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?