CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The local NAACP chapter wasted no time getting on the new Charlotte Mecklenburg school (CMS) district superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison's calendar.
They met behind closed doors on Tuesday. No media allowed. Members wanted to have an open and candid conversation with the new leader.
We are told members peppered Morrison with questions ranging from his plan to boost academic achievement, his views on diversity and CMS' controversial decision to close several schools in minority communities.
Local NAACP president Rev. Kojo Nantambu said Morrison answered the questions but didn't give definitive answers because he just started the job.
After the meeting the local president said so far so good.
"His policies," Nantambu said. "Philosophy, the way he wants to develop the system is one that is very beneficial for all that's involved."
NAACP members' main question was can they trust the new leader. There have been issues between CMS and the NAACP. The two groups have been at odds over several topics like CMS holding class on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, closing schools to laying off teachers.
Morrison is aware of the past but hopes to begin a new future with the civil rights group.
"I think it's going to be a fantastic relationship," Morrison said. "Because I am always going to listen, always going to consider. Clearly there are going to be times I am going to make decisions people are not going to be happy about, but they are going to understand why I made the decision."
Nantambu had a warning for the new superintendent. He doesn't want Morrison to forget or ignore the concerns of the average citizen who is trying to make the district better.
"I hope he will be a little more open," Nantambu said. "And a little more independent to do the job for the greater community and not just for those who have the greatest amount of power and influence in the community."
People who showed up told WBTV, Morrison is saying all the right things but they are unsure if he can deliver.
Morrison is aware of the pressure to get the job done.
"I never expect anybody's trust," Morrison said. "I have to earn that trust and I always say ,as a school district, people should trust but verify."
While it appears the honeymoon is still going on between the NAACP and Morrison, Nantambu is ready to act, if need be.
"If we see where the situation in our schools is getting worse," Nantambu said. "As opposed to getting better and the communication is not there and the willingness to work with us is not there, of course we are going to protest, going to make our voices heard - that has to be done."
Morrison said his door is always open to talk to the group.
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