CMS urges dialogue concerning fatal police shooting of Keith Lam - | WBTV Charlotte

CMS urges dialogue concerning fatal police shooting of Keith Lamont

Protesters at the scene of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott Tuesday night. (Alex Giles | WBTV) Protesters at the scene of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Keith Lamont Scott Tuesday night. (Alex Giles | WBTV)
(WBTV/File) (WBTV/File)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) Superintendent Ann Clark sent a memo to principals Wednesday regarding the fatal officer-involved shooting involving CMPD Officer Brentley Vinson and Keith Lamont Scott, who was killed in the incident. 

Clark wants to keep the peace in the classrooms during a difficult time for the city.

On Tuesday police said Scott had a gun and refused to obey officer's commands. Police said witnesses heard the commands. They said Scott didn't comply and was shot. 

Some in the community believe Scott was wrongfully killed. They claim excessive force was used.

While the debate continues, Charlotte's top educator wants principals and teachers to use the shooting as a teaching moment. The memo, sent Wednesday, instructs teachers to expect strong emotions from students, and to find ways to encourage dialogue between students and staff about the shooting. 

The superintendent also told teachers if students walk out to protest, not to physically block them. They are asked to call CMS police if that happens.

Students also reacted to the shooting and the violent protests that followed.

"It was kind of shocking," student Frederick Grier said. "It happened in my home city."

Trevor Beauford, a community activist, spent part of his day Wednesday talking to students about their thoughts on the shooting. 

"They felt tense," Beauford said. "And students were trying to wrestle with the hard questions."

According to sources, Scott has children who attend a couple of CMS schools. Students attending those schools might be angry their classmate's father was shot and killed by police.

"When you face situations in life that create rage for you, you direct that energy in a positive way," Beauford said.

Dr. Angela Hargrow agrees. She has been a family psychologist for 20 years. She said young people have a lot to process with all the shootings involving police officers and African American men. She thinks young people are the ones to help change things.

"We have to be different," Hargrow said. "We have to stop this, by how we treat each other [and] how we talk to each other."

The superintendent told school officials to monitor students for the next few weeks to see if they still have strong emotions concerning the shooting. Clark also sent a Connect Ed call to parents stating that extra resources would be available for students who had safety or emotional concerns.

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