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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Agenda for County Council meeting Monday August 8. 2022

 YOUR NEXT PICKENS COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING

***MOTION TO RECALL FROM COMMITTEE FOR SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE

TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS AND LIMITATIONS ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ON THE

SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 11 SCENIC BYWAY AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO***



Monday, August 8, 2022

6:30 PM


Where?  

Auditorium, County Administration Facility

222 McDaniel Avenue, Pickens SC 29671

This agenda is not inclusive to everything the council may discuss

Please note that in response to the increased cases of COVID-19 in Pickens County,


Council Chambers will have limited seating.


Council and staff encourages citizens to please call 864-898-5242 and leave a voicemail for

public forum comments. All voicemails will be shared with each member of Council.

Council and staff also encourage the public to view the live meeting on the

Pickens County YouTube page by clicking on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM7wCefzV8owGaQ2ughlnBg

1. WELCOME AND CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Chris Bowers

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: Councilman Alex Saitta

2. PUBLIC FORUM:

3. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 June 13, 2022

 July 7, 2022 – Regular Council Meeting

 July 7, 2022 – Work Session

4. ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT:

5. COMMITTEE REPORT: July 7, 2022

6. COUNCIL CORRESPONDENCE:

7. MOTION PERIOD AND NEW BUSINESS:

8. RECOGNITION OF GRADUATES FOR THE PICKENS COUNTY LEADERSHIP

ENHANCEMENT ACADEMY FOR PUBLIC SERVANTS (LEAPS).

COUNCIL MEMBERS

CHRIS BOWERS, CHAIRMAN

ROY COSTNER, VICE CHAIRMAN

TREY WHITEHURST, VICE CHAIRMAN PRO-TEM

ALEX SAITTA

R. ENSLEY FEEMSTER

HENRY WILSON


COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR

Ken Roper

CLERK TO COUNCIL

Meagan Nations


Pickens County is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer


9. CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION 2022-21 RECOGNIZING SEPTEMBER 2022 AS

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH IN PICKENS COUNTY.

10. CONSIDERATION OF A RESOLUTION 2022-22 AUTHORIZING THE SUBSTITUTION OF

ONE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN (CIP) ITEM FROM A FUTURE FISCAL YEAR TO

THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR IN EXCHANGE FOR THE DELAY OF ANOTHER CIP ITEM

TO A FUTURE FISCAL YEAR DUE TO CHANGING NEEDS IN THE COUNTY ROADS AND

BRIDGES DEPARTMENT.

11. FIRST READING IN TITLE ONLY OF AN ORDINANCE THAT PROVIDES FOR

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES FOR DEVOLVING SURPLUS COUNTY REAL

PROPERTY RELATED TO THE MORE ACCURATE AND EFFICIENT OPERATION OF THE

COUNTY ROAD SYSTEM.

12. MOTION TO RECALL FROM COMMITTEE FOR SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE

TO ESTABLISH STANDARDS AND LIMITATIONS ON FUTURE DEVELOPMENT ON THE

SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 11 SCENIC BYWAY AND MATTERS RELATED THERETO.

13. CONSENT AGENDA:

a) County Employee Handbook – Committee of the Whole

14. EXECUTIVE SESSION: S.C. Code of Laws, Section 30-4-70 (A):

Legal– Section 30-4-70 (a) (2)

 Legal Advice on County Road System

Economic Development– Section 30-4-70 (a) (5)

 Project Big Dog

15. ACTIONS AS NEEDED FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

16. ADJOURN:

Please see link below for more detail on the Hwy 11 Proposed Ordinance:

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Is SDPC Trying to Sweep It Under the Rug?

 




Below are the links to the 10 releases that Conservatives of The Upstate received from their original FOIA request we had to pay $280 for concerning "ALL" communications concerning the segregation by race for a “Unity” program "Lunch and Learn" at Pickens Middle School which apparently also took place at Liberty Middle school months before it did at PMS. 

Our members have found proof our SDPC did not release ALL the communications we requested through FOIA and are trying our best to inform parents and taxpayers the truth about the planning of this racist event.

YOU, as a parent/taxpayer deserve COMPLETE transparency and accountability for what took place. 

What is the “end game” you may ask?

