Seventh-grade CMS student creates petition, hopes to save school’s world language program

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 10:00 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The battle of school boundaries in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is heating up.

At the center of the battle is a new CMS high school.

The new E.E. Waddell high school plans to open its doors in 2022 as a magnet school. However, CMS doesn’t know what kind of programs it will offer, just yet.

One of the options on the table could mean taking away a staple language program at South Mecklenburg High School. They would move it to Waddell instead.

The plan also means some students at Myers Park would move to South Meck. At Tuesday night’s CMS board meeting, parents in South Charlotte made it clear; they don’t like the ideas.

More than 50 people signed up to talk about those plans at the meeting.

Many were parents, but one was a seventh-grade student at CMS.

“I started a petition on Saturday,” explained student Jacob Barner.

Barner is trying to do what he can to save a program he loves.

The seventh-grader has been learning German since Kindergarten, all through CMS.

He was excited to continue learning German at South Meck High School’s renowned World Language’s Magnet program. But CMS leaders are talking about possibly stripping the world language program from that school.

“I don’t think they should move the world language program from South Meck,” said Barner.

Barner decided to get creative.

He thought about how he could try to convince CMS leaders to keep the language program he adores.

With his parent’s permission, Jacob created an online petition. The signatures on the petition continue to grow.

“By the time I went to bed, I had over 300 signatures. And I really wasn’t expecting that,” said Barner.

Many parents at Tuesday night’s CMS board meeting agree with Jacob, and he too spoke at the meeting.

“Why would you change that? Of all the things that are going on in the world today.. That we are facing with covid and inequality.. Why would you take the one good thing thats going on.. And throw it out?,” asked one parent to the board, about relocating the language program from South Meck.” Barner said

The CMS board isn’t voting on these plans just yet. Many of the CMS board members were opposed to moving forward with the plans.

Tuesday night’s board meeting was just discussion. The district will hold more meetings where people can let them know how they feel before any vote.

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