CMS launches awareness campaign on how to report Title IX violations

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is launching an awareness campaign on how to report Title IX violations.

Title IX is the federal law that prevents discrimination based on gender and is intended to make sure all students are treated equally.

This comes as the district and Myers Park High School leadership face heat over their handling of reported sexual assault cases.

The district said anti-harassment posters will be delivered to all schools. All students will also get a letter detailing how to report sexual misconduct and discrimination.

School-based staff will receive Title IX training from now until Aug. 24.

The district created a centralized system in 2016. Its data shows more than 1,600 reported allegations in the 2018-2019 schools year, almost 1,100 in the 2019-2020 school year and 215 last year.

Last week, Superintendent Earnest Winston announced the creation of a Title IX task force.

Myers Park Principal Mark Bosco, who is currently suspended, has been under fire for his handling of sexual assault reports at the high school. Two former students sued, claiming they were sexually assaulted near the school and officials never did anything.

Now, many are calling for changes.

(WATCH BELOW: Myers Park HS principal suspended after backlash for how school handled sexual assaults)

“It’s absolutely crucial that we create a school environment that supports survivors,” said social worker and psychotherapist Kristen McClure.

She sent a letter to the CMS board signed by 56 other local mental health professionals. In it, they recommend a district-wide plan to ensure every CMS staff member appropriately responds to reports of sexual assault.

Although McClure said the board has not responded, CMS is creating a Title IX Task Force. She said that’s an important first step because survivors can experience flashbacks, anxiety and depression.

“The earlier the experience, the more damaging the effects could be,” McClure told Channel 9. “It’s just endless, the kind of ramifications from trauma.”

The Title IX Task Force will review procedures to make sure schools handle complaints quickly and effectively.

(WATCH BELOW: Mental health professionals recommend districtwide plan for CMS to handle sexual assault reports)