Proposed School Closings Incite Protest in Charlotte

Police officers were needed to clear angry protesters out of a Charlotte Mecklenburg School Board meeting on Tuesday night. The protesters were upset by the recommendation that several local schools in low-income neighborhoods be shut down. The list of Charlotte, N.C., school closings includes Amay James Elementary, Irwin Ave Elementary, Lincoln Heights Elementary, Oakhurst Elementary, John Taylor Williams Middle School, Spaugh Middle School and Wilson Middle School.
The crowd chanted, “no justice, no peace” until members of the school board were forced to leave the meeting, reports WBTV. Outside, Rev. Kojo Nantambu, president of the Charlotte chapter of the NAACP, voiced a scathing criticism of the board’s proposal. “All they care about is the upper middle class and wealthy white folk,” he said. “They’re not interested in trying to satisfy poor parents, black parents and minority parents. They don’t do that kind of crap out in the suburbs. Those people can call and say what they want and they’ll get it. These people in the inner city, we have to raise holy hell and fight and we still don’t get it.”
Kaye McGarry, a member of the school board, feels they need to establish better means of spreading information. “I feel sometimes like I’m uninformed and if I’m on the board and I’m uninformed, I think, ‘What do parents feel like?’ ”
The massive reorganization of the district is intended to deal with budget deficit problems and improve academics. A final vote is scheduled for November 9th.
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