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Richland Two school board member speaks after charges, telling board chair during meeting, “I will f--- you up.”

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Published: May. 11, 2022 at 12:41 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2022 at 10:13 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Richland School District Two school board member is being charged after making threats against the board chair during a meeting last month.

The incident happened on April 28 during an executive session of a special board meeting. The focus of that meeting was school security.

Lashonda McFadden turned herself in to Richland County Sheriff’s Department investigators on Wednesday after a warrant was issued for her arrest. She is charged with threatening the life of Public Employee and was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

McFadden gave an official statement to Billie Jean Shaw regarding the situation. She told WIS’s Billie Jean Shaw she will not resign from the board, and plans to still attend board meetings.

Judge Mildred Rita Metts granted McFadden a $1087.50 personal recognizance bond, on the condition that she not have any direct contact with the victim, Board Chair Dr. Teresa Holmes.

As for whether or not McFadden can continue to attend board meetings, Metts said that was not up to her to decide on Wednesday. Metts said she may perform her duties as an elected official, as long as she is not in the room alone with Holmes.

The incident stems from a verbal altercation between McFadden and Holmes.

Several others were present at the meeting, and the threats were audio recorded. WIS obtained a copy of the recording.

The recording shows that McFadden said to Holmes, “I will f--- you up.”

The incident report states that McFadden threatened to meet Holmes outside and beat “beat her mo....fu.....a..”

Board Vice Chair James Manning witnessed the exchange.

“It’s mind-numbing,” he said. “I mean you’re just sitting there thinking, ‘I cannot believe that we are here in a situation where she’s threatening somebody.”

McFadden, who began serving the district in 2020, was standing over the victim when making these threats, according to the incident report. She continued to “make verbal intimidation while walking toward the victim,” the report states.

At that point, another unnamed board member shouted at McFadden to stop.

This follows a string of incidents at Richland Two board meetings in the past year.

In January, an argument between the superintendent, his wife and three other people resulted in an investigation from RCSD. No charges were filed in that instance.

When asked what needs to be done to calm the tensions, Manning said that McFadden should resign from her position.

“The fact that she has exhibited behavior that if it was a student to a staff member, we would expel the student from school,” he said. “They would no longer be in Richland Two schools. She’s making decisions on those very issues with our students. I don’t know how she can continue with any type of integrity to conduct the business of the district as a board member when she in fact is making decisions on the very behavior that she’s exhibited.”

The board had a retreat in February to address these types of issues. Manning said it did not work because some board members did not take it seriously.

“We have some board members who came for a few minutes and left, we have board members that wouldn’t talk,” he said. “And they continue to only espouse negative issues and situations where they somehow feel like they got their feelings hurt or were wronged but did not want to talk about how we move forward. So, when you have board members who want to continue to have high conflict, it doesn’t matter how much training you receive, you’re not going to get any better.”

Holmes declined to comment further on the matter.

WIS reached out to Richland Two for a statement on the incident. The spokesperson said the district does not “have any additional information to share that wasn’t already released by RCSD.”

McFadden has been placed on administrative leave from her position at Prisma.

This is a developing story and WIS will add to it as we get more details.

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