The concerned taxpayers and parents of Pickens County want to see consequences and apologies for those who thought that segregating children by race for an event was a great idea. 

We want assurances through policy changes that segregation by race at a school sponsored event on the taxpayer dime will not ever be allowed again. 

We also want a school board policy addition making it clear that a speaker’s video presentation will be made available for parents to see what their child was exposed to. (Adrienne Young’s video is no longer available for parents or taxpayers to view to see what their child was “taught”.)

We want a policy change that states any future speakers hired speaking on political controversial issues to children in our schools will be approved by the Superintendent and School Board and not just allowed because a principal thinks it’s a good idea. 

PLEASE ATTEND THE NEXT SCHOOL BOARD MEETING PLANNED FOR AUGUST 22 and demand transparency and accountability. (Reminder: this is subject to change) Check below  for how to verify it's still correct date.

When are the next School Board meetings? 

UNOFFICIALLY… here’s what’s listed on their SDPC website….

2022-2023 Regular Monthly Board Meetings: 

****(To be approved in August 2023) ****

August 22, 2022 
September 26, 2022
October 24, 2022
November 28, 2022 (this date may move due to Thanksgiving Week being the week prior) 
January 23, 2023
February 27,2023
March 27, 2023
April 24, 2023 
May 22, 2023
June 2, 2023 (Held first Friday of the month) 

Called Meetings may be posted periodically and are not listed above as these dates may change, be added or canceled per the discretion of the Board. Please view the Events Calendar on the SDPC webpage at https://www.pickens.k12.sc.us/ for upcoming meeting dates. 

 Regular board meetings are scheduled on the fourth Monday of each month except for the months of July and December when no meetings are scheduled per board policy BE. 
 Regular board meetings begin at 6:00 p.m. (unless noted otherwise). 
 Meetings in November and June are sometimes held outside of the regular schedule due to scheduling needs as approved by the Board of Trustees. 
 Meeting agendas/packets with details for each meeting are posted to the district website under Board of Trustees/Boarddocs at least 24 hours prior to the meeting as required 
by FOIA.
 All meetings are held in the board room of the Curtis A. Sidden Administrative Building, 1348 Griffin Mill Road in Easley (unless noted otherwise in the posting). 
 Meeting times and dates are subject to change per the direction of the Board of Trustees. 

Minutes are recorded to reflect action of the board so called board meetings that are for informational purposes will not have minutes. 

Dr. Danny Merck, Superintendent (864) 397-1000.  dannymerck@pickens.k12.sc.us

For more information, please contact Rosanne Morris, Secretary to the Superintendent & Board Clerk. P: (864) 397-1000

Present Board Members Contact info:
——————————————————
 Ms. Amy Williams (864) 350-8937 

_____________________________
 
Mrs. Karla Kelley, V-Chair (864) 201-1732

 ———————————————————
Dr. Brian Swords (864) 221-3642

___________________________________
 
Mr. Shannon Haskett (864) 346-7069

_____________________________________
 
Mrs. Betty Garrison, Secretary (864) 630-3325

_____________________________________
 
Mrs. Betty Bagley, Chair (864) 356-3939

______________________________________
 
Mr. Phillip Bowers (864) 868-2789

______________________________________

DONT FORGET 4 seats on the school board are OPEN for a challenger this November. Filing to run for a seat must be made by August 15th! We need Godly Conservative members who won’t allow Critical Race Theory tenets to be used or taught in our schools! 

——————————————————————-

Links to COTU opinions and comments on those 10 FOIA releases: 















Meet Brad White, Candidate for Pickens County Council


Join us Thursday, August 18th as Conservatives of the Upstate welcome candidate Brad White as our guest speaker for the evening at Cafe' Connections, 319 E. Main Street, Pickens, SC 29671. Program begins at 7PM and ends promptly at 8:30 PM. Bring a friend, a family member, a neighbor, a fellow church member!

J



 

School Board Candidates NEEDED by August 15, 2022

 


Pickens County School Board Candidate Filing

Noon, August 01, 2022, through noon, August 15, 2022

The Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Pickens County announces the election of the Pickens County School Board Trustees for districts Two (2), Four (4), Six (6), and Seven (7) on Tuesday, November 08, 2022. This is a nonpartisan election, and no party affiliation shall be placed on the ballot. The offices will be included on the ballot of the November 08, 2022, General Election. Only the electors living within districts up for election may participate in this election.

