Carbon Emission Regulations, A Debate Over How Schools Handle Racism, Protests Over Myers Park High Sexual Assault Allegations
We’re smack in the middle of summer, but somehow education news has dominated our airwaves and website recently. Last week, it was news of journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones turning down an offer to teach at UNC Chapel Hill for a job at Howard University. This week, it’s even more local and has kept WFAE’s education reporter Ann Doss Helms busy.
First, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona visited Johnson C. Smith University and a Charlotte-Mecklenburg summer school Monday to talk about reopening schools stronger than they were before the pandemic.
And then at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board meeting Tuesday – the first in-person meeting since the pandemic began – talk turned to how schools deal with racism. Namely, the topic of critical race theory, which has been a hot-button issue for months. Many argued that they weren’t really discussing critical race theory but an honest accounting of history.
"Fear has no place in education," West Mecklenburg High educator Derrick Moore said. "How can we effectively teach our children history if you want that history to be selective? You can’t exclude history because it makes you feel uncomfortable."
As that board meeting went on, others were trying to draw attention to something else: the handling of sexual assault allegations at Myers Park High. Many at that protest called for the resignation of principal Mark Bosco.
As WFAE’s Sarah Delia reported, Bosco didn’t resign, but his contract also was not renewed at the school board meeting. CMS called it an administrative oversight because while Bosco is still employed, he is on leave.
Two officials with the CMS communication department told Delia they did not know the type of leave Bosco is on, when it started, or if there is an end date. An out-of-office email from Bosco said he will be out of office until Aug. 5.
If you haven’t checked out Helms’ education newsletter reflecting on all this news, be sure to sign up here.
In non-education news, WFAE's Catherine Welch reported on how South Carolina is preparing to reinstate a firing squad as a death penalty method and what exactly that entails.
And WFAE’s David Boraks hit the ground running on his new climate beat, reporting on how the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission voted to begin rulemaking that would set limits on carbon emissions from energy plants to address climate change – and then on a Republican-backed energy reform bill that passed the North Carolina House of Representatives early Thursday and is facing opposition from the governor, environmentalists and some businesses. They say the bill doesn’t do enough to address climate change issues.
Finally, race and equity reporter Maria Ramirez Uribe had the story of one Guatemalan woman who is seeking asylum in Charlotte – one of the toughest immigration courts in the nation – and hopes she has a chance because of Biden administration changes to asylum seekers.
And don't forget coming up on Tuesday afternoon is a conversation with NPR foreign correspondents Sylvia Poggioli from Rome, Eleanor Beardsley from Paris and Ruth Sherlock from Beirut. They'll talk about working overseas, how the United States is viewed abroad and more. Sign up here.
ICYMI: MORE LOCAL NEWS
Charlotte Area Transit System's proposed LYNX Silver Line, which will run east to west, will have a stop to serve Charlotte Douglas International Airport. But it will be a mile away on Wilkinson Boulevard.
Evy Leibfarth has been kayaking and canoeing in whitewater for her entire life. Now, the 17-year-old from western North Carolina will paddle in the Tokyo Olympics. The prodigy found her passion and talent in the sport at an early age.
Charlotte’s artist-in-residence program at the Immersive Van Gogh exhibition is triple the size of similar programs staged in other cities for the national touring show.
For most of the summer, county officials and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board battled over the district's plan to end racial disparities in student achievement. On Wednesday, the school board started charting new data and goals.
Zookeepers with the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro say they're expecting a shipment of experimental COVID-19 vaccines specially designed for animals this month, allowing them to start vaccinating some of the animals in their care.
🏙 REBUILDING CHARLOTTE
As the COVID-19 pandemic abates, public bodies across the Charlotte region are resuming in-person meetings. But that raises questions about whether there’s still a role for remote participation by elected officials or members of the public who want to speak.
🙋 FAQ CITY
It's summer, and lots of us are headed to the beach to play in the sand and see the marine wildlife. But some of our listeners say they've seen what they think are coastal creatures right here in Charlotte. Why does the Queen City have seagulls? We have answers in this FAQ City episode from the podcast vault.
As partners in life, love and harmonious country folk music, Charlotte singer-songwriter duo Courtney Lynn and Quinn recount their winding journey to self-acceptance and artistic togetherness in the latest Amplifier podcast.
🗬 COMMENTARY: ON MY MIND WITH TOMMY TOMLINSON
The fight over Nikole Hannah-Jones and tenure at UNC Chapel Hill was a major controversy in North Carolina over the past few weeks — one that drew national attention. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson, in his On My Mind commentary, wonders what it would feel like if you stripped the problem down to its essence.
🎙BEST OF CHARLOTTE TALKS
Last summer was ruined by the COVID-19 pandemic but this summer, with three different vaccines available, we’ve witnessed a return to something resembling normal. But now a new variant of the coronavirus is taking root. We get an update on the delta variant and its impact.