Only the full website address works when linking on social media. Please use


*You can scroll beyond the COTU Twtter feed to read more in depth articles and see a decade + of COTU archived posts in the right side column

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Concerned View VS The Discerned View

There appears to be a lot of mis-truths, mis-leading information and out-right lies being spoken on the topic of accreditation in Pickens County.

The School District’s accreditation was renewed through June 2019. (See the attached certificate.) 

The letter from AdvancED is a 2 year follow up letter. Nowhere in the letter does it say the school district is about to lose its accreditation. Nowhere does it say it has two strikes. 

Read it for yourself here. 

All I have read is the school board is totally committed to meeting AdvancED’s additional requirements. 

This happens all the time with audits or inspections. The government reviews you. They have a list of concerns. They are fixed. They come back and find a couple of other things, and those are fixed. 
Clayton County School District lost their accreditation a few years back and that was the first time that happened in 40 years! The School District of Pickens County is one of the top in the state and it would be the only one to lose its accreditation? Nonsense. 

Some school districts in the state at the bottom - only 40% of their students read at grade level and they would be accredited? What would that say about AdvancED’s creditability? What you are seeing is Concerned Citizens of Pickens County and Robin Nelson Miller on TV taking this and blowing it up to make it a political brew-ha-ha so they can get a tax increase and get conservative board members kicked off the board in the next election.

Written by John Schafer · 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Opinion: Despicable You ...

From The School District Of Pickens County Student Handbook ...

Policy on bullying and harassment ...

The board of trustees prohibits acts of harassment, intimidation or bullying of a student by students, staff and 
third parties that interfere with or disrupt a student’s ability to learn and the school’s responsibility to educate its students in a safe and orderly environment whether in a classroom, on school premises, on a school bus or other school-related vehicle, at an official school bus stop, at a school-sponsored activity or event whether or not it is held on school premises, or at another program or function where the school is responsible for the student.

The most despicable act of injustice isn't lying, stealing, cheating, hating, or even murdering. Once you've done those things - they are done. They are known. With lies, eventually the truth prevails to the wise. A man that misses his lawnmower after a theft simply gets another and may even be happier. A man who is dead is dead. The consequences; the outcome for the killer, can be predicted. The most despicable act of injustice is bullying. 

The outcome of bullying is despicable because the bully gets twisted satisfaction out of it. Yet, the bully will never know the suicidal thoughts he's caused, the emotional and financial loss of depression, but more importantly - the spirit that bully was able to crush.

We can say "Don't let the bully win" to cheer up the ones whose spirit is crushed. But the reality is, kindness is hard to swallow once the bitter pill of the bully has poisoned your soul.

There are some bullies in Pickens County - visible and invisible, old and young, mature and immature, known and anonymous, acting concerned and acting disinterested. 

Are you supporting a bully? 

Are you despicable?

Rus Smith
Liberty, SC

Conservatives go by name; Bullies go by "Anonymous"

The May 2015 Pickens County School Board Meeting

The May 26, 2015 Pickens County School Board meeting was lightly attended by conservatives.  The only speaker for our group was Junius Smith.  He addressed the Board about "anonymous" whom he said lived in Pickens County.  "Anonymous" letters and posts to the internet and even entire sites devoted to destroying folk's reputations have been circulating.  Threats to people's lives, jobs, and threats of all kinds have been posted and so far nothing has been done about it.  There are some that believe this "anonymous" lives within our school district.  There is also indication that there is more than one "information gatherer" involved as one post threatens group or gang action if anything new comes up. 

The audience of teachers and the board sat dumbfounded as Smith spoke and immediately carried on with their requests for more money for teachers, nurses, and administrative personnel of all types.  

One person even begged the school board to raise her taxes.  We had one person to ask God to declare anyone who objected to the school budget ~ wrong.

To set the record straight; the people have paid an extreme amount of money to educate our children -  5% in sales tax, the alcohol & tobacco tax, the lottery, property tax (both bond and personal property), and the income tax.  This money was supposed to go to the General Assembly to be used for education under Article 11 Section 3 of the South Carolina Constitution.  But, the General Assembly has not invested the money into our children.  If you have a beef, it is with the General Assembly, not with the people of Pickens County.  They make only 90% of the average salary of people living in South Carolina.  When teachers and school administrators are removed from the population, the average person in Pickens County makes about $17,000 per year.

The people have not seen any increase to their living condition in 7 years when adjusted for inflation.  Senior Citizens LIVING ON SOCIAL SECURITY have noticed a decrease in their standard of living over the same period of time.  In the room last night were folks making from sixty thousand to over one million while begging for more taxes.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bikers do not obey traffic signals ...

Some facts about the Doodle Trail that taxpayers and property owners need to know;

Bikers do not obey traffic signals and signs

Last weekend, during the official opening of the trail, two bikers were almost hit by cars when the bikers ran the stop signs and darted in front of traffic.

The question that hasn't been asked in all the opening celebrations and ribbon cuttings is

If you were to hit a biker on the trail ; who is liable?

The city of Pickens, The City of Easley, the biker, you? What about the State Of South Carolina depending on where the accident occurred? Even if you obeyed the law?

Every night the trail is being used by mopeds. Cars have been seen on the trail,

Shouldn't the bikers be required to carry liability insurance?

These comments, questions, and suggestions have been made to both the mayor of Easley and the mayor of Pickens. As of yet, there's no answer. It seems to be a "we don't care, it's fun" attitude.

Jim McDonald

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The term "stakeholders" ...

Whenever you hear the word "stakeholders", please be reminded of this terminology with this quote ....

(Open question and answer with Dr. Kelly Pew, former School District Of Pickens County Superintendent.)

Pew: We consulted stakeholders when we decided if we wanted to adopt the common core standards.

Question from audience member: Can you identify who "stakeholders" are?

Pew: Stakeholders are students, parents, teachers, administrators, business, and community

Follow up from audience member: I'm a parent and I was not consulted about common core, I don't know anyone in the community who was consulted about it either.

Pew: Parents were not on the level of stakeholders we consulted.

CCPC uses the term "stakeholders" a lot. It's become a common term when our public officials are addressing the divvying of money.

Discourage your leaders from using this term. Stakeholders are taxpayers - period. When talking about spending our money - taxpayers should get a public forum MONTHS BEFORE SPENDING and/or a chance at a referendum.

The State is responsible for education. This means, we have all decided equally that we will support education as most as we possibly can - financially and soundly.