Citizens desiring to be candidates for one of the above listed School Board Trustee offices may file at the Board of Voter Registration and Elections of Pickens County (222 McDaniel Ave., B-9, Pickens, SC 29671) during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mon-Fri) during the filing period. Walk-in filing is acceptable, but an appointment is preferred. To make an appointment, please call (864) 898-5948 or email Vote.Pickens@elections.sc.gov.

Filing for candidates opens at noon on August 01, 2022 and closes at noon on August 15, 2022. At the time of filing, each candidate must complete a Statement of Candidacy Form and pay the filing fee. The filing fee for this office is equal to one percent (1%) of the total salary for the term (4 years) of this office. The filing fee will be $120 if the School Board’s salary remains constant. Checks must be made payable to the Pickens County Treasurer.

Friday, July 22, 2022

First Responder Prayer and Appreciation Rally

Mark your calendar for Thursday, August 11th now!

Join us as we show our appreciation and love for our First Responders!

Following a free appreciation breakfast for our First Responders, the public is invited to pray for our law enforcement, fire, and EMS in our community.

See handout below for details:


 

Friday, May 20, 2022

June 2022 Republican Primary Candidate Questions and Pledges Results

During the first week of May, COTU sent out 4 questions and 2 Pledge documents to the 2022 Republican Primary Candidates listed below who would be on Pickens County voters' ballots.  


Here are the 4 questions we requested they answer:


1. Would you ever vote for a budget to include funding for Planned Parenthood and explain why or why not?

2. Would you ever vote to increase taxes and explain why or why not?

3. Under what circumstances do you think the government has the right to infringe upon a person's property rights?

4. Under what circumstances would you vote for legislation to allow biological males to compete in biological female sports or have access to women's restrooms or locker rooms?


The two pledges were: 

Pledge #1 The candidate signs a pledge to oppose any efforts to increase taxes.

Pledge #2 The candidate signs a pledge that protecting an individual's Property Rights will be a first priority in government planning projects that could infringe upon their rights.


Below is a summary results of who responded to us:


Governor Race:

McMaster:  DID NOT RESPOND

Musslewhite: DID NOT RESPOND


State Secretary:

Keith Blandford: DID NOT RESPOND

Mark Hammond: DID NOT RESPOND


Attorney General:

Alan Wilson: DID NOT RESPOND

Lauren Martel:  

Question 1: No  

Question 2: No. Government is over bloated, using resources unwisely. 

Question 3: Not ever usually, limited exceptions but strict scrutiny, favoring the landowner. 

Question 4: Never


SC House District 1:

Bill Whitmire: DID NOT RESPOND TO QUESTIONS BUT SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Wally Sparks: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES 

Question 1: No! I am firmly pro-life and would never vote for funding for Planned Parenthood. Psalm 139:v 13-14 states "For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. your works are wonderful I know that full well." Unfortunately my incumbent opponent, Bill Whitmire, voted to send funds to Planned Parenthood during this budget cycle. 

Question 2: No, we do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. Government continues to grow at just about every level. 

Question 3: Only if it directly endangers others. As an example, if someone was dumping harmful chemicals that tainted a neighbor's water well. 

Question 4: Absolutely under no circumstamces should that ever be allowed.

SC House District 4:

Davey Hiott: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES 

Question 1: I have always voted against Planned Parenthood. I have a 100% boting record protecting the voice of the unborn. I co-sponsored amendments and proviso to the budget which would defund Planned Parenthood.*** see special note below

Question 2: The current climate of the state of SC does not in any way require a tax increase. Our business climate is at an all time high and tax revenues are above estimates. The only time a discussion should be had about raising taxes should be when we are not able to provide the resources needed for our law enforcement and first responders to protect us. Then and only then, should we discuss raising taxes. 

Question 3: The government has no right to infringe on anyone's personal property rights. There are laws on the books alredy that allow utilities to have easements in public right of ways, but they should not be allowed to exceed those guidelines. 

