CHARLOTTE, N.C. – In the wake of Confederate protests in North Carolina and Charlottesville, Virginia, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox is addressing the possibility of racial tensions in schools.
Dr. Wilcox released a statement Tuesday, calling the situations playing out across the country as “some of the saddest days in our nation’s recent history.”
In the letter, Wilcox went on to say, “I stand firm in my resolve to address hateful behaviors or speech, or racism in any form, in our schools. Team CMS will stand up for and protect each and every child in our care and I hope you will stand with us in the days ahead.”
"The events in Charlottesville, Va., have been particularly unsettling and have raised a national conversation that must be addressed. The racism and violence must be condemned in the strongest terms. As the new superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, I have struggled to find the right words to speak to some of the saddest days in our nation's recent history.
As we approach the opening of school, I want you to know that as your superintendent I will not and do not tolerate hateful words or actions, bigotry or any form of racist behavior in our classrooms, schools or on our grounds. There simply is no place for it. We have to be -- and we are -- better than that. Our work is educating our students, building a stronger and more vibrant community, building understanding and acting with a sense of positive energy focused on the future of our young people.
Our children and young people are watching and listening to all of those around them -- school leaders, teachers, parents, caregivers and elected officials -- to see how we react to these events. My colleagues and the entire CMS team have been working hard all summer to ensure that students return to a welcoming, safe environment and that our teachers have resources to provide great classroom instruction and address difficult issues affecting our students and our classrooms.
As you have discussions at home and in school in the days ahead, I would like to share some resources from the National Association of School Psychologists that our staff members will use to guide their work:
As our students return to school on Aug. 28, all of us who are privileged to serve your families and children will follow the guidelines set forth in our policies and regulations on teaching and addressing difficult issues. We will remain sensitive to the diverse makeup of classrooms. We will respect age appropriateness and family values and the role of parents and guardians as children's first and best teachers. We certainly will recognize that individual students' exposure to hateful words and actions may vary widely and we do not want to create an issue where none exists.
However, I also want you and your children to know that I stand firm in my resolve to address hateful behaviors or speech, or racism in any form, in our schools. Team CMS will stand up for and protect each and every child in our care and I hope you will stand with us in the days ahead.
Thank you for your ongoing support in ensuring that our students feel safe, respected and protected in their time with us each and every day.
Clayton M. Wilcox
Clayton M. Wilcox, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools"