CMS school board chair believes superintendent crossed the line

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox could be apologizing to school board members soon.

Wilcox made comments concerning some board members inquiry of dramatic decreases of K-2 suspensions.

Board members wanted more information to prove those numbers weren't too good to be true.

This is what Wilcox said during his superintendent's report in the public meeting.

"I understand that the board wants more data, and we will give you more data," CMS Superintendent Dr. Clayton Wilcox said. "But I also want you to understand that there is a question in my mind right now - to what end - because if I give you data on individual schools and individual grades what will you do with it?"

It appeared Wilcox was admonishing his bosses.

"I also know that you're probably not accustomed to having a superintendent talk to you like this." Wilcox said.

CMS School Board Chairperson Mary McCray believes Wilcox crossed the line with his comments.

"There's a role that the superintendent has to play," McCray said. "And there is also a role the board has to play."

McCray says board members were just doing their job when they requested CMS staff to provide more details in how suspension numbers dropped.

"Board members are never out of line when they are asking for more information," McCray said. "So I see this is something the superintendent is going to have to get accustomed to. Where the numbers look good, I saw nothing wrong with them asking for additional information because sometimes numbers can be deceptive."

The school board chair did speak to Wilcox about his behavior. She says he was remorseful. She also believes Charlotte's top educator shouldn't have gotten defensive when board members questioned staff about suspension numbers.

"I am sorry the superintendent felt like his staff was being beat up on," McCray said. "I didn't see that."

The board chair says she doesn't want this to happen again and believes the superintendent should offer a public apology to board members.

"I would suspect so," McCray said. "Because the crime happened in public, undoing it should happen in public. I don't think he's above that -  he would do it."

No word from the superintendent about his comments.

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