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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

North Carolina charter school lifts club suspension after LGBTQ group complaints

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 11:33 AM

A western North Carolina charter school has lifted its temporary ban on clubs after some parents called for it to bar an LGBTQ support group last month.  Leaders at the Lake Lure Classical Academy, a K-12 school in Rutherford County, responded to a strong warning letter from the ACLU of N.C. by voting Monday night to resume student-led clubs, although a new policy will require parental consent for children to join clubs at the K-8 level.  The academy was heeding the complaints of some parents when they temporarily suspended clubs last month.  But as the ACLU and the Indy...

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Monday, November 30, 2015

North Carolina charter school, following complaints over LGBTQ club, to consider school club policy today

Posted By on Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 12:29 PM

It should be noted anti-LGBTQ activists have tried this before. It doesn't work. A group of parents who fear the consequences of allowing gay-friendly clubs in their schools have called on the leaders of a western North Carolina charter school, Lake Lure Classical Academy, to shut down a support club for LGBTQ students.  This month, following complaints from some in the Rutherford County town of Lake Lure, leaders at the public charter temporarily suspended all clubs while they considered their options, The Daily Courier in nearby Forest City reported. Today, members of the school's board of directors will hold...

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Monday, September 21, 2015

With the election looming, Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town shuns incumbents in its endorsements

Posted By on Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 4:06 PM

No big surprises today, as the Chapel Hill Alliance for a Livable Town, better known as CHALT, announced its formal endorsements in the town's races this fall.  The grassroots group, which has hinged its platform on criticism of the Town Council and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, endorsed a spate of challengers for the November election, shunning incumbents altogether.  The organization chose Pam Hemminger, a former county commissioner and school board member, in the race for mayor. Hemminger is running against Kleinschmidt and challenger Gary Kahn, who the Indy profiled this month, for the mayor's seat. CHALT has focused its outreach on...

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Friday, July 10, 2015

National LGBT group to release report on states' anti-bullying policies

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 at 12:39 PM

Creative Commons LicenseThis probably won't be kind to North Carolina. The national nonprofit, Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), is expected to release a report Wednesday that will review the anti-bullying policies of more than 13,000 school districts across the country, including districts in North Carolina. The report, "From Statehouse to Schoolhouse: Anti-Bullying Policy Efforts in U.S. States and School Districts," will examine whether states' anti-bullying rules are implemented at the local level, and whether educators are being trained to handle the issue in the classroom. The study will also determine whether the efforts are having an impact on...

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Carrboro's PACE Academy to protest state's decision to revoke charter

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2015 at 2:43 PM

Creative Commons LicenseParents, staff and students at a troubled Carrboro charter school say they plan next week to protest the N.C. State Board of Education's decision to revoke its charter. In a statement Friday, school leaders at PACE Academy said the state board is "relying on faulty and unreliable reports" from its finance officers in recommending closure for the school this year, which has been battling to stave off charter revocation since 2013. Parents, staff, parents and community leaders will assemble to protest in front of the State Board of Education building—located at 301 N. Wilmington St. in Raleigh—at 10...

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chapel Hill library to hold public forum on gay children's book

Posted By on Wed, Jul 1, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Photo by Alex BoernerFormer Orange County teacher Omar Currie resigned last month after reading a gay children's book in class.While Orange County Schools squirmed over third-grade teacher Omar Currie's reading of the gay children's book "King & King," the Chapel Hill Public Library saw a spike in the number of checkouts and holds placed on the controversial Dutch fable. Fittingly, library leaders say, they will hold a public forum on the book next week, part of a new event called "Between the Lines," in which local leaders and residents gather at the library to discuss hot topics in the news....

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tonight's review of gay children's book in Orange County Schools canceled

Posted By on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Tonight's Orange County Schools review of the gay children's book "King & King" has been canceled after parents withdrew their district appeals complaining about the book. The parents' decision comes three days after third-grade teacher Omar Currie, who read the book in his classroom at Efland-Cheeks Elementary in late April, stepped down, along with the assistant principal, Meg Goodhand, who loaned him the book. Orange County Schools officials said the review of the book is now concluded. A committee at the school level has already voted twice to allow the book in the school, following three separate complaints from...

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Teacher, assistant principal at Orange County school step down over gay fairy tale controversy

Posted By on Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 2:54 PM

Photo by Alex BoernerEfland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar Currie has resigned.A teacher and an assistant principal at Orange County's Efland-Cheeks Elementary have stepped down following the backlash over the teacher's reading of a gay children's book in the classroom. Third-grade teacher Omar Currie and Assistant Principal Meg Goodhand confirmed their resignation to the Indy Monday. Currie sparked an uproar this spring when he read the book, "King & King," to his class following a bullying incident. The book, which was given to Currie by Goodhand, tells the story of a fictional prince who defies the pressure to marry a princess...

