Both School Board Meetings in August 2019 were especially rife with stupidity, strife and cover-up by the “Band of 8” rouge school board members who don’t want to hear that ANYTHING is wrong at CCS. Even though there is a massive amount of proof that many things are indeed wrong at CCS. Problems that can only be resolved by identifying the problems and then fixing them accordingly. Which is THE basic fact and function of leadership and accountability.
But the CCS School Board Gang of 8 steadfastly cling to the erroneous notion that ignoring problems will magically make them disappear. It seems like School Board Member Danny “Professor Einstein” Blanton is the only school board member with common sense enough to recognize reality when he sees it. And is willing to fix problems when and where he finds them. Something that the Gang of 8, lead by Board Chairman Shearra Miller refuses to allow Professor Einstein to do. Or even talk about.
Especially at the August 26, 2019 School Board meeting which was filled with an unbelievable amount of divisiveness from the Gang of 8. So much so that my article (scroll on back) about that meeting included the suggestion to don’t believe a word I say, watch the broadcast for yourself.” Which people did, in record numbers. Almost 2,500 views were recorded for that particularly infamous Broadcast.
Beginning before that infamous August 26, 2019 School Board meeting and immediately afterwards the Gang of 8 were stung by criticism, not only by me but articles in the Shelby Star about the Gang of 8 forcing Professor Einstein to speak only within the three minute limits of Public Participation in the meeting, which is the minimum requirements of North Carolina law. Even the “Political Smackdown Show” voiced unanimous disapproval of the Gang of 8 refusing to allow Professor Einstein, a duly elected school board member, the opportunity to speak during the regular meeting without time limits-a right that everybody else on the school board has. Such criticism of the CCS Gang of 8 was building all across Cleveland County through early September 2019. By the September 23, 2019 School Board meeting even the Gang of 8 realized something had to be done.
So, what do the nitwits on the CCS Gang of 8 do???
Like the fools that they are, instead of doing something right and honorable, the scheming Gang of 8 decide to secretly move the location of the meeting without telling the public. Not only that, they abandoned their regular meeting place full of top of the line cameras and sound systems to an obscure location at the outer limits of the CCS Central Services building with no real sound system and an obsolete camera in order to foil anybody tuning in on the Broadcast from watching the Broadcast in real time. On top of that, the poor recording system in this obscure location had various technical difficulties that required several days to fix. Each time the “fix” reset the counter on the broadcast to zero, thwarting any real count of citizens who were trying to watch the broadcast.
Nonetheless, citizens, such as myself came to the September 23, 2019 meeting early enough to find the secret hiding place that the Gang of 8 had selected and a record number spoke out about the wheeling, dealings and various scams of the Gang of 8. By now the Broadcast has been updated and is available for all to see. Probably made possible by the tongue-lashing the gang of eight received for their dastardly deeds at the September 23rd meeting.
The first speaker in the Public Participation was Matthew Canipe.
Mr. Canipe wasted ZERO time getting to the point. Mr. Canipe stated the fact that everybody knew why he meeting was “down here” alluding to the secret change in the meeting location. Mr. Canipe then proceeded to call the CCS Board as being full of “lies, corruption and cover-up.” (Se the video for full effect.) Mr. Canipe (possibly a 2020 School Board candidate himself) reminds the board that 2020 is an election year with five up for re-election (Shearra Miller, Richard Hooker, Roger Harris, Jo Boggs and Jeff Jones). That a new school board majority would result from the 2020 elections who would better eliminate wasteful spending and better oversee future spending that would treat all schools equally. And more. It was a powerful presentation-watch the video. It is finally up with better than expected clarity.
The second speaker worked for a “partner” organization with CCS who probably was unaware that he was in the middle of a hornet’s nest. He had some information about some scholarships for high school seniors. Chairman Miller quickly sent him off with a school administration official for private consultation.
The third speaker was “Professor Einstein,” also known as Danny Blanton. Mr. Blanton reminded the School Board that he was also a school board member elected by the people. And that he would continue speaking out for the people. Mr. Blanton brought out that safety, bullying, a CCS staff member bullying a child, insurance and other items. Mr. Blanton reminded Chairman Shearra Miller that she had said that she would “never put him on the agenda” to which Miller commented, “that’s right.” There is more-watch the video.
The fourth Speaker was Bill Gray. A former candidate for the school board and maybe a candidate in 2020. Mr. Gray spoke about the videos of autistic children being beat up, bullied and drug around by the hair at school and wondered if parents and grand parents knew about it. Mr. Gray was especially critical of board members who remained silent and allowed “known liars and manipulators” run things. Again, don’t believe me, watch the video.
The fifth speaker was Suzan Parrish, the mother of a severely autistic child at North Shelby School who was injured at school and CCS refused to tell her how it happened. Ms. Parrish had previously requested a closed session meeting with the school board and acknowledged that the meeting was to be at the close of the meeting that night. Ms. Parrish thanked Danny Blanton for his help in the matter. She also stated that the public had rights to know what is going on at school and school should be a safe place to send your children to, including HER son. Ms. Parrish complained that it took 21 days before she received the Police Report regarding the incident at school involving her son and the pertinent information on the report was in an attachment that she was not allowed to have. (Ms. Parrish showed me the Police Report before the meeting and the attachment with the event details was noted to be in an attachment that the Shelby Police Department refused to give to her and she wanted an investigation to what actually went on. Another powerful presentation. Watch the video for the full effect.
