Butler High School Designates June 10th As Make-Up Day

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Outrage and frustration as families learn Butler students have to makeup a school day they missed after a deadly shooting on campus.  The district says it had no choice because of state law.

Butler High School junior Gabriella Hernandez says the pain is still raw. After police say 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie shot and killed fellow classmate, Bobby McKeithen, in a packed hallway before the first bell on October 29th.

The district closed Butler the next day so students could heal. Now, students have to makeup that day on June 10th.

“It’s not fair for us to make up a day. There’s no point actually,” says Hernandez.

North Carolina law requires a minimum number of instructional hours for students within a school year. Schools have to meet the requirement for students to graduate or move to the the next grade.

School Board chair Mary McCray says the board found out about this last week.

“Superintendent only has the authority to grant four days and he had gotten to the four days, so the board could not allow any more,” says McCray.

The district considered asking the legislature to waive the day, but couldn’t make that happen.  State Representative Kelly Alexander says Raleigh needs to make a change.

“Until we grant flexibility to local jurisdictions to be able to make adjustments within that overall mandate, we’re going to run into things like this all the time,” says Rep. Alexander.

Original:

Monday, June 10th, has been designated as a make-up day for Butler High School, which cancelled classes after a tragic shooting on campus, in October of last year, that left one student dead.

Principal John Legrand shared the following message with Butler High School families:

This is Principal John Legrand calling with important information about our schedule here at Butler. I want to relay share this information point by point for our understanding.

  • As you know, we began healing after tragedy struck our campus with a day away from classes at school.
  • This was absolutely the right decision for all of us.
  • Our reality now is that, by law, North Carolina requires a minimum number of instructional hours for our students within a school year.
  • We must meet this minimum requirement to ensure our students graduate or move on to higher grade levels next year.
  • In order for our Butler community to meet these requirements, we must offer instructional time between now and the end of the school year to make 100% certain our graduates and students here meet all requirements.
  • The last things g anyone wants is for there to be any doubt that our graduates and those moving up next year have met legally required instructional time.
  • To do this, we will offer a special day of educational programs and designate a test make-up day on Monday, June 10.
  • Here are some facts and options considered:
  • CMS has waived all make-up days available within North Carolina statute for this school year.
  • Our options to make up the required time included:
    • Option 1 – Seeking a special waiver from the North Carolina legislature. As a district, we were unable to obtain an additional waived day.
    • Option 2 – Adding 15 minutes to each day. This option was ruled out due to challenges for transportation, meals and other logistics.
    • Option 3 – Offering a special day of educational programs during a test make-up day on Monday, June 10. For students who choose to participate in this offered instruction, our focus will be on peer support training, mental health and community building.

 To review, Monday, June 10 will serve as a day for make-up testing and the offering of special programs for our students here at Butler.

 This year has been challenging for our community and we remain Butler strong. We have all worked hard to bring light out of a dark time. Our community and those around us have been #butlerstrong with us and I know we will close this year stronger than ever.

 Thank you for your support of our Butler High School community.

Jatwan Cuffie, 16, has been charged with Second-Degree Murder in the shooting death of 16-year-old Bobby McKeithen, during a fight in the hallway of Butler High School, on the morning of October 29th.