Question 4: I voted this session to outlaw males from competing against females. This is one of the most perverted ideas ever talked about. This issue would have been stopped at the federal level, but since they chose not to pass anything, each individual state must pass legislation. SC is in the process of doing that. 

*** Davey did admit he voted for the last budget even though it contained allotments for Planned Parenthood that included Federal tax dollars.***


Matthew Kutilek: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Question 1: Conception, birth and life is a precious miraculous event. God alone, not man, is the creator of life (Genesis 1:1) and He created man and woman in His own image, (Genisis 1:27), with the intent of producing Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15) and He knits together and forms life in a mother's safe and secure womb (Psalm 139:13) Precious human babies, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) who have not voice or ability to protect themselves. Planned Parenthood is a false moniker. They actually destroy parenthood. Under good conscious and to be consistent in my beliefs, I will not vote for a budget that includes any funding for Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers until they stop performing abortions.

SC House District 5:

Neal Collins: DID NOT RESPOND

Dennis Bo Roberts: DID  NOT RESPOND

Clay Hamlett: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Question 1: While there is no doubt that some of the services Planned Parenthood provides are highly beneficial to the female population (breast exams, cancer screening, etc.) their ties to growing numbers of provided abortions makes funding such an organization a very slippery slope. Ultimately, I would not vote for a budget that allocated funding to Planned Parenthood. Many of the more positive services they provide could be funded through other organizations that don't prioritize abortion as a form of family planning.

Question 2: No, I would not vote for an increase in taxes. The state of South Carolina must learn to more wisely spend the money it already accrues before our citizens ever consider granting it more. My signing of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is a reflection of this stance.

Question 3: The government only has a right to purchase someone's property at an adequate market value if it can be proven ahead of time that the land will be utilized for a public purpose. At that point, fair compensation must be provided as well as involving the property owner in all discussions related to planning. In addition, governments should only consider this tactic if no alternative is possible, thereby treating it as a last resort.

Question 4: Under no circumstance will I vote to allow biological males to complete in women's sports. With that being said, it is important to protect the inverse right: granting females the right to compete in men's sports. This ensures that females will not be hampered by a limited number of sports offered only to males (ex. football), while also providing them with the opportunity to compete in a different division if they so choose.


SC House District 10:

West Cox:  DID NOT RESPOND

Thomas Beach: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Question 1: No. I do not barter life for dole unlike my opponent, Rep. West Cox.

Question 2: No. Lawmakers like to give away $115,000,000 to Liberals who live in New Jersey and pay for 18 staffers and a director who makes a six figure salary to oversee tax money spent on Zumba classes and shared cooking recipe campaigns.

Question 3: Governments exist to protect the rights of life, liberty, and property. Unfortunately, i n the course of our history we have allowed the government to infringe on our rights through undue taxation. But it's up to us to vote out representatives who raise our taxes.

Question 4: I am 100% against the unfairness to our young ladies. My opponent, West Cox, is 100% for these things and he is recorded on video promoting "trans" athletes as well as hormone therapy for boys as young as 10. This is located on my facebook campaign page, beachforhouse.

Mark Durham: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Question 1: No, I would not. Planned Parenthood is an evil organization that goes against my Christian values, this group exists primarily for the purpose of providing and monetizing abortion services. Any organization with the history tied to harvesting human tissue for profit should not receive one dime of your tax dollars for any kind of service. Any funding they receive will not have my vote.

Question 2: As a true Conservative, I firmly believe that lowering taxes benefits individuals, families, and businesses. Any fiscal problem we have at the state or local level can always be fixed by cutting spending. I will not support a tax increase of any kind. I will use 3 Core principals when making decisions on votes, (Does it increase taxes? Does it increase the size or power of government? Does it infringe on personal liberty or property rights? If the answer is yes to any of the above, then I will vote no.

Question 3: None, I believe the federal government has overreached way too much on property owners' rights.

Question 4: Under no circumstances is this acceptable. Was this question designed to make me cuss? 


County Council District 2:

Phillp Bowers: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Question 1: No. i would not. Innocent life must be protected.

Question 2: I can't think of a reason why that would be necessary given the increasing value of the mil funds on hand.

Question 3: Property rights should be a foremost priority. However, when conflicts arise between two or more parties, then the government typically steps in to mediate the situation. I don't disagree with that approach.

