Mecklenburg County Public Schools is committed to the safety and social-emotional well-being of all students and employees. We know that in order to learn, students must feel safe, respected, and cared for. We also understand that all who attend our schools must put aside their own bias or prejudice toward others who are not like them or who do not believe as they do in order to avoid name-calling, bullying, fighting, and other unhealthy conflicts.
We are thrilled to be back in school in person, to see our students, and to interact again in learning. During our time away, we may have forgotten how to treat one another at school. We may have forgotten that a school is a safe place where we can put aside differences, accept one another, unite under the banner of school pride, and learn together as we prepare for future success beyond graduation.
Due to a number of factors, we’ve recently seen an increase in inappropriate student behavior toward each other or groups. Incidents seem to grow and ripen as students text and use social media almost constantly. We must work together to stop these behaviors.
Effective Friday, November 19, no student cell phones or electronic devices should be visible or used at any time on school property or on campus without explicit immediate permission from a teacher or administrator. Students may not send or receive calls, texts, or access their devices during their time on the school campus. Effective Monday, November 22, any cell phone or electronic device visible at school will be confiscated and the parent/guardian will need to come to school and retrieve the device. Care will be taken in confiscation, tagging, and storing the device, but the school is not liable for lost, stolen, or damaged devices. Parents will receive a call notifying them of the confiscation and be given a time slot to pick up the device from the school.
We cannot have our students vaping or using drugs in our schools. Too many students have been seriously harmed by vaping and we cannot allow this to happen to more students. While some recreational drugs are legal for adults in certain circumstances, no drugs in any form are allowed at school either in possession or in use. In the next few days, MCPS will also begin to search students, in accordance with our policy, as we seek to prevent vaping and drug use.
In addition to our cell phone changes and searches, MCPS will implement a zero-tolerance stance on student fighting, bullying, and vaping/drug possession or use. Students who fight, who bully others through words or actions, or who bring drugs to school or use them at school, including vaping, will be suspended from school for ten days and appear before a disciplinary panel.
Our focus must be on student learning – but we also must create and continually maintain a safe space for learning. To ensure the proper learning environment, we are increasing our efforts to help our young adults interact with each other in kindness and respect, but we cannot tolerate bullying, fighting, hateful behavior, or drug use.
We appreciate our partnership with you, parents and guardians, as we work together to instill both academic knowledge and the interpersonal skills necessary for success. We do not want to see an increase in suspensions or exclusions – and we don’t have to. We know many of our students are addicted to devices and even drugs – so this will not be easy. With your help and support, we can change behaviors and come together as one Mecklenburg.
Mrs. Stephanie Neal, Principal