The vulgar message that appeared on the sign outside of South Charlotte Middle School last week has been investigated and found to be the work of vandals.
On October 8th, a reader shared an image with me of the sign that sits in front of South Charlotte Middle School. The sign had been altered to read “Fuck Kavanaugh.”
I tweeted this image to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Twitter account. Tracy Russ, who is the Chief Communications Officer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was operating the CMS account responded about 30 minutes later, calling the image “fake news.”
One of two individuals who had both witnessed and both photographed the sign responded to the CMS Twitter account’s “fake news” claim.
“I guess my son, brother in law and I were hallucinating yesterday morning around 10am then? We pulled in the parking lot and took pictures of the awesomeness!… Nothing fake about it!” tweeted Tracy Lundell.
“I took the photo at 9:47 am Sunday morning. By 1:30 pm, someone had removed the letters. The glass panel was obviously open for anyone to edit the letters,” Brendan Bailey tweeted to CMS.
CMS promised an investigation. According to a statement released by South Charlotte Middle School, vandals apparently were able to access the letters for the sign because the “marquee sign was locked but compromised by vandals in order to gain access to the signage and letters inside.”
The district says that no one from the school was involved in putting up the profane message, but that a staffer did spot it and take it down.
South Charlotte Middle Schools’ full statement about the incident:
A message from SOUTH CHARLOTTE MIDDLE SCHOOL
Update on South Charlotte Middle School Sign Incident
October 18, 2018
An outdoor sign at South Charlotte Middle School was vandalized on the weekend of October 6-7, 2018. Vandals opened locks on the sign and replaced official school messages with an offensive and profane message. The vandal message was not an official CMS or South Charlotte Middle School message or statement. The vandal message was in violation of CMS policies and contrary to CMS standards. South Charlotte Middle School continued teaching and learning uninterrupted. This vandalism is the object of on-going investigation by law enforcement. The following facts are known:
The locked sign was compromised. The marquee sign was locked but compromised by vandals in order to gain access to the signage and letters inside.
Vandals removed school messages. Vandals used existing sign letters to create the vandal message. School messages that were removed and used by vandals were “5TH annual Kindness Campaign kickoff begins October 15” and “Picture day October 15.”
There is no evidence that staff or students were involved.
School and CMS leaders responded quickly. School leaders and CMS staff acted quickly to remove the offensive message and all letters from the marquee sign.