Three R2 school board members walk out of chaotic meeting

R2 Board Chairwoman Teresa Holmes | Richland 2 Live Stream

COLUMBIA – A dramatic walkout by three Richland Two School Board members during Tuesday night’s regular school board meeting, ended the meeting after only 35 minutes.

The walkout left only four board members to continue the meeting. Board policy specifies that it takes five members to constitute a quorum, Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis told the four remaining board members: Chairwoman Teresa Holmes, Amelia McKie, James Manning and Cheryl Caution-Parker.

The fiasco began when the board was asked by Holmes to approve the meeting agenda. After a motion and second to approve the agenda, board member Lindsay Agostini moved to postpone the agenda item on the superintendent’s contract until the Sept. 28 board meeting, saying board members needed more time to look over the proposed contract.

Agostini and board members Dr. Monica Elkins-Scott and LaShonda McFadden said they had not received the contract until late the day before and that additions were given to them at noon the day of the meeting. They said they were not prepared to discuss and act on the Stunned, Holmes fell silent, staring first at Agostini.

“You can amend a main motion,” Agostini said to Holmes who appeared to not understand.

Holmes remained almost motionless, continuing to stare at Agostini and then ahead for several seconds, nodding slowly, repeating the words, “ok…” “Ok…”Ok,” as she struggled to respond to Agostini’s motion.

Finally, thumping her pen on the desk, Holmes responded.

“It does have to be germane to the motion,” Holmes said slowly, still staring ahead.

“It is,” Agostini said. “I made a motion to postpone…”

Holmes interrupted, saying, “I gotcha Ms. Agostini, I’m just contemplating, making sure that it was germane to the motion.” Turning to the board’s attorney, Holmes asked if “that would be germane to the motion?”

The attorney suggested that it was up to Holmes to decide whether the motion was germane to the agenda item.

From there, the meeting became mired in confusion and parliamentary missteps, with Holmes making what she called an executive decision that Agostini’s motion to postpone the discussion and vote on the superintendent’s contract was not germane to the agenda item entitled, “Superintendent’s Contract.”

After Holmes repeated her executive decision numerous times, Elkins-Scott pushed back, saying that she had not been given enough time to look over the superintendent’s proposed contract and that if she voted against it, it would look like she was not in support of Davis, which she insisted was not true.

With that, Elkins-Scott said, “My vote doesn’t matter, so be blessed. I’m outta’ here.” She picked up her iPad, gathered her belongings and left the room.

After Holmes delivered a stinging lecture to the camera about being adults, Agostini said she agreed with Elkins-Scott and also left the room.

When McFadden asked for the floor, Holmes shot back, “Just a second, Ms. McFadden, I’m sure you’re going to join them.”

Repeating Agostini’s and Elkins-Scott’s complaints, McFadden explained that she had wanted information about the contract that she could look at and study.

Holding up the superintendent’s proposed contract, McFadden said she had been provided an updated packet at 11:30 a.m. that same day at work that she had not had time to study.

Holding up the superintendent’s proposed contract, McFadden said she had been provided an updated packet at 11:30 a.m. that same day at work that she had not had time to study.

“I wasn’t even provided the list of things [Davis} actually wanted,” McFadden said.

“They [Manning and Holmes] went through the list Davis wanted and they picked out things they wanted him to have,” McFadden said. “We got a phone call saying this is what we’re going to do.

“I asked the chair this morning to please not put this on the agenda tonight,” she continued. “We already know we’ve got four members who are gonna’ vote for it.”

Holmes interrupted, calling McFadden down for “defaming other board members.”

After a few more heated exchanges with Holmes, McFadden also gathered her things and left the room.

After a lengthy lecture by both Holmes and McKie about the walkout, Holmes asked Cheryl Caution Parker if she would like to comment.

Among other comments, Caution-Parker called the walkout a “dereliction of duty. It’s disgusting, sickening, orchestrated.” She went on to say it was “stupid and ignorant,” in reference to the walkout.

Holmes did not call Caution-Parker down for speaking disparagingly of other board members as she had McFadden earlier, but instead thanked Caution-Parker for her comments.

With no quorum present, Holmes adjourned the meeting with no further discussion.

Comments

  1. “Chaotic” only begins to approach the disintegration of the meeting. I was reminded of the movie title “Lost in Space” by Holmes’ expression after Agostini made her secondary motion, which absolutely WAS germane to the primary motion. Even by the furthest stretch of imagination, it should have been impossible to think it was not germane. But Holmes was trying to stop the removal of the contract from the agenda, and she blew up the meeting. The apologies issued later in the meeting were meaningless.
    Everybody in the room knew who “the four” were who were going to approve the superintendent’s contract. Holmes, McKie, Caution-Parker and Manning will give the supt anything he wants. I call them The Squad.

    • Toya Wallace says

      I sure miss you on the neighborhood website. If not for those two that walked out this would be just Politics and not what is best for our children and schools. I would love to see someone fight for the teachers to get the increase in salary they deserve.

  2. DrTeresa Holmes says

    This article is yet again another example Yellow Journalism. I urge the community to watch the board meeting for the real events of the meeting. The rag of a paper might as well be the Gus Philpot show along with who him and his band of racist choose to endorse or follow. The community is well aware of how this paper hacks up a story to suit their hate. The real story is how parents and the community were cheated out of information they needed by reckless behavior and dereliction of duty. I know this paper and the crew working for this rag will continue slant and half report stories to deface those of us like myself who have called them out as the racist they are and I have a filed legal complaint against their silent stooge Gus z Philpot .Truth in journalism does not exist for minority leaders in the let’s get them grudge fill piece of trash. Again to see what really happened log into R2 Livestream.

    • This article is accurate. I watched the video.

    • S Parker says

      I have watched the last three meetings meetings three times in absolute embarrassment. The paper is in my opinion very accurate. All of this could have been avoided had the item been moved one week which ultimately happened anyway. Can they not just all get along? I am praying for this district and counting my days until I move.

  3. Summers M. says

    I’d like to urge anyone who questions this to watch for themselves and form your own opinions.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdmW3xA6AkE

  4. For those who don’t yet know, “DrTeresa Holmes” is an illegitimate member of the Richland 2 School Board. She has never taken the oath of office legally; not even after first becoming eligible to do so on December 4, 2018. She has been paid a monthly stipend (salary) and has benefitted from expenses paid by the District. I assert that those expenditures are illegal disbursements of public monies by Richland School District Two. SLED and the FBI have been asked to investigate these expenditures. She was ineligible to be elected board chair on 6/29/2020, because she is not a legal board member.

    Holmes’ September 16th Comment was unprofessional, improper and embarrassing (to her). Aside from the many grammatical and spelling errors, it contains false and defamatory statements.
    Be sure to go to livestream.com/richland2 for the September 14, 2021 board meeting. Fast-forward to 1:16:50 for the beginning of the chaos. You’ll quickly see who really created the chaos.

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