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Threats made against school board after controversial vote

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By Kay Johnson - email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – A controversial decision to close 10 Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools and now a CMS school board member says she received a threatening letter.

Hers is not alone, there are two other threats -- one made against the school board chairman and another against the entire board, authorities say.

School board member Kaye McGarry is named as the victim in a police report that states she received a threatening letter from an unknown suspect.

Meanwhile, Monday former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory said that he felt the NAACP -- who had many at meetings chanting "No Justice, No Peace!" -- helped fuel the alleged threats.

"This comment ... should be very much discouraged. That's a threat of violence," McCrory told WBT Radio's Morning News. "[The comment of] 'No Justice, No Peace' should not be allowed."

McGarry says she received the typed letter, addressed to her and mailed to her home, Friday. She did not say what specific threats were made and has since handed the letter over to police.

McGarry did say the letter made reference to the Waddell situation, which was one of 10 schools closed in the vote.

"As far as the schools Smith and Waddell and Harding..those questions have been answered," McGarry said during Tuesday's vote. "The facts are out on the table and I feel like we have to go forward, make a decision."

McGarry's threat is the third such threat this week. A few days ago, school board members say they collectively received another threat.

That threat was in the form of an email and said something like "You're going to pay for this." Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are handling that threat.

Another possible threat was aimed at CMS Board Chairman Eric Davis. CMPD is investigating that issue, as well.

The final vote even fueled talks of racism prompting a civil rights complaint since most of the schools slated to close were in minority areas.

School board chair Eric Davis says despite the criticism he wants the focus on fighting to protect funding for all kids.

"We are funding students in schools of high poverty 2 1/2 to 3 times more than other schools. And as a result of that, the achievement gap between African American and white students has closed 10 and 20 points."

It's considered a felony in North Carolina to threaten a public official.

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