CMS Staff & Policy Issues
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Last month, a student at North Meck said she was assaulted by two boys on campus. Several months ago, a star football player at butler was caught having an "inappropriate sexual relationship" with a girl on campus. Both situations, classified as "serious criminal acts" under CMS regulation KLG-R, are supposed to be reported immediately to the principal, CMS police and the appropriate law enforcement agency.
But in both instances, sources have confirmed that administrators failed to adhere to the policy. So what gives? Is the policy not clear? Is it not readily available? When we first started researching this story, the CMS PR office wasn't even aware of a policy.
It was school board member and policy committee chair Tom Tate who confirmed a policy does exist. He won't comment specifically on North Meck or Butler because both investigations are ongoing, but says, "It probably is what human nature would tell us: that there will be times when we fail."
Tate says staff and administrators get at least annual training and memos on district policy. "Since Dr. (Peter) Gorman has been here, there have been a number of times that he has reinforced with principals, and with staff in general, that this is so important, it has to be reported."
That's precisely what the president of The Employers Association, Kenny Colbert, prescribes for both small and large organizations, like CMS. "It's very tough to do, but again, that does not ease your obligation and your burden to do that,” says Colbert. He helps companies deal with HR issues and training and says, "These name brand companies that are visible, they have to be on their game or they are certainly open to scrutiny that people like Manny and Moe and the little convenience store mart and these kind of people like this are not going to be open to this type of scrutiny."
Public schools must ultimately adhere to state policy, and recently, North Carolina tweaked its crime reporting regulation. While the spirit of the regulation is unchanged, Tate says the CMS board will probably make the same changes.
We are told by CMS that the interim principal and the assistant principal at North Meck remain suspended with pay. The principal at Butler is suspended without pay. There is no timetable for when - or if - they might return.
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