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Charlotte faith leaders say CMS interim superintendent walked out of meeting, superintendent responds

Hattabaugh says the meeting started with a confrontational tone and he decided to leave
School officials say the meeting was held Friday, June 3 with the intention of discussing school performance and strategies to support students.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 11:34 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the African American Faith Alliance say a well-intended joint meeting turned sour.

School officials say the meeting was held Friday, June 3 with the intention of discussing school performance and strategies to support students.

“I met with Commissioner Leake and the African-American Faith Alliance last Friday as a follow-up to a previous meeting. Between my onboarding as interim superintendent, closing out the school year, and managing a challenging budget season, I have not yet had time to meet with many of the community groups that I’d like to. However, I have prioritized time for two meetings in my first month with the AAFA. I anticipated an hour for this particular meeting,” Hattabaugh shared in a statement.

He says the meeting was supposed to be an hour long.

In a statement released on June 9, the interim superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh says the two groups initially met to discuss the district’s plans to reorganize the six learning communities and how churches can partner with CMS to support students and families.

Multiple members of the Faith Alliance tell WBTV that the meeting “went sideways” as their members asked Hattabaugh about his strategies.

The AAFA has held multiple rallies in the past sharing support for CMS families and questioning how CMS has 42 low-performing schools.

Pastor Jordan Boyd is a member of the alliance and spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting.

“The academic decline of CMS continues, but worse than the decline is the apathy and arrogance surrounding the systemic failure between Black and Brown children,” Boyd said.

“Unfortunately, the meeting began with a confrontational tone and was less-than-productive from the start. After an hour-and-a-half of attempting to re-direct back to the agenda, it became clear that the meeting was not going to lead to collaborative solutions for the students we serve, and I left,” Hattabaugh shared in a statement.

Boyd and multiple other members of the Alliance said they will not be discouraged and will continue to find ways to support CMS students and push for more accountability from district leaders.

“As the moderator of the meeting I asked him to stay an additional fifteen minutes at one hour. We are not going away,” Boyd said.

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