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Myers Park HS principal on leave, contract not renewed

School district says contract was not renewed in error, will be approved later
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 9:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education did not renew the contract of Myers Park High School principal Mark Bosco Tuesday night, amidst a period of previously undisclosed leave.

Bosco’s name was not among a list of 42 school principals whose contracts were renewed as part of an item on the consent agenda, according to a document posted with that consent agenda item online.

The consent agenda consists of items that do not get individual discussion by board members and, instead, are approved among a group of topics.

Bosco’s contract expired on June 30, according to documents previously provided to WBTV by the school district.

In an email early Wednesday morning, hours after this story was first published, schools spokesman Patrick Smith sent a statement from the district’s human resources office that said Bosco’s contract was not renewed because he was on leave.

Previous: More women detail reported rape, assault at Myers Park as school leaders remain silent

“Due to an administrative oversight resulting from Mr. Bosco being designated as on leave in our Human Resources information systems, his file was not identified for inclusion into tonight’s recommendations for approval.”

The statement did not elaborate on Bosco’s leave.

Smith did say Bosco’s contract will be recommended for renewal at the next school board meeting.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Smith responded to a follow-up question from WBTV to clarify that Bosco is still assigned as principal of Myers Park High School. It was not immediately clear who was running the school over the summer in Bosco’s absence.

Bosco’s leave status had not previously been disclosed by CMS, including in response to a request from WBTV for his personnel information.

The information about Bosco’s leave comes after weeks of scrutiny prompted by a WBTV investigation into Bosco’s handling of reported rapes and sexual assaults by female students.

WBTV has spoken with five former Myers Park students who reported being raped or sexually assaulted by fellow students each year between 2014 and 2019.

Bosco was a defendant in one lawsuit brought by a former Myers Park student, Nikki Wombwell, who filed a lawsuit alleging the school and police did not properly handle her reported rape in 2014.

In a deposition as part of that lawsuit, Bosco testified he told Wombwell that she could face punishment if her reported rape was investigated and not substantiated, because she would be held accountable to having sex in the woods adjacent to campus.

Wombwell settled her lawsuit in late April. The school district paid her $50,000.

Previous: CMS lawyer stands by statement Myers Park students weren’t raped, apologizes to school board

Bosco has not responded to previous requests for comment from WBTV but sent a newsletter to parents in May defending the efforts of him and other school administrators to protect Myers Park students.

“Over the past few weeks, there has been information shared through social media, in reaction to a news report about Myers Park High School, focused on safety concerns and school administration response,” Bosco said in the email newsletter.

“Schools are always constrained in commenting on news reports due to the importance of student confidentiality. I do want to emphasize how much I, and the entire staff at Myers Park High School, care about our students.”

Before the school board’s vote on administrator contracts at its meeting Tuesday, board members spent hours hearing public comments.

Previous: Myers Park High School students hold protest after claims of school, district mishandling reports of sexual assault and rape

Among those who addressed the board were current and former Myers Park High School students, who called on board members to take action in response to the findings of WBTV’s investigation.

Wombwell was among those who spoke.

One current student, who said she would be a senior at the school this fall, said she did not feel safe going back to campus.

At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, following the remarks from Wombwell and other current and former students, several board members addressed the calls for reform at Myers Park High School for the first time in more than a month.

“I too want to thank all the young women for their courage tonight. There are a lot of people behind this dais who can relate,” board chairwoman Elyse Dashew said in her closing remarks.

“I do expect in August, the superintendent and I have talked about doing a real deep dive into Title IX in our August meeting.”

Earlier in the afternoon, before the meeting, students organized a protest outside the government center. Roughly thirty students sat in a semi-circle outside the doors to the building, holding signs calling on school leaders to better handle reports of sexual assault and rape on the Myers Park campus.

This story has been updated to include a statement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

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