1 CMS Board Member Breaks Silence After Protests About Reported Sex Assaults At Myers Park High School

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Dozens of people marched Tuesday, demanding that Myers Park High School leaders, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg School leaders, listen to victims of on campus sex assault. “Our purpose is to get the word out there about these cases,” says Grace Morton, a Myers Park High School student. “We’re tired of seeing the administrators continuously cover these cases up,” adds Myers Park High School student Aiden Finnell.

And cases appear to be piling up. From Nikki Wombwell, who says she was raped by another student in the woods on the high school’s campus, and says, “What happened to me was not an isolated incident. It’s the symptom of a system that constantly seeks to put its own reputation ahead of the well being of its students,” to Serena Evans, who recounted her experience being raped by a fellow student, “‘I have to do this before I turn 18. This will be our little secret. Do not talk to anyone about this.’ These words were said to me while I was being raped in that gym right there,” to many, many other stories, told to and shared by protest organizers:

“I was advised not to get a rape kit done since the event happened 12 to 15 hours before the report was filed. I was told it wasn’t worth the trouble.”

“Under the pretense of taking me to the woods to show me a cool spot, he (another student) took me off trail and proceeded to sodomize me without my consent.”

“I reported the incident to Officer Leak (school resource officer) who took my details and told me he was not surprised given the rapist’s reputation at Myers Park.”

“You claim to care about your students, but want to punish a girl for being raped.”

“Girls being groped, cat-called, made to feel unsafe, is a daily occurrence.”

Adults were there, too, including one parent, who said this is how Principal Mark Bosco treated her after her daughter’s rape. She says, “I reached out to Bosco dozens of times and he never once, not once, returned my email until seven months later.”

Hours after the protest, a CMS board member finally responded on the record to WCCB’s most recent request for comment. At-Large member Jennifer De La Jara says, “I have been engaging in conversations to ensure that the Title IX reporting practices CMS implemented in 2016 are being followed with fidelity and consistency across the county. I take very seriously the role our district has of providing an educational environment in which all students can thrive free of harassment, assault, and retaliation.”

We checked, and a CMS spokeswoman tells WCCB that Mark Bosco “is currently in the role of principal at Myers Park High School.” Meantime, the protest organizers say they aren’t going away. They tell us they will be at the next school board meeting on July 13.