Updated: May 9
February 27th, 2022
Update on insurance filing and next steps:
Bond/Insurance Claim Update from Charleston County:
2/14/22: LOI served to Board. Gave 48 hours to comply.
2/18/22: Non compliance triggered filing with BOTH the Traveler's Crime Policy AND the SCSBIT GL Policy
2/22/22: Received denial of coverage from Traveler's Crime Policy saying no crime was committed (debatable!).
2/22/22: Received denial letter from the ATTORNEY'S for the SCSBIT (not the carrier, they just sent to their attorney).
We expected this....kind of...who really knew! This was the FIRST claim in SC! Lexington District 1 received the exact same letters after filing as well.
Next Steps: Another parent in Beaufort County has been guiding me in some laws I was not privy to that may help. SC 38-59-20 addresses improper claims practices. Looks like I may need to get the required form from SCSBIT directly NOT their lawyer...essentially the law states they are required to properly investigate each claim, which we know they did not.....so to keep this short, I'm researching this avenue now with an attorney...will keep everyone posted.
How you can help: What I have learned is the more people that file and get the same response the better! It gives us a better case against the insurance department with the state!
Details on how to file were in the newsletter sent out last week. If you do NOT receive our newsletter please send a DM with your email to Victoria Finneran. She will add you to the list.
If you have been paying attention to all the noise recently, you may know that UPSC and several citizens have filed Letters of Intent to CCSD School Board members for claims against the insurance policies that cover their Surety Bonds. A Surety Bond provides financial guarantees that bondholders, such as public officials, companies, contractors, or unions, will uphold their contracts according to mutual terms.
They were given 48 hours to meet our demand and that 48 hours has come and gone....So what's next?
To date, CCSD has maintained their temporary Policy ADD, which was enacted on August 16th, 2020. This policy is a mask mandate policy that was implemented by the CCSD School Board to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The policy and its procedure will remain in place until it is removed by the board. Therefore, any time cases reach a certain threshold (as determined by DHEC), in the Charleston County area, the mask mandate will be maintained or re-instated.
Effect July 1, 2021, South Carolina General Assembly 124th Session, 2021-2022 Issued H. 4100, General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Ratified Version. In that appropriations bill is Provision 1.108 - (SDE: Mask Mandate Prohibition) No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities. This prohibition extends to the announcement or enforcement of any such policy.
On July 6th, 2021 Superintendent Molly Spear issued this statement surrounding Proviso 1.108.
"1.108. (SDE: Mask Mandate Prohibition): No school district, or any of its schools, may use any funds appropriated or authorized pursuant to this act to require that its students and/or employees wear a facemask at any of its education facilities. This prohibition extends to the announcement or enforcement of any such policy.
The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) interprets the above language to mean that school districts are prohibited from requiring students and employees to wear a facemask while in any of its educational facilities for the 2021-22 school year. Educational facilities include all property owned and operated by the individual district."
On September 28, 2021, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina issued a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of Proviso 1.108. In the case bought before the Court, the Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, who argued that Proviso 1.108 violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title II) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The Court found that Proviso 1.108 discriminated against children with disabilities and ruled that South Carolina cannot enforce budget Proviso 1.108, banning school districts from enforcing a mask mandate. For now, per the ruling, the proviso is blocked by a temporary restraining order. Superintendent Molly Spearman issued this memorandum:
"The immediate effect of the Court’s order is that both the state and local school districts are prohibited from enforcing Proviso 1.108 and school districts now have the discretionary authority to require masks."
The Court ruled that the proviso restricted students with disabilities from accessing educational opportunities that are provided to other students. The ruling places authority on each school districts to decide whether or not they want to mandate masks on their school properties.
Policy ADD was first voted into effect September 14th, 2021 and was implemented September 20th, 2021. It was not until September 28th that the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that Proviso 1.108 cannot enforce budget proviso 1.108 and ban school districts from requiring masks in schools.