Question 4: I would not support such legislation.

Chris Lollis: SIGNED BOTH PLEDGES

Question 1: No. planned Parenthood, although marketed as a source for women's health care, is in the primary business of providing abortion services. It does about 350,000 abortions a year. As a Christian, I'm opposed to abortion completely and will not support any organization affiliated with this practice. The county tends to regularly fund two types of outside activities. 1) It collects hospitality and accommodations revenue (restaurants and hotels) and tends to give that to events and groups that generate or service tourism. The county gives some of that money to things like the Central Railroad Festival, Issaquena Festival or Mile Creek Park. 2) County recreation money is given to the rec departments of Six Mile and Central typically. Planned Parenthood would not qualify for either of those sources of funds.

Question 2: I am opposed to tax increases. Given that Pickens County currently has around $23 million in savings, has received an additional $20 million in Covid relief funding, and its revenue is growing naturally $3 million a year, I cannot imagine any situation that would create the need to increase taxes.

Question 3: Individual property rights are fundamental to what our country was founded on and continues to be one of the hallmarks of our freedoms today. I cannot see a circumstance that should allow the government to infringe upon a person's property rights.

Question 4: This would be something the state legislature or local school board would vote on because they control the sports that occur in our public schools.. However, I see no circumstances that I would support any effort to allow biological males to compete in female sports or to give access to women's restrooms or locker rooms. It is a biological fact that males and females are different and even if an individual identifies as another gender, that fact does not change. Allowing these things not only poses real challenges to the female athletes but also creates a safety concern for all women. I am also strongly opposed to drag queen story hour at the libraries, and the county does have a library system that it funds. That may be coming our way at some point and the council and library board will have to deal with it. 

Voting will take place on Tuesday, June 14th.  Choose wisely...Elections have consequences!








Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Letter To the Editor: Train Up a Child In the Way They Should Go



The Bible tells us in Proverbs to “train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”


Also we know what the road of “good” intentions can lead to.


What happened at Pickens Middle School is unacceptable. Training children to think it is appropriate to separate them by race for special presentations and lunches violates not only the Bible's advice but also Civil Rights under Title VI and the 14th amendment.


A policy needs to be put in place ASAP to prevent this type of ill advised event from ever happening again. I suggest that going forward the approval for any event or speaker on our campuses that influence children's training be approved ahead of time by this board. That way we will know WHO to hold accountable at the voting booth.


The fact that ANYONE employed by the School District thought that segregating students by their race for a special presentation and lunch while leaving white students out was a good idea is horrendous. It points to our School District joining the “woke” culture of Critical Race Theory.


And when I watched the YouTube video Ms. Young presented on what she was going to say, I was horrified that she was praising Socialist Representative AOC as someone she admired and loved. A speaker using their position of authority to promote political influence in a situation where children are forced to watch is wrong.


WHO do we the taxpayers blame for this catastrophe? Just the Principal? I think not. I have a hard time believing he alone planned this event. Someone else in the Administration must have given him the green light. And all parties involved that knew and did nothing to prevent it should face consequences.

Johnnelle Raines

Pickens, SC

Monday, April 25, 2022

May 2022 Conservatives of the Upstate Newsletter

Lots of important meetings and opportunities lie ahead for all of us as we try to keep Pickens County SC the most Conservative County in SC!  Below I am updating you on issues and dates and information that I think are very important for your edification!



1. Are you registered to vote? You better be!  To be able to vote in the June 14th Primary you must be registered to vote by May 13th by 5 PM. You can register online here: Online Voter Registration (sc.gov) Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are registered!


2. Confused about the new redistricting and you aren't sure which district you are in now? Here is a link that will help people know which district...it's kind of not user friendly as I'd like it to be but feel free to use the link below to the Pickens County Election District web mapping app.  It allows the user to type in their address to see which districts they reside in now that the redistricting process has been completed (House, Senate, Council, etc).  

