CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Several African American male principals working in the Charlotte Mecklenburg school (CMS) district claim they are stuck in their positions.
"They have not been promoted," CMS School Board member Joyce Waddell said. "Many of them have been assistant principals 10 -12 years and have been overlooked, so we want to provide opportunities for them."
Waddell wants the school district to look into why this is happening.
"That is something that we are going to monitor very closely," Waddell said. "To make sure that there is ample opportunity - people have to be given the opportunity."
CMS reports out of its roughly 19,000 employees only 44 black males have high positions within CMS. Eight are senior managers, 16 are principals, and 20 are assistant principals. In CMS' top executive staff, there is only one African American male. He is the district's attorney.
Waddell wants more opportunities for black male workers.
"They have to know what's required," Waddell told WBTV. "And they have to be allowed to have that experience - that will allow them to have a top level position."
Lawrance Mayes, Sr. has been with the district for more than 33 years. He is now principal at the Military Global Leadership Academy. He says in the past he has applied for two top level positions he thought he was qualified for. Both times he was denied.
"I'm not sure what the real deal was," Mayes said. "And as I get young on the other side of 50, I think maybe that's what they are looking at - when I look at those individuals who've been placed in leadership positions in terms of age category."
Mayes thinks it makes a difference to see black males in high places in CMS.
"If we don't see black males in those positions," Mayes said. "Only God knows what we are saying to the children - whether they be black, white, polka dot or what the case might be."
Presently CMS has three top level positions open: Chief Accountability Officer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Operating Officer. Mayes hopes a minority male will fill one of those spots.
"I think we ought to look very closely," Mayes said. "To see if we have someone with those skill sets that can make that happen. To say we don't have any black males in position or with the knowledge base to move in those positions - I find that very hard to believe."
Waddell also wants a minority to fill one of the vacancies.
"It maybe that we have to go outside of the system," Waddell said. "But where there is inequity we want to see equity - that is something we are focusing on very strongly this year as positions are being filled."
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