CMS superintendent addresses mishandled sex assault claims, promises change

CHARLOTTE — After weeks of protests from students and families claiming sexual assault cases were mishandled at Myers Park High School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Earnest Winston spoke to Channel 9 about the changes that will take place in the district.

Last week, Winston announced the creation of a Title IX task force. Title IX is the federal law that prevents discrimination based on gender and is intended to make sure all students are treated equally.

CMS is also launching an awareness campaign to help educate students on how to report Title IX violations.

But some – including former CMS student Nikki Wombell, who sued the school district for not handling her allegations properly – think the emphasis should be on holding staff accountable after misconduct is reported.

Wombwall said when she tried to report what had happened to her to school administrators, she was shamed into silence.

But Winston told Channel 9 anchor Allison Latos that there will be consequences if school staff members do not report complaints.

“If someone, anyone, wants to be neglectful and not report then there will be consequences,” Winton said. “It could be a range of consequences that could potentially lead up to and include termination.”

The principal at Myers Park, Mark Bosco, was eventually suspended with pay.

Winston confirmed Bosco’s suspension but did not say how long it would last. He could not comment on the reason for the suspension, saying that it was a personnel matter.

But the superintendent is promising that students will be heard.

“My expectation is that the task force will bring back to me, by the end of the first academic quarter, a series of recommendations around our procedures and processes,” he said.

He said the task force will be student led and include an outside third party.

(WATCH: CMS launches awareness campaign on how to report Title IX violations)