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Updated: State votes to revoke charter for Raleigh's Dynamic Community school

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Creative Commons LicenseCiting an "erosion of trust" and "numerous concerns," including concerns for children's safety, the N.C. State Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to revoke the charter of Dynamic Community Charter, a Wake County school that serves only children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The state board followed the recommendation of a smaller panel of board representatives who heard Dynamic's appeal to remain open. Board members initially voted to begin the revocation process in March, pointing to the school's financial troubles, academic irregularities and improper teacher certification. On Thursday, state staff said they appeared close to resolution with the...

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Orange County Schools to convene committee on gay fairy tale read in class

Posted By on Tue, Jun 2, 2015 at 1:05 PM

Photo by Alex BoernerEfland-Cheeks Elementary third-grade teacher Omar CurrieThe fight over a teacher's decision to read a gay-themed children's book in an Orange County Schools classroom continues. Orange County Schools Interim Superintendent Pam Jones will appoint a system committee to review the book, "King & King." This is the next step in the process, the system said Tuesday afternoon, after parents appealed a school committee's decision last month to allow the book. A handful of parents were upset after third-grade teacher Omar Currie read the book at Efland-Cheeks Elementary in western Orange County in April. Currie, who is openly gay,...

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Friday, March 6, 2015

N.C. schools report "record low" dropout rates

Posted By on Fri, Mar 6, 2015 at 4:20 PM

Good news out of North Carolina's public schools. The N.C. Department of Public Instruction reports "record low" dropout rates in state schools in the 2013-2014 school year. Read about it in detail here and find copies of the reports here. Last school year, 2.28 percent of high school students dropped out of school. That marks a decrease from the previous year's record low, which was 2.45 percent. “This is a day for celebration as North Carolina has seen another record low dropout rate and two school districts report no dropouts,” State Superintendent June Atkinson said in a statement. “This could...

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Following GSA controversy, A.L. Stanback Middle School names interim principal

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

Orange County Schools has chosen former Wake County principal Jan Hargrove to serve as interim principal at A.L. Stanback Middle School. The Indy reported last month that the school's current principal, Gloria Jones, is stepping down following complaints from parents and staff who accused her of blocking the formation of a school Gay-Straight Alliance for more than two years. Jones will remain as the school's administrator through November. She did not say why she is resigning, but members of the system's Board of Education publicly criticized the principal for her handling of the LGBT support group this year. The club,...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Investigation pins UNC-CH academic scandal on a pair of academic administrators

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Coaches, academic advisers, administrators in the university's African and Afro-American Studies Department and the university itself are all the culprits in a long-awaited report released Wednesday into UNC-Chapel Hill's ongoing academic scandal. The 136-page report from former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein delves deeper than any previous probe into the scandal, which unfolded after the NCAA began looking into benefits received by former football players in 2010 and expanded to include many other sports at the university. The report primarily points the finger at former department director Julius Nyang’oro and a manager, Deborah Crowder, for offering hundreds of irregular classes between...

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Friday, June 20, 2014

Chapel Hill High graffiti artists troll principal

Posted By on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Graffiti trolling Principal Jackson at Chapel Hill High this month.Behold: Graffiti artists with an apparent, albeit spotty, grasp of ethics. An Indy reader sent us this photo, taken at Chapel Hill High School earlier this month. It appears to be a prank trolling Principal Sulura Jackson, who was accused by teachers last year of failing to cite her sources in numerous letters and writings. Although it's cut off in the photo, the pranksters wrote "cite this" before directing Jackson to Easybib, a free, online bibliography generator. They also took the time to misspell Jackson's first name and write the word...

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Chapel Hill High principal addresses plagiarism allegations

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Embattled Chapel Hill High School Principal Sulura Jackson addressed the allegations of plagiarism in a recorded phone message this weekend, apologizing for the distraction caused by the controversy and pledging proper citation in the future. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesman Jeff Nash confirmed Monday that parents and staff at the Chapel Hill school received the message Friday night. Jackson is accused of plagiarism in school memos and letters both before and after her arrival in Chapel Hill this summer. “Although I was saddened to hear it through the newspaper, I have heard the requests of this staff and community and,...

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

More evidence of Chapel Hill High plagiarism?

Posted By on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

The future for Chapel Hill High School Principal Sulura Jackson is unclear at the moment, following this week's plagiarism allegations. The allegations, as well as the evidence, are covered in detail in this week's Indy. Read it online here. Members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education were already scheduled to meet tonight at the Lincoln Center in Chapel Hill. The board's agenda says members will discuss a personnel matter in closed session starting at 6 p.m. The public portion of the meeting begins at 7 p.m. School administrators have defended Jackson, lauding her for attempts to increase...

