Denouncing Personal Attacks, Obscenities and Abuse Toward CHCCS Staff
Dear CHCCS staff, students and families,
The recent publication (“After outbursts, court bans father and son from harassing Chapel Hill superintendent”; News & Observer, June 30, 2023) of a story regarding the ongoing personal attacks of school officials by a student and parent includes a description of the legal response initiated by our superintendent, Dr. Hamlett.
During this past school year, a student and parent conducted a campaign of personal attacks directed at Dr. Hamlett, school leaders and Board of Education members. The attacks were made through social media posts and comments, numerous emails, and verbally at a Board of Education meeting. There was a demonstrated pattern of rudeness, obnoxiousness and ominous language such as: “we are about to find out”, “You are all so morally bankrupt its [sic] disgusting. The ride is just about to begin. Buckle up.” “The time is ticking.”
At a high school graduation ceremony last month, as the student crossed the stage to receive his diploma, he used profane language to insult administrators, and he gestured (by pointing his finger in her face) toward Dr. Hamlett in a threatening way while cursing at her. At the end of the ceremony, the parent came down from the stands and approached the superintendent in a menacing manner. Thankfully, staff members interceded, and no one was harmed. Law enforcement had previously been made aware of the potential threat.
The Board emphatically denounces these and any behaviors which create a hostile environment and negatively impact the safety of our school community. The CHCCS Board has always provided many avenues for parents and students to express their opinions and provide criticism, including periods for public comment at each Board meeting. But the Board will not tolerate personal attacks, obscenities or abuse directed toward our staff. Moving forward, we encourage all staff to report any form of abuse to school and district administration immediately. We will continue to take any reasonable and necessary action to maintain the safety of our superintendent, all staff and students.
The current national climate sometimes seems to be leaning toward divisiveness and anxiety, but there is much goodness happening in the world. We see this locally in the amazing things our students, teachers, staff and administrators are doing.
Dr. Hamlett consistently reminds us to avoid letting adult issues interfere with our work for students. The CHCCS Board of Education continues to be grateful for her thoughtful leadership and her courage throughout this year.
Rani Dasi, Board Chair
On behalf of the CHCCS Board of Education