Home News RICHLAND TWO ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2022
RICHLAND TWO ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2022
UPDATE: The Richland County Sheriff's Department announces that no charges will be filed related to the incident on Tuesday, January 25, 2022.
Media Release - Richland School Board Incident
Columbia, S.C. — Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott announces the criminal investigation into the incident that occurred on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at Richland District 2 located at 763 Fashion Drive is closed.
Richland County deputies were called by a district employee about a verbal altercation that was occurring in the building. When they arrived the altercation was over. Statements were obtained by all parties involved and the case was presented to the Fifth Circuit Solicitors office who determined that no charges would be filed.
Richland School District Two disputes any statement that Superintendent Dr. Baron Davis was the aggressor or instigator in an incident that occurred prior to the school board meeting on January 25, 2022.
The two adults involved, who were escorted from the room and notified that they were being put on trespass notice, have a history of outbursts, disruptive and adversarial behavior at and following school board meetings. One individual also has a documented history of sending emails of a threatening nature to Dr. Davis.
Prior to the beginning of the meeting on Tuesday, one of the individuals approached Mrs. Davis. She firmly declined to engage in conversation. He refused to respect her boundary and continued trying to engage her. Security personnel intervened and directed the individual to a seat. A short time later, the individual continued to try to engage Mrs. Davis. At this time the second individual joined the conversation. Security personnel intervened. The individual who first engaged Mrs. Davis refused several commands by security to take a seat and insisted on continuing to speak with Mrs. Davis. This resulted in the first individual being escorted from the room and informed he would be placed on trespass notice.
Once Dr. Davis became aware that his wife had been harassed, and with the past inappropriate behavior of these individuals in mind, he became concerned for the safety of Mrs. Davis and others in the room. As he checked on her, he observed that she was visibly shaken. Dr. Davis then asked the second individual if he had questions to direct them to him. The individual took a step forward and responded loudly. Security personnel were nearby because of the earlier interaction, and they created a barrier between Dr. Davis and the second individual. At no time did Dr. Davis make any physical or verbal threats toward the individual. Following this, the second individual was escorted from the room and informed he would be put on trespass notice.
Unfortunately, this incident has become a distraction and overshadows the accomplishments of Richland Two teachers and students. Dr. Davis and district leaders recognize and appreciate how diligently teachers, administrators and school staff are working during these unprecedented times and ask that for the community’s continued support of the teaching and learning taking place at Richland Two schools.
Richland Two parents and community members have a right and are encouraged to be active partners, to ask questions and to express their concerns. The district facilitates numerous opportunities for input via surveys, committees, advisory groups, the district website, ombudsman, social media platforms and public participation at school board meetings. However, these conversations must be conducted respectfully and through the appropriate channels. Further, employees nor their families should be subject to emails, comments and encounters of a threatening nature when individuals disagree with a district policy or direction.