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Redistricting begins again in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools

Posted By on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Expect redistricting drama to begin anew in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools tonight. The school system's Board of Education will take on the subject of Glenwood Elementary overcrowding during tonight's meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Smith Middle School auditorium on Seawell School Road. Read the agenda here. School officials say Chapel Hill's Glenwood Elementary, home of an expanding Mandarin Dual Language program, is already 90 students above its capacity. That number will grow to 155 in 2014-2015 as the school's dual language and non-dual language programs continue to swell. The popular dual language program allows students to receive instruction...

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Orange County races over

Posted By on Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Incumbents coasted and a few plucky newcomers were winners in last night's elections in Orange County. In the race for four seats on the Chapel Hill Town Council, the clear winners were current Mayor Pro Tem Ed Harrison, Councilwoman Sally Greene and two challengers in local pastor Maria Palmer and Duke University pathologist George Cianciolo. In Carrboro, the three incumbents—Jacquelyn Gist, Randee Haven-O'Donnell and Sammy Slade—were the victors. In Hillsborough, Jenn Weaver and Kathleen Ferguson won seats on the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners. And in the race for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education, information technology specialist Andrew...

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

UNC advisory board eyes university curriculum

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 7:00 AM

A plus-sized UNC advisory board—beset with controversy before the first gavel—convened for the first time Wednesday, mulling over the state universities' curriculum and changing demographics. The UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, which includes 31 leaders in education, business and politics, is expected to consider the future of the state's 17 public universities, but its makeup garnered more headlines than its actual charge before Wednesday's session. Critics are fired up over a handful of appointments, including the selection of publicly right-tilting businessmen like Art Pope and Fred Eshelman. UNC Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hans and UNC President Tom Ross...

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Friday, September 21, 2012

UNC-CH employees call on chancellor to stay

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Chancellor Holden Thorp—beset by academic and athletic scandal in his short tenure at UNC-Chapel Hill—seems to at least have a chunk of the university's employees in his corner. The school's Employee Forum, a group representing university staff, is holding a "peaceful" rally supporting the troubled chancellor this morning in front of South Building, the school's administrative HQ. Thorp announced Monday that he would step down from his post at the close of the 2012-13 academic year after two years of an athletic scandal that began with the school's football program and expanded into the academic sphere. In a statement Tuesday,...

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Monday, September 17, 2012

UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp to resign

Posted By on Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Embattled UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp is on the way out. WRAL reported Monday morning that Thorp will step down at the close of the 2012-13 academic year, ending a watch that has been plagued by allegations of academic improprieties, primarily associated with the school's football program. The school confirmed the news in a press release later Monday morning. This comes after Thorp met privately Friday with the UNC Board of Governors, the panel in charge of the state's public universities. The release said Thorp on Sunday told UNC President Tom Ross of his plans to resign. "I will always...

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Lee charter school unlikely to open this year, applies for 2013

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

The Howard and Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School is a long shot to open in August. Its founders are struggling to find a suitable temporary location for the school as they navigating the zoning approval process for a permanent site. Amid opposition from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board and the local NAACP, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved fast-track status for the Lee School in February, clearing the way for the group to open later this year. But now, as a backup plan, they say, the school’s brass has submitted a request to the state to open...

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Raleigh charter school applicant arrested for missing traffic court date

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Wake County City/ County Bureau of IdentificationKenan Gundogdu An N.C. State University professor who wants to start a new charter school in Raleigh was arrested earlier this month for failing to appear in court on earlier charges. Kenan Gundogdu, 34, has applied to start the Triangle Math and Science Academy, which would be a spinoff of the Triad Math and Science Academy in Greensboro. The physics professor serves on the Greensboro school's board. According to court records, a Raleigh police officer cited Gundogdu on Dec. 3, 2011, for driving without insurance and for driving with a canceled, revoked or suspended...

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Number of dropouts declines statewide and in Wake, Durham, Orange

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction released reports today on school discipline and high school dropouts. The rate of dropouts decreased statewide and in Durham, Orange, Wake and Chatham counties. The rate increased slightly in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools. Statewide, the numbers of suspensions and expulsions of students decreased, as well, according to a statement from N.C. DPI....

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Durham County to levy 1/4-cent sales tax in April

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 4:02 PM

With the approval of almost 57 percent of voters, Durham County Commissioners officially adopted a resolution Monday night to begin collecting a new quarter-cent sales tax on April 1, 2012. The tax will apply to the sales of goods, but not food, medicine, housing, gas or utilities. Voters approved the tax, which will benefit public education in Durham County, through the Nov. 8 ballot. That ballot also included a new half-cent tax for mass transit, which voters also approved by 60 percent. But the transit sales tax won't be levied until Durham leaders see whether leaders and residents in Wake...

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