According to these dates, between the September 20th enforcement of Policy ADD and the September 28th South Carolina Supreme Court ruling, CCSD school system implemented policy against state law. Specifically, CCSD violated SC Code of Laws SECTION Article 7 SECTION 16-17-420.
If you do not have a child in CCSD school system, this violation of state law by an elected official is a violation of their oath of office. If you are a parent of a child in CCSD, any enforcement of the masks between September 20th and September 28th include acts of lawlessness, coercion, practicing medicine without a license (masks are considered a medical device according to the FDA) , and child endangerment by those enforcing those mandates.
The Charleston County school district and school board policies were in violation of South Carolina law. It was the school boards duty as a member of the school board to uphold state laws and is a direct violation of CCSD's Policy BB Board Legal Status and Job Description. The school board and administrators have enforced face covering in opposition to state, federal, and international law. They have overstepped their authority and abdicated their responsibilities to protect our children. ( SC Code of Laws SECTION Article 7 SECTION 16-17-420).
Today UPSC will be filling claims against every CCSD school board member that voted in favor of implementing Policy ADD against state law. The legislature passed a law, which was upheld by the South Carolina Supreme Court on September 2, 2021, allowing teachers and students to have the option not to wear a mask. The governor has lifted the state of emergency, and school boards do not have the authority to issue a state of emergency at the local level. The courts are still deciding lawsuits, but the policy and legislative intent in the State of South Carolina is clear that schools cannot force or coerce students or teachers to wear masks or be vaccinated against their will.
IF YOU WISH TO HOLD THE CCSD SchoolBoard MEMBERS ACCOUntAble Please Follow the Steps Below:
1) Create a Letter of Intent
For EACH BOARD MEMBER and e-mail them a copy. You can also send them one via certified mail.
Please copy and paste the document into a new sheet before making any changes that support your position or download one of the copies below. You will need to change the portions in red for each letter.
2) File A Claim
For EACH BOARD MEMBER that you delivered a letter of intent to. You will use the SAME policy numbers listed in the example in your letters.
a. Example Letter:
Please copy and paste the document into a new sheet before making any changes that support your position. You will use the SAME policy numbers listed in the example in your letters.
b. Claim Amount -
We are asking each person to file a claim in the amount of One Million Dollars against the insurance policy for each member.
c. List HarmS Committed -
Attach any personal testimony and list any harm, physical or mental, your child/ren may have received regarding mask enforcement. Anyone who filed an affidavit with UPSC during that mask enforcement week can use that information to support to claims. Harm including but not limited to
-Recommendations to wear a mask by ANY teacher
-Removal from a classroom
-Removal from school
-Not supporting learning disabilites
d. Support Claim with any of the following laws and policies:
South Carolina Children’s Code
Title 59 Education
Title 16 Crimes and Offenses
CCSD School Board Policy:
All the policies listed below that could support your claim can be found here - https://boardpolicyonline.com/?b=charles
Policy AC - Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity
Policy AE - Accountability/Commitment to Accomplishment
Policy BA -Board Purpose
Policy BB - Board Legal Status and Job Description
Policy BBA - Board Power and Duties
Policy BCA - Board Member Code of Ethics
Policy BCB - Board Member Conflict of Interest
Policy BE - Board Meetings
Policy CA -Operational Goals/ Policy Objectives
Policy CFA - School Principles/ Building Administrators
Policy IHBHE - Schools of Innovation
Policy KA -School-Parent-Community Relations/Goals/Priority/Objectives
Policy KHC -Distribution Posting of Promotional Materials
Policy KBB - Parents Rights and Responsibilities
Hate Crimes Prevention Act
E. Be sure to address a timeline in the claim
3)Attach Any and all Supporting evidence for your Claim along with the Following Documents
4) Email your claim
to BSIClaims@travelers.com with a brief description.
Comment below on this article or in the UPSC Facebook page that your claim has been sent. Then, subscribe to the website for future updates on our claims. Please reach out with any questions or for clarification.
Thank for continuing this fight with us!