Editor’s Note: I apologize to all my readers for my struggle with finding the proper “nickname” for the new School Board Chairman, Robert Queen. First, I tried “god” with a little “g”. That just didn’t seem right. In discussions with some other we came up with “Baby Jesus.” That didn’t seem just right either. My thoughts were that maybe I should try “Dictator” Or even “Little Hitler” since that seemed to be Queens MO. Then, when the “Devil Worshippers” sent me their Press Release and threatening letter regarding Burns High School, Hope Community Church and Pastor Jeremy Peeler; it came to me that there was nothing “Godly” about Chairman Queens shenanigans on the School Board. Indeed, it is the other way around. The name “Lucifer” came to mind. “Luke” got short came to mind. So. School Board Chairman Robert “Luke” Queen seems the most appropriate. Just like Phillip “Poodle” Glover is appropriate since Poodle is in no position to “Bully” anymore.
Read on folks. I believe you will also come to understand why “Luke” Queen is no friend to Cleveland County Schools and especially is no friend to education or the taxpayers.
Cleveland County Schools School Board Member Danny Blanton has more experience on the School Board as all five of the newly elected Republicans, all put together, times 10. Blanton’s vote was the deciding 5-4 vote to install Robert “Luke” Queen as Chairman of the School Board and Joel Shores as Vice Chairman. Blanton’s vote has also allowed Luke Queen to set up his secret committees and run roughshod over state law and the three Democrats and one RINO on the School Board. Blanton’s vote has allowed Luke to hire Tim Moore’s lawyer buddy to be hired as the School Board Attorney and give Luke bad legal advice so Luke can always claim “Immunity” if the School Board and himself are sued in a Court of Law.
Actually, Danny Blanton is the most powerful school board member on the CCS School Board as his vote could swing the vote one way or the other in every contested vote. And there have been plenty of contested 5-4 votes.
Yet, as of the February 22, 2021 School Board meeting the NEW School Board Republicans have turned their backs on Danny Blanton and shut him down. Just like all the Old School Boards under Chairmen Jack Hamrick, Poodle Glover and Shearra Miller. I was probably the first to notice this since the December 14, 2020 School Board meeting when the new Republicans were all sworn in and Luke Queen was elected by a 5-4 vote over Poodle Glover as Chairman.
The shutting down of Danny Blanton by Luke Queen occurred just like the public has been illegally shut down. Little by little, until complete. Nobody but Luke controls the School Board and gets to say how things are going to be done. No school Board member, no member of the public gets a say. Except for me, of Course. And I only get my say here on my own website. Let me recount how this was done.
Luke’s school board committees. These School Board Committees, instead of taking advantage of public volunteers with expert credentials, are secret and closed. They are basically illegal but so far successful attempts to circumvent “Open Meeting Laws” and make secret decisions. With Luke making the decisions. I have attended, uninvited and unwelcome, two school board Committee Meetings just to see what transpired. The Finance Committee Meeting and the Operations Committee meetings. I took copious notes and each meeting and when the Committee Reports were given at School Board meetings, and then written up in phony Minutes for Meetings, the reports are false and the Meeting Minutes are falser. And getting worse. For example, in the school board meeting minutes, that included the Finance Committee report, I was listed as a person in attendance. When I later attended the Operations Committee, the school board meeting minutes that reported that Committee meeting purposely left my name off of the attendance list. Lots of other thins were left off too. Like who is the architects for the new Auditoriums at Burns and Crest High Schools. Actually, nothing was discussed about the new auditoriums in the Operations Committee meeting. Nothing about the cost, how big, a construction schedule or anything else. Same with the Finance Committee. No discussion of where the Auditorium money was going to come from and how much taxpayer funding is requires.
