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Posted: 10:26 p.m. Sunday, May 12, 2013
By Allison Latos
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Some neighbors near West Boulevard told Channel 9 they are furious. The Project L.I.F.T. program, which works with kids in struggling West Charlotte schools, plans to move students from West Charlotte High School to a building off West Boulevard. "We're trying to do something for our kids and they give us someone else's kid," said Brenda Campbell with the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition. "Come on!" Campbell is one of many members angry that in August, students from another school zone at West Charlotte High will reap the benefits of smaller, personalized classes. "If you're going to come to our community, let it be an equal playing field," Campbell said. The academy is designed to help students dealing with issues like bullying, difficulty learning and behavior issues to help them graduate on time. 'These are kids who are highly motivated to graduate and just need a proper setting to do so," said Project L.I.F.T. Superintendent Denise Watts. Watts said creating an academy was the plan before privately-funded Project L.I.F.T. launched at West Charlotte this year. She admits, no one told the coalition. "I have extended an apology," said Watts. "I am publicly apologizing for not doing that." School officials said there will be no more than 70 students in the classrooms and there will be security. Westover Division Capt. Gerald Smith told Channel 9 he didn't know he may have to provide that security until two months ago. "Frustrated is one way to describe it," said Smith. "We're having conversations and meeting to make sure we can scrounge up what we need so the area is safe." That could mean taking one officer off the streets. Watts hopes future talks will smooth out these issues before the academy opens this fall. According to Watts, 30 of the 48 Project L.I.F.T. students will graduate this year. She's hoping a successful academy will help the program grow across the city's west corridor.
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