Myers Park HS principal reassigned after investigation into handling of reported rapes, sexual assaults
Former MPHS students question CMS investigation, say they weren’t interviewed about rape reports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Myers Park High School Principal Mark Bosco stepped down as the school’s top administrator Wednesday.
The move was announced to faculty at a brief staff meeting after school and, shortly thereafter, in a message to parents.
According to the message sent to parents, Bosco has been reassigned to an administrative role within CMS.
“Both Mark Bosco and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools believe that after 8-plus years as principal of Myers Park, change in leadership is needed at the school,” the message to parents said.
Bosco was suspended on August 6 -- the same week he returned from medical leave -- as district administrators investigated his handling of reported rapes and sexual assaults at the school.
WBTV began investigating reported sexual violence at the school in 2015 and, more recently, spoke with more women who detailed what happened after they reported being raped or sexually assaulted to both school administrators and police.
In total, WBTV has spoken with six former students who reported sexual violence between 2014 and 2019.
Dr. Maureen Furr, who was named interim principal following Bosco’s suspension in August, will continue in that role until a permanent replacement is named, according to the message sent to parents.
An attorney for Bosco, Sally Higgins, release the following statement:
“After a lengthy and thorough investigation of the facts, CMS finds no basis to conclude that Mark Bosco mishandled or failed to respond to any allegation of sexual misconduct. The issue of school staff’s duties in responding to these difficult situations is an important matter for our community to address, but much of the media coverage in recent months has not been fair to Mark. He of course cannot comment on any specific allegation or reported incident because of his obligations of confidentiality, but he can say that to his knowledge, any situation at Myers Park involving an accusation or evidence of criminal conduct was immediately reported to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, and CMS protocols regarding violations of its Code of Conduct were followed.”
“During his 28-year career as an educator and particularly as principal at Myers Park, Mark has been deeply invested in responding to the needs of students and supporting them in the challenges they face both in and out of school. Mark’s experience in creating and implementing programs and partnerships to address students’ dynamic needs will be invaluable in his new role with CMS administration. Mark says, ‘I look forward to getting back to work with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and welcome this new opportunity.’”
The investigation into Bosco qualifies as a personnel record and is not public. As a result, there is no way to verify whether the investigation found Bosco did not mishandle or fail to respond to any allegation of sexual misconduct. Higgins did not immediate respond to a follow-up question about whether Bosco would consent to the release of the investigation, given the claim in the statement.
Separately, former Myers Park students who reported being raped or sexually assaulted questioned the investigation on Wednesday afternoon. None of the former students contacted by WBTV -- each of whom reported being raped or sexually assaulted to both school administrators and police -- said they were interviewed by CMS as part of the investigation.
“I knew there was this investigation going on and no one ever contacted me in any way,” Nikki Wombwell, who reported being raped by a fellow student in the woods behind the school in 2014 said.
“But I was never interviewed. My parents were never interviewed as far as I know. None of the survivors were interviewed and I’m in contact with quite a few of them, so for them to think that they can come to a conclusion that he did nothing wrong without speaking to a majority of the parties,” Wombwell said.
“That’s not an unbiased investigation. That’s not a thorough investigation. That would be like having a criminal investigation and only ever talking to the defendant, it’s ridiculous. It’s insulting.”
A CMS spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why none of the former female students were interviewed for the investigation.
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