Richland 2 school board member who was arrested apologizes for threatening colleague

·2 min read

A Richland County school board member who was arrested last week after threatening the board chairwoman apologized Monday and asked for forgiveness from those calling for resignation.

Lashonda McFadden, a school board member in Richland 2, gave a statement to media before a board committee meeting. Her apology addressed Chairwoman Teresa Holmes, the district’s parents and students and her church community.

McFadden’s apology comes less than a week after she was arrested for threatening to physically beat Holmes during a closed meeting April 28 to discuss safety and security within the district.

“I will f—- you up,” McFadden told Holmes during that meeting, according to audio obtained by The State. She then added after a back-and-forth, “If you think you’re going to continue to disrespect me, then I will catch your m-----f------ ass outside.”

Holmes filed a police report against McFadden after that meeting. McFadden was later charged with threatening the life of a public employee. She turned herself in to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center the morning of May 11, according to jail records. She was later released.

Holmes was absent from Monday’s meeting to attend a funeral.

McFadden, who joined the school board in 2020, said she will not resign her position.

Heated exchange

Monday’s committee meeting focused on district policies around safety and security, specifically issues with students bringing firearms to school and with fights erupting at school facilities. It was a similar discussion to what was discussed during the April 28 meeting.

McFadden declined to say what specifically was discussed April 28 that ignited the heated exchange.

Infighting has been common within the Richland 2 school board, which oversees the education of more than 27,000 students. Some past arguments have been personal in nature and laced with profanity.

In December, Richland 2 Superintendent Baron Davis asked for limited communication with McFadden in an email to the entire board because of what he called inappropriate behaviors that included “yelling, screaming and demanding that immediate action be taken on her individual requests.”

Previous school board meetings have erupted into shouting matches among board members. Last fall, three school board members, including McFadden, walked out of a meeting — forcing it to be canceled.

In January, police got involved when Davis confronted a man attending a board meeting who got into a verbal disagreement with Davis’ wife, a Richland 2 teacher. Two members of the public were placed on trespass notice by security and escorted from the building after that incident, according to police records.

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