Public Participation: Since the December 14, 2020 School Board Meeting where Luke and the other Republicans were sworn in, there has always been people, lots of people signed up for Public Participation. And the Minutes of the Meetings included the speaker’s names and briefly what they spoke about-although some discussion was purposely left out. At the February 8, 2021 School Board Meeting, there were seven speakers and the Minutes of the February 8th, 2021 School Board meeting listed the names of all seven speakers and recorded ZERO descriptions on what any of the Speakers said. At the February 22, 2021 School Board Meeting ZERO people signed up for Public Participation. And why should they? If the School Board will not even record what the speakers say, it is 100% obvious that the school board will not do anything about anything. Just like the handicapped autistic boy that was criminally attacked at North Shelby School. The School Board has done nothing except cover-up. I will offer this public service, the same public service that I use myself; If anybody wants to comment about anything about Cleveland County Schools, write it up and send to me. I will publish it to the Public as is and make sure that it is sent to the School Board. That way there will be a record that the School Board received the information. It is most likely the School Board will ignore that too. But, if a lawsuit comes out against the School Board, they cannot claim ignorance about the report.
Now, let’s discuss in particular how Luke Queen and the others are shutting down School Board Member Danny Blanton at School Board meetings.
Over the years Danny Blanton has often reported things to the school board that the school board apparently did not care to hear.
1 Danny Blanton, during a school board meeting, brought information to the new school board that he had been refused admittance at the New North Shelby School to inspect some areas of the facilities. Blanton is on the Operations Committee. Yet Chairman Luke, or anybody else (HINT-Superintendent Stephen Fisher) took no action to take disciplinary action against North Shelby School personnel for refusing to allow a duly elected school board member on site to perform his school board duties. Also, this report by Blanton does not show up on any school board meeting minutes.
2 Danny Blanton visited Casar Elementary School and reported, with pictures and slides, to the School Board that certain HVAC ductwork was installed using wooden two by fours to prop them up. I was sitting in the audience and immediately realized what the problem was. But I refuse to tell the school board or the Operations Committee what the problems are (Multiple Problems-Including child safety) because they won’t let me speak or even admit that I attended their meeting. I actually did not, and was not invited to inspect the problem myself, Besides, this article will be sent to the School board and they can send their paid consultants out to research the problems. And when I find out what was done, then I will write about it. Also, the Minutes of the School Board minutes do not include Blanton’s presentation. So, I must be dreaming, right? RIGHT!! Especially if a child is injured and the School Board claims they didn’t know anything about this problem.
3 Danny Blanton, at the February 22, School Board meeting made a motion to restart schools, K-5, immediately. NO School Board member, Republican or Democrat seconded the motion. Although Vice Chairman Joel Shores later made the motion to restart schools K-4, they K-5 on a staggered basis. Which passed 7-2.
4 Danny Blanton, at the February 22, 2021 School Board meeting, reminded the School Board that a major insurance benefit (group rates) had previously been allowed to drop in 2017 because of negligence in the HR Department and that negligence had been repeated this past December although 85 of the 100 North Carolina County Schools have these same employee benefits that CCS had allowed to drop. Neither Luke nor any other school board member showed any interest in CCS employee benefits that could save certain classes of employees $850 per month. Or even wanted to hear about it anymore.
5 Danny Blanton, during Superintendent Fisher’s long periods of “whining” about all the logistical planning needed to restart schools was continuing to delay restarting schools, made the comment that this “planning” should have been finished this past November. (Or months before November.) Chairman Luke Queen cut Blanton off saying “that’s off topic” when that is certainly the topic of the day all across North Carolina and All across the USA. Especially since Fisher’s whining against school restart was because of it being hard to arrange bus routes and other such issues. Later a school board member asked School Bus Manager David Pless directly, bypassing Fisher, if Pless could support the restart schedule? Pless replied that he “could support anything the School Board instructed him to do.” Clearly indicating that there were two levels of incompetent school administration management, assistant Superintendent Jennifer Wampler and Superintendent Stephen Fisher between Pless (and all school Maintenance and support functions) and the School Board. NO, I should say three levels of incompetence, Wampler, Fisher and Luke Queen. No wonder Luke shut down Blanton’s very astute judgement of the situation.
So, just like the old school boards learned the hard way that Danny Blanton’s common-sense approach to running Cleveland County Schools is what the voters in Cleveland County expected in the 2020 School Board Elections. Only to get the likes of Robert “Luke” Queen. Of course, Blanton could teach Luke and the other Republicans a good lesson by every once in a while, voting against Luke in one of those 5-4 decisions. Maybe even in a vote to dethrone Luke Queen from his chairmanship because of all his crooked wheeling and dealings.