The sixth speaker was Jay Carpenter, another potential school board candidate for the 2020 elections. Mr. Carpenter announced that he had attended County Commissioner meetings where they allowed all commissioners to speak as well as to school board meetings where Board Member Danny Blanton was NOT allowed to speak. The school board was wrong to do this said Mr. Carpenter. Mr. Carpenter went on to say that Danny Blanton went around to the schools to find out what was going on and spoke up about problems that he found. All the while the other school board members didn’t seem to be interested in helping CCS become a better organization. It was like all the other board members just wanted to attend the meetings in silence and do nothing else. Again, watch the video.
The seventh speaker was yours truly, Me. Robert A. Williams. I spoke about technical issues such as the School board breaking the law in moving their meeting without paying any attention to how North Carolina laws requires adequate notice to the public about such things. I also reminded the School Board that I had spoken at a previous meeting and had sent them a Freedom of Information Act, as well as NC Public Records law requests for documents and had ZERO” from CCS even though CCS had the legal responsibility to provide those Documents. Documents that I still have not received. Or been offered the opportunity to inspect as the law requires. Then, I asked the school board about the new Sales Tax increase and in particular, just what project had the school board asked the commissioners to fund and the records “or other means of communications” had CCS sent to the Commissioners for additional stuff that they would use the new sales tax revenue for. (Of course I knew the answer to that. The School Board had NOT requested additional funding from the Commissioners. The Commissioners are lying about that, but the School Board would go along to receive more money to waste.) Then a timer alarm went off and my time was up. Here it is two weeks later and I have received NOTHING from the school board or the commissioners about what this money will be used for.
The eighth and last speaker was Mr. Stan Shaw. Another potential school board candidate for the 2020 elections. Mr. Shaw thanked Danny Blanton for speaking out about the life insurance benefit issue that affected every CCS employee. Mr. Shaw stated that the CCS Board’s “blackballing” of school board member Danny Blanton had gone on way too long and needed to stop. Mr. Shaw also stated that he felt sorry for anybody on the board that was being politically “bullied” into silence needed to step up and say what they needed to say. (Mr. Shaw also told the Commissioner that very same thing at the October 1 Commissioner’s Meeting only to have Chairman Susan Allen say she was proud of what the commissioners was doing (in keeping their mouths shut and doing what they were told), Mr. Shaw continued with his expectation that every board member, as an elected official, should speak out about issues and problems s that was the only way they would be corrected. I cannot adequately describe Mr. Shaw’s continuing and wise comments about our American form of government being a Republic and how it is supposed to operate. Please watch the video for the full effect.
Then Chairman Miller went on with other items on the agenda for this meeting that was called a “workshop meeting,” Even though it was exactly like a regular meeting. The various “Workshop Topics, a budget update, testing and accountability, See something, say something and Policies-First Read were dull and boring.
Dull and boring-except for what appears to be a planned scheme. It appears that the Gang of 8, except for Coleman Hunt and Dena Green were advised to ask at least one question or make at least one comment, stupid or not, as a show that they were not all silent and do-nothings. Don’t know why Coleman and Hunt and Dena Green were left out of the planned scheme. Because they were “black” and new board members or what. Watch the video and judge for yourself.
But there were nuggets of telling information that dribbled out in Workshop Topics that CCS will not want the public to consider.
1. Cleveland County is a “Dying County” and CCS has lost an average of 250 students per year for several years. Reductions in teachers (cutting staff) are required. No mention on students flocking to Pinnacle classical Academy for a better education.
2. Shearra Miller and Roger Harris illegally voted Danny Blanton off the School Safety Team. Blanton is paying them no attention.
3. CCS not applying for “safety” grants that are available.
4. Plans are to bring Graham off of “Failing” list in October.
5. Poverty line (black students) correlates to Failing Educational Scores. (Probably more Plantation Politics and looking for scam programs such as the Math Academy and Communities in Schools)
6. Supt. Fisher pitches “Continuing Improvement” yet refuses to acknowledge problems-much less identify and fix problems.
What happened next is what I suspect may be the beginnings of the next Super-Scandal at Cleveland County Schools. It was the Closed Session that speaker Suzan Parrish let the cat out of the bag in her earlier comments to the School Board regarding her autistic and mute son’s serious injury at North Shelby School that nobody wants to talk about. The Closed Session took a very long time and everybody came out closed mouth and ready to leave. The School Board just came back a couple stems into the large room, without reconvening their meeting (a violation of NC Law), adjourned the meeting and were gone like a flash. Based on all my pervious observations of how the School Board operates, I smell a rat in all of this. And predict we have not heard the last about this latest example of CCS’s incompetence. Stay tuned and mark my word.
Attention!! Everybody note that the next School Board Meeting is October 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM at eh CCS Central Services, 400 West Marion Street. A full house is expected due to the CCS Payroll fiasco. A fiasco of CCS’s Making. Trying to fix something that was NOT Broke. No telling what kind of schemes the School Board Gang of 8 has cooked up this time around. Come early to get a seat..