CMS board calls special closed session to discuss superintendent’s performance

WBTV Investigates: Meeting comes as Earnest Winston is under fire for handling of sexual assault cases
Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 2:01 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board will meet on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the performance of Superintendent Earnest Winston.

Tuesday’s specially called meeting, which will be closed to the public, was first published on the CMS website in mid-November with little details on substance of what the board will discuss.

Multiple people with knowledge of the meeting tell WBTV the board will continue discussions about Winston’s performance.

Previous: After weeks of silence, CMS superintendent responds to Myers Park students’ reports of rape, sexual assault

The board’s regularly scheduled annual performance evaluation of Winston began during a closed session meeting held November 9. That discussion ended after more than two hours, when board members had to begin the scheduled public meeting.

The sources tell WBTV that board members will meet Tuesday and continue their performance review of the superintendent in the wake of more scrutiny over his handling of reported sexual assaults at CMS schools.

Last week, WBTV obtained an email from board chairwoman Elyse Dashew questioning his announcement of a new plan to hire additional staff to handle investigating reports of sexual violence at the district level instead of individual schools.

Related: CMS superintendent: ‘No students have been suspended for reporting sexual assault.’ Documents show otherwise.

Separately, Winston and the district are facing scrutiny from a pair of top Republican senators, who are questioning the district’s handling of a reported sexual assault at Hawthorne Academy High School, where WBTV first uncovered a sophomore student who was suspended after she reported being sexually assaulted.

Two principals -- Mark Bosco at Myers Park High School and Diann Weston at Hawthorne Academy High School -- have been suspended after scrutiny on their handling of reported sexual violence at their respective schools.

Bosco was reassigned to a job at the CMS central office in mid-October after an investigation into his handling of reported rapes and sexual assaults.

Weston, at Hawthorne Academy, and assistant principal Nina Adams, were both suspended on November 9. They remain suspended with pay.

Winston is expected to receive recommendations this week from a task force he formed to evaluate how the district handles reported sexual violence. The task force has operated in secret, with the public shut out from virtually any information about who is on it or what their specific mission was.

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