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;

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Any of this nonsense at Richland 2?

The headline on FoxNews reads, 

Powerlifter reacts to biological male taking women's national record: 

'Completely unfair'

A trans-woman beat out a biological female by such a large margin that the record may never be broken by a biological female. This particular incident happened in Canada, but it is happening all over the U.S.

The same thing has happened in swimming contests and in other sports.

Question: Is any of this nonsense going on in the Richland 2 School District? Beyond labeling bathrooms, I mean.

Are boys in the girls' sports changing rooms? Competing with the girls in swimming, track, other sports?

This kind of nonsense will destroy the United States. What can you, we, I do to put a stop to it?

Richland 2 - tone-deaf?

Richland 2 suddenly decides to comply with Federal rules regarding school crossing guards.

Longleaf Middle School and other Richland 2 schools have a $15 fee for late student pick-up.



Parents got a message on Monday via the Parent Square app. 

Is the District tone-deaf? Does the right hand have any idea what the left hand is doing?

Monday, August 14, 2023

After-school shoplifting - Food Lion near RVHS

The Food Lion across the street from Ridge View High School is having a problem with shoplifting. The problem is mainly after school - after Ridge View High School releases students at the end of the day. This store is right across the street from RVHS.

The only reason for a student to be in Food Lion after school (or at any time) is to make a purchase. If you see gangs of kids loitering, call RCSD to clear them out.

Employees are not loss-prevention officers or law-enforcement officers. They should not be expected to interfere with some crackpot who is stealing merchandise. 

Food Lion works hard to be a good neighbor and is happy to see all students and parents. 

I, for one, am unwilling to see any of our stores turned into a "San Francisco experience" or a "L.A. experience". 

If you see anything suspicious going on, get out your phone and start recording. Be sure to get good face pictures and distinctive clothng or bookbags. Video is always good, if you have a steady arm. Get pictures of vehicles and license plates, too.

I have emailed Principal Brenda Mack, the new superintendent, the school board chairman, the lieutenant in charge of SROs, and the RCSD captain and lieutenant in charge of Region 7, which includes The Summit. You may notice an increased law-enforcement presence there.

Disclosure: I am a regular shopper at this store. I do not work for or speak for Food Lion.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Traffic Woes

Everyone knows by now that Richland Two security officers are no longer directing traffic at schools. 

Why not? Big Brother says No-No. In this WACH-TV article is the reason. There's this Federal thing called the "U.S. Department of Transportation's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices".

The article says that Richland Two has been breaking the law. But is this Manual actually "law"? Or is a set of rules or guidelines that fall short of "law"?

What would happen if Richland Two said, "Ease of traffic movement around students and student safety are more important than some stupid Manual"? 

Would Big Brother come crashing down on their heads and threaten to withhold Federal funds?

Most of the "crossing guards" were doing a pretty decent job. I don't recall hearing about any crashes in front of schools that were caused by the security officers. 

I do remember one employee at Blythewood High School who was directing traffic on the roadway into the school, on school property. He didn't have a clue how to do it. That was the date Matt Sherman and I met. 

Directing traffic looks easy, but it's not. You must be alert to all the drivers, because some will do stupid things and endanger pedestrians and other cars. 

A one-day training would be sufficient for existing security staff who have been directing traffic. Approve them at 4:30PM, and put them back out on Monday. And then take care of the paperwork with the US DOT. 

Where is Sen. Tim Scott when you need him?

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Religious Studies?

On the agenda for tonight's school meeting is Item 11.1 Discussion: Release Time for Religious Study. This is under New Business - No Action Requested.

How did this ever get on the agenda?

You want your kid(s) to study religion? There is plenty of time after school and nights and week-ends. Why should schools "release" students during the school day for that?

Read the presentation here. It will be interesting to see who makes the presentation.

Now, lest you think I am anti-religion, I favor classes in comparative religion. Kids today have their hands full just trying to master reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. How about cursive writing and telling time other than with a digital clock? Let's get the basics covered first.

Religion is good, on your own time.

Security officers - off-duty now for traffic?

I read a Facebook post this morning that Richland 2 had announced that school security officers cannot direct traffic at schools. One comment to that post mentioned a "new law".

So I Googled "school security officer cannot direct traffic". Check out the results for yourself. This is not a new issue.

Unless traffic control officers are highly trained and supervised, there is a pretty good chance that an "accident" (crash) might happen and the school district will find itself in the middle of a lawsuit.

I have experience in directing traffic, both while in uniform and not. It is imperative to take control of the flow of traffic. Otherwise, chances increase for a crash to occur. 

S.C. Code of Laws §56-5-740: "Obedience to authorized persons directing traffic. No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer, fireman or uniformed adult school crossing guard INVESTED BY LAW [emphasis added] with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic." 

Very likely, Richland 2 security officers are/were not "invested by law."

How was this announced? Did parents get a Notice? There is nothing on the District's website about this.

Friday, August 4, 2023

DEI in Richland 2 - now?

What have you heard about DEI in the Richland 2 school district for 2023-2024?

Will there be more emphasis? Less? The same? Will the DEI Department continue? Grow? Shrink? Vanish?

It was concerning to me that the superintendent-search firm recommended a group out of which the three finalists all presented DEI strengths. Where was the diversity? Either presented by the search firm or selected by the majority of the board?

Are parents going to have to fight this year about gender identity, pronouns, secrecy for students who think they want to be the other gender (and don't you tell my parents, either), which boy wants to be in which girl's shower room?

Will parents have to fight The 1619 Project? Revisionist History? Socialism?

Will everything be racism? Whiteness? Victimhood?

What will the discipline problems be this year?

Does anyone really think that metal detectors will solve the entire Safety problem?

Let's start off the 2023-2024 school year with lots of comments below.