagreed with the district's new sex-ed curriculum.

Boy! Did she get hammered!

She has created a website with her story. Click here to view it. Listen to her remarks to the school board on that day. Read what happened to her after that.

Her email address is

This is what we here in Columbia must be alert for. What is going on in Richland 2 that might be similar to this?

Parents, do you really know what your sons and daughters are being exposed to?

Thursday, August 17, 2023

R2 Supt. on Crossing Guards

Yesterday I asked the public affairs officer for Richland Two's position on crossing guards. He sent me this link, which is a speech by Supt. Moore on this topic. This is now posted on the District's homepage.

One of the things she said, "We have not had a lot of luck with off-duty deputies, because the time of day we need them to work interferes with their shift."

She did a pretty good job reading the teleprompter or the cue cards, but who wrote that? As she read it, she apparently did not realize that it didn't make sense.

Richland Two could definitely hire off-duty deputies. The sheriff would be delighted to rent them to Richland Two. At what rate?

RCSD charges the Summit's HOA $48.00/hour for off-duty deputies. Considering what the going-rate is for a SRO, either the sheriff is losing money at $48.00/hour or the HOA is getting a sweetheart deal. 

Pay to an off-duty deputy would be at overtime rates, and I can't imagine that $48.00/hour covers it, when you take into account benefits, administration, squad car, uniform, gun, ammo, radio, 50 pounds of gear, etc.

Cost? 35 schools. One deputy per school. AM and PM. 4 hrs./day x $75 x 35 = $10,500/day. 

As for as reaching out to the government (Feds, State, legislature), we all know how that works.

Free fees?

The following is re-posted for all parents in Richland 2. Thanks to this Black Parents Association post on Facebook. This information should be available to all. (Aren't all students getting free lunches now?)





Richland Two Black Parents Association

(Principal’s Name)
(School Name)
(School Address)
(School City, State, Zip)
Dear (Principal’s Name)
I am writing to make you aware that my student,  (Child’s Name)
is eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch.  I have learned that the school is charging a fee of
 (amount) for (item)
this year.  It is my understanding that under South Carolina law, schools are required to waive fees for students who are eligible for free meals and reduce fees for students eligible for reduced price lunches.  I am attaching a copy of the relevant law on the following page. 
Please waive or reduce this fee for (Child’s Name) and issue all materials as soon as possible.  If you have any questions, you may contact me at the number below.  Thank you.
(Parent or Guardian Name)
(City, State, Zip)
(Telephone Number)
South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated
Title 59 - Education
School Trustees
General Provisions
SECTION 59-19-90. General powers and duties of school trustees.
The board of trustees shall also:
(8) Charge matriculation and incidental fees. Charge and collect matriculation and incidental fees from students; however, regulations or policies adopted by the board regarding charges and collections must take into account the students' ability to pay and must hold the fee to a minimum reasonable amount. Fees may not be charged to students eligible for free lunches and must be reduced pro rata for students eligible for reduced price lunches;