3. The NEXT most important meeting that WE ALL NEED to be in attendance at is happening at the School Board meeting on Thursday, April 28th at 5:15 PM. If you haven't heard about the fiasco at Pickens Middle School and why we ALL need to be there and cause our School Board to SIT UP AND PAY ATTENTION ...here is an article Johnnelle wrote about it: https://www.thestandardsc.org/the-standard/over-1000-parents-voice-protest-about-middle-school-plan-to-spark-unity-gone-bad/   Even if you don't speak during public forum at this meeting on the 28th...we need bodies there...NUMBERS MATTER...APPLAUSE MATTERS The meeting will be held at 1348 Griffin Mill Rd, Easley SC 29640. sign up to speak when you get there. Call Roseanne Morris to make sure the meeting hasn't been changed...@ 864-397-1029



4. Go to this link to see the Pickens County GOP meet the candidates' events scheduled in the days ahead before the Primary that give you an opportunity to vet the candidates: https://pickensscgop.com/#events



5. Go to this link to see the Auxiliary Club of SCGOP events that are lined up to give you an opportunity to vet the candidates before June 14th 




6. The next County Council meeting is to be held on May 2 at 6:30 PM at the Administrative Auditorium located 222 McDaniel Avenue, Pickens SC 29671. It is our understanding their is discussion going on to raise our millage tax on property to replace the plan that fell through to tax us according to square footage. We don't know anything else about this. Please call your councilman and ask them to explain what this millage increase will mean. And be prepared to voice your concerns at this meeting on May 2nd during the public forum. If you need more than 3 minutes to say what you want to say, please let Kathleen Campbell know and we will try to arrange for someone to finish your speech where you leave off. Here's the link to how to contact your county councilman. https://www.co.pickens.sc.us/government/county_council/index.php





7. Monday, May 16th at 7PM our group is sponsoring a Public Forum/Debate between challenger Matthew Kutilek and Rep. Davey Hiott at Cafe' Connections. We think this is the best opportunity for you to vet these candidates as you will get to hear their answers to the same questions. Be prepared to ask your tough questions. Bring your neighbors, you won't want to miss this one!





8. May 3rd the Board of Elections will be meeting at 4:30 pm in the Administrative Auditorium where the county council meets. Please remember they need poll workers. Go to this link for more information : https://www.co.pickens.sc.us/government/county_council/index.php
Or call 864-898-5948




9.  Conservatives of the Upstate cannot endorse candidates as a group. However, Johnnelle Raines has her own personal favorites that she has vetted and will gladly send those to you if you want to see her personal favorites. She stresses this is just her personal opinions and wants you to vote your own conscience and pray for discernment and not rely on her opinions. Just email her at: johnnelletommy@gmail.com if you want her list of personal endorsements.

10. We are sending two pledges to all candidates to see if they will sign. One is a Protect Our Property Rights Pledge and the other is a Pledge to Not raise our taxes if elected. And in the days ahead we will be letting you know which candidates have signed them.





11. Prayer Matters!  You will have several opportunities to come together with Praying in Pickens to Pray before this election. We pray every Saturday Morning at 9:30 AM at the Courthouse in downtown Pickens and a special National Day of Prayer will be held at the Courthouse in downtown Pickens on Thursday morning May 5th at 9:30 AM. Please join us!  We also meet and pray every Thursday morning at Cafe' Connections at 8:30 AM.



12. Our member and Candidate for County Council, Chris Lollis needs help door knocking in the Six Mile/Central area...and needs contributions too for yard signs and door hangers...if you feel led to help him, I'm sure he'd very much appreciate it. Here's his phone number: 864-979-0321. Please remember all the candidates running would appreciate any help you can give them. 





***********Please let us know anything you are concerned about or need help with! Respond to this email or call Johnnelle @ 704-860-0648 or call Kathleen Campbell @ 864-586-0857********

Your Leadership Team and Advisory Board COTU,

Johnnelle Raines, Jo Ann Brewer, Travis Garner, Kathleen Campbell, Luke Campbell, Chris Lollis, Anselm Salins, John Fezio, Debbie Hudson, Ross Whitley, Kim Frazor, Lori and Mark Osborn 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Pickens Middle School's Plan to Spark Unity Gone Bad

Sometimes good intentions which are not thought out properly can go bad.

Such is the case of a situation that arose at Pickens Middle School where the administration thought they were doing something good on how to address a situation of racial tensions but ultimately did not think about the consequences of segregating students. 

