Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools subject of three new federal investigations

U.S. Dept. of Education opened new cases in July
U.S. Dept. of Education opened new cases in July
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:18 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2023 at 6:47 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has opened three new investigations into Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

New details posted on the agency’s website show the three new inquiries were launched in July.

According to the online list of open investigations by OCR, the new cases all deal with violations of Title IX pertaining to sexual violence; once case probing whether the district lacked proper procedural requirements for taking reports of sexual violence; another for whether a student suffered sexual harassment; and the third examining whether a student faced retaliation for reporting sexual violence.

The three new cases are in addition to an investigation that was opened in November 2022, the records show.

WBTV has been investigating CMS’s handling of reported rapes and sexual assaults for years.

Most recently in 2023, WBTV obtained records showing administrators at three schools did not take the required steps in response to reports of sexual assaults on school buses.

Previous: Another Charlotte mom calls WBTV for help after daughter’s reported sex assault

The principal and assistant principal at Turning Point Academy—who, records show, did not complete required paperwork and did not alert police after students reported a classmate being sexually assaulted on a school bus—were suspended and later resigned following a WBTV investigation.

Former superintendent Earnest Winston was fired, in part, for the handling of a case involving a student at Hawthorne Academy who was suspended after she reported being sexually assaulted by a male classmate.

WBTV was first to uncover that case and the case of a second student at Hawthorne Academy who said she was made to sign a nondisclosure agreement after reporting being sexually assaulted.

Related: CMS board chair won’t answer questions about recent sex assault reports

School leaders continue their refusal to address the ongoing issue.

Earlier this year, superintendent Dr. Crystal Hill walked out of an interview when pressed about the district’s handling of a five-year-old girl’s report of being sexually assaulted on a school bus.

Eight out of nine school board members have refused to answer any questions on the issue this year.

Emails to all nine school board members asking for comment on the new OCR investigations went unanswered.

A spokeswoman for CMS initially said the district could not comment for this story.