CMS leaders respond after receiving racist messages, emails

CMS leaders respond after receiving racist messages, emails

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools leaders responded after some school officials received racist and threatening messages and emails this week.

Moments after a CMS School Board meeting wrapped up Tuesday night, school board chair Mary McCray took a moment to address threatening and racial emails she says she’s specifically received.

She says she has received these emails since the board announced their selection of Earnest Winston for the superintendent position.

McCray condemned the hateful words of two separate people who she says sent her emails specifically questioning the board’s recent choice of hiring Winston.

“It’s past time for us to start speaking out against people that taunt and name call behind a computer screen and a keyboard. Never before with the hiring of several other superintendents while being on this board have I received such racist criticism from people as I have now," McCray said.

McCray says hateful speech will not be tolerated and the board stands by their selection and appointment of Superintendent Earnest Winston.

On Wednesday, sources with CMS police said they were able to identify a person who sent a racist message on the CMS “Let’s Talk” message portal Wednesday morning.

The message read:

“HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT MIGHT? [sic] Do you REALLY think you deserve to be Superintendent of Schools? Can you HONESTLY say you are not a RACIST BIGOT? Just remember Winston, karma is a “one-eyed [expletive]” and I hope she comes for you in the very near future. One last thing: [racial slur repeated three times]."

Officials say they went to the person’s home, knocked on the door and spoke with the person. CMS police officials say this person immediately admitted that they were the one who sent the message and felt like this was within their right to do so.

Officials say the person has not committed any criminal offense, but was told that any emails or message in the future that rise to the level of a criminal offense would be pursued with criminal charges.

Charles Jeter, CMS Government Relations Coordinator, spoke to WBTV in a phone interview Wednesday evening.

“It’s hard to read. You look at the way (the author) closes that communication and it’s vile. It’s the hatred of it,” said Jeter.

He said he has no problem making these hateful messages public, so the community can see who is saying such things.

“If he’s that proud of saying those things, I think we outta make him famous. Let him tell his community that this is what he believes,” elaborated Jeter.

CMS officials provided a statement in response to the message received Wednesday morning.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools rejects racism, bigotry and intolerance in all forms. Messages, language or statements that seek to divide our community are in direct opposition to CMS values and standards the district seeks to teach students every day. All potential threats are investigated swiftly by law enforcement and appropriate action taken to ensure safety and uphold the protections of applicable federal, state and local laws and Board policies.
Tracy Russ, Chief Communications Officer with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.