Shouldn't our School District of Pickens County's lawyer have been consulted about their plan?

Under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964Discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance are prohibited.

President John F. Kennedy said in 1963:

Simple justice requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.

The Principal of Pickens Middle School as well as the School Board and District Administration is now having to deal with backlash over his plan.

This whole controversial situation went viral on a Facebook page which ended up having over 1K comments. You can view those comments at this link: 

                                     https://m.facebook.com/pickenslocal/


Below is an email which was sent by a concerned citizen to SC Attorney General Alan Wilson which explains why there is such controversy over what was planned. But please note NOT ALL PARENTS received prior notification of the special lunch arrangements or the fact a speaker was going to address the racial tensions. Many white students weren't aware of the special lunch date with the speaker until the students of color bragged about receiving the special invitation. 


Dear Attorney General:

 

It has been brought to my attention that during the week of April 11th 2022 the Pickens Middle School in Pickens, South Carolina planned and conducted a series of presentations by a guest speaker in which the school segregated students by skin color. The students were given special lunch sessions and divided into the following groups: "African-American," "Hispanic," and "Two or More Backgrounds." Students who did not fall into these categories, such as white, Asian, and others, were not invited and were excluded from these special presentations and lunch meals. This appears to be a direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Title VI, which prohibits excluding individuals from programs or activities on the grounds of race, color, or national origin by entities receiving Federal financial assistance.

 

According to letters and emails from the school Principal, Mr. James King, the segregation of students by race was intentional to allow the guest speaker, Ms. Adrienne Young, "a chance to talk with students about how to cope with being a student in a predominantly white school." Setting aside how this is highly inappropriate and just plain racist, a glaring irony must have eluded the school’s leadership and the guest speaker in that the subject of her talk was "unity at schools."

 

Please see the attached email and letter received by the school’s parents indicating specific lunch times their students were assigned:







 

The “dynamic speaker,” Ms. Young, is a counselor at Banks Trail Middle School in Fort Mill and describes herself on her LinkedIn account as an “influencer…impacting the lives of middle schoolers.” Is segregating and excluding students by race and teaching them how to “cope with” white students the kind of influence and impact the SC Department of Education is advancing?  Ms. Spearman (copied here), as the Superintendent of Education, would you kindly provide a response with your position on this? Would you also please reconcile how such presentations Ms. Young is conducting fits with your statements that Critical Race Theory is not taught in SC schools?

 

 


 

 

Mr. Wilson, would you please review and investigate this incident, as well as similar presentations given by Ms. Young at other school campuses as alluded to by Mr. King in his letter, and pursue all appropriate legal action as it merits under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and specifically regulation 34 C.F.R. §§ I00.3(a), I00.3(b)(l), and nondiscriminatory statutes of the SC Human Affairs Law? For reference, I am attaching a determination issued by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in a similar case where a school segregated students and staff by race into “affinity groups” during race trainings and programs. The parents and students of Pickens Middle School are -- quite justifiably – very upset with this and would have legal standing in court.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Sincerely,

 

Name removed due to privacy concerns






For your information, the video of Adrienne Young's speech she prepared has since been removed and no longer available for parents or taxpayers to view.








Luckily, several of our Conservatives of the Upstate members were able to view the video before it was taken down. The ones who watched were shocked when she took the opportunity to express her personal political view of "loving" Rep. Alexandra Orcasio-Cortez" who is well known for her love of Socialism and wanting to transform our Constitutional Republic.

Speakers who are hired to have influence and inspire young students whose minds are very malleable during the middle school years should not project their personal political leanings one way or the other



It will be interesting to see just how many parents show up at the next School District of Pickens County's Board meeting who are concerned about the choices this Principal at Pickens Middle School made, especially not alerting ALL parents to his plan ahead of time.


If you wish to attend and make your concerns known during public forum time, the next School Board Meeting of Pickens County is Thursday, April 28th beginning at 5:15 PM. 
The meeting takes place in the Board Room located at 1348 Griffin Mill Road, Easley, SC, 29640.

For more information about this SDPC Board meeting you can call:

 Rosanne Morris at 864-397-1029 or by email at rosannemorris@pickens.k12.sc.us