Pineville Elementary Interim Leaders Named While CMS And Police Investigate Alleged Sexual Assault of 8 Year Old

The Latest:

CMS has selected interim leaders to replace top school officials at Pineville Elementary School following recent suspensions.

Tracey Hayes, the executive director at the Southeastern Learning Community, will serve as interim principal. CMS says Hayes been a principal at Bain, Lake Wylie and Nations Ford Elementaries. She has also held several other positions within CMS that include literacy facilitator, teacher, summer counselor and ASEP associate.

Earl R. French II will serve as assistant principal, according to CMS. French most recently served as assistant principal at Lake Wylie Elementary, officials say, but has served CMS since 2008 as a teacher, high school academic facilitator and dean of students.

Update (11/8/18):

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Friday that Pineville Elementary School’s principal, Brian Doerer, and assistant principal, Kathryn Trotter, have been suspended with pay pending an investigation into a girl who was reportedly sexually assaulted by two fellow classmates on campus.

CMS says Southwest Learning Community Superintendent Dr. Steve Esposito will lead the school until an interim principal can be appointed.

Original Story (11/8/18):

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The exhaustion and stress is easy to read on mom Candace Brazzle. She says her eight-year-old daughter was pulled down to the ground, held down, and then groped by two classmates on a playground at Pineville Elementary School Wednesday.

One boy, Brazzle says, touched the girl’s crotch. The other, tried to pull her pants off. Brazzle’s daughter got away, and told a teacher. She says, “They (the kids) all went to lunch together, after the incident,” and “After lunch, the other boys were sent back to class,” and “She was held in the office after lunch, until they called me.”

More than three hours passed, before Pineville Elementary School officials contacted Brazzle, she says. She says she immediately drove to the school, and called Pineville Police to ask them to meet her there. When she arrived, Brazzle says she didn’t like Principal Brian Doerer’s cavalier attitude. She says he continued to small talk with another employee before acknowledging her. “‘Oh, okay, you must be Ms. Brazzle.’ Yeah, we’ve been coming here for three years, I’m Ms. Brazzle.”

Brazzle says she asked Doerer if the school confirmed the assault against her daughter did in fact take place. She says he told her, “‘Our resources have confirmed that it was true.’ And I said, ‘Well what are your resources?’ (He said)’Well, I can’t give you that information.'”

Brazzle says her daughter told her a school security camera aimed at the playground did capture the incident on video, and that the eight-year-old watched the video with Principal Doerer and a school counselor.

CMS tells WCCB, in part: “CMS is investigating the report and will respond in accordance with any findings.”

The Pineville Police report currently classifies this incident as “simple assault,” but they tell WCCB “this incident could likely be changed…to sexual battery once our investigation reaches the final stages.”

Brazzle credits public pressure for making CMS, and the principal, respond. “He (was) just blow(ing) it off, like, everything was, this is normal. Sweep it under the rug. It’s just unacceptable.”

Pineville Police are also in contact with the juvenile sexual assault team at the Mecklenburg County’s office. Brazzle says she will not send her daughter back to school at Pineville. She says one of CMS’ community superintendents told her Thursday that there are no guarantees her transfer request will be approved.