Tuesday, June 13, 2023

This must stop!!!

Tonight's Public Participation was "interesting". 

The first speaker, Irina Stevens, blasted the District for its gender-ideology practices. She begins at 1:11:50 on the Livestream recording,  https://livestream.com/richland2/events/10878735/videos/236545693

Ms. Stevens, at 1:13:30, had just said, "Will Anderson diligently replied to ...", when Trustee Niki Porter interrupted her with "Point of Order".

Instead of waiting to be recognized by the Chair, Porter continued, "Our speakers are not supposed to name individuals that [sic] work in Richland Two..." (This is often the habit of Trustee Porter - to begin speaking without being recognized. She has resisted waiting to be recognized since the beginning of her term.)

Chair Agostini asked Ms. Stevens to refer to Anderson as the COO, eliciting a "I apologize" from the speaker.

No apology by the speaker was warranted, because the Point-of-Order was wrong.

Speakers are not to express complaints about people associated with the District. That is how the Board Policy BEDH reads. And Ms. Stevens had not.

Robert's Rules of Order addresses Point-of-Order. Porter should have waited to be recognized. After the Chair recognized her, then she could proceed to state her objection. The correct response from the Chair should have been to recite the applicable portion of Board Policy BEDH, explain that the speaker had not violated the BEDH, over-rule the Point-of-Order, apologize to the speaker, and invite her to continue with no penalty on time for the interruption.

I was the next speaker (starting at 1:15:37). I had prepared a request to the Board to ask the superintendent to direct staff to follow procedures laid out in Board Policies and Administrative Rules, without arbitrarily and unilaterally expanding them.

However, I was reactive to the first 12 minutes of tonight's meeting at its 5:30PM beginning.

Chair Agostini had wanted to remove discussion of Board Policy BC - Board Conduct from the Agenda and place it on a workshop agenda in August. The claws (of other board members) came out. The Chair was voted down 1-6.

I pointed out that problems with Board Conduct can be solved with "being civil, being respectful, and being polite." I asked the board members to listen to the beginning of the meeting and to listen to themselves.

The last speaker was Katie Gage. She had signed up online to speak but her name didn't make it to the list. She begins at 1:22:22. She ripped the District for the Pride event at Blythewood High School. She labeled the Pride event and sexual-identity politics as "ideological grooming". She is an eloquent and patriotic speaker.

Later in the meeting "board conduct" became an issue, when Board Policy BC - Board Conduct was discussed. Porter explained (1:34:58) why certain items were added to the proposed revision, directing her remarks toward the Chair, and saying "...so that you understand why we put these statements in place..." Why did she feel it necessary to make pointed statements toward the Chair?

Trustee and Vice-Chair Scott was worried about someone feeling "uncomfortable." Board Members, grow up! If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen! 

That whole discussion about BC was the exact reason it should have been handled in a workshop and not in a board meeting!