He has the vocal support of a large number of parents and former students, many of whom say he went above and beyond to remember students’ names and support them through personal crises. The alumni said they could not recall students being reprimanded for their behavior. Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. LC: Southwest Bell Schedule: 7:15 AM - 2:15 PM Grades: 9-12 Email School. But days after a Black Lives Matter display on Ardrey Kell’s spirit rock was vandalized and repainted amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, the latest in a series of racial incidents at the school, a petition calling for Switzer to resign has drawn more than 3,000 signatures. Shortly after, Switzer said his assistant principal invited all the teachers of color to the second meeting where he apologized for his comments. “I am sorry that incidents have happened at Ardrey Kell High School,” he said. In response to emailed questions from the Observer, Switzer denied making those statements. Since he took over Ardrey Kell High School in 2010, David Switzer has been considered one of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ top principals, winning the district’s principal of the year award in 2013-2014 and a national award in 2017. Down through the years, Ardrey Kell High School has made headlines about racial tension at the school. “I think what you said was, ‘Now let’s be honest, this is not about being kind to colored folk,” a female staff member says. Race and Ardrey Kell Switzer has been the principal at Ardrey Kell since 2010. Switzer was first employed by CMS in 1997 as a teacher at Myers Park High School and has held several positions in the district, including principal at North East Middle School. In interviews with the Observer, eight alumni who attended Ardrey Kell between 2010 and 2018 said that the recent incidents, including the vandalism of the rock and Switzer’s use of the term “colored folks,” were disappointing but not surprising, given their experiences at the school. “You need to do more than condemn it,” Thompson said. School officials did not confirm what the accusations are, but a Change.org page details alleged incidents of Switzer saying inappropriate things during faculty meetings. He said he does not … LC: Southwest Bell Schedule: 7:15 AM - 2:15 PM Grades: 9-12 Email School . Many signers in support of Switzer said he should not be blamed for students’ actions in the recent racial incidents at the school. CHARLOTTE — Ardrey Kell High School has named a new principal. Switzer said that over the years, the school’s tardy policy has been reviewed and changed based on student, staff and parent input. She was an assistant principal at Ardrey Kell from 2007 to 2008 and at Mint Hill Middle from 2003 to 2007. “No one was around to say, ‘she should be allowed to wear that.’ None of that was happening. He was taken aback when she said that what happened did not surprise her, and that the athlete was just the first to get caught. Many who signed the petition in support of Switzer said that he went out of his way to build relationships and get to know individual students, which they said was impressive given the size of the school. Roughly 53 percent of Ardrey Kell’s student body is white, while 12 percent are black. Cash said he was an advocate for CMS and appreciated the school and district’s leadership. A teacher who attended both staff meetings and asked not be identified for fear of professional consequences told The Observer that it was stunning to hear Switzer use the term, which the teacher said could be associated with the discrimination faced by an earlier generation. If things were going to change under him, they would have already.”. CMS School Web Sites > Ardrey Kell High School. Three days later, more than 2,000 people were calling for his resignation. Ardrey Kell has also hosted parent forums on race and bias, Swtizer said, as well as a roundtable discussion with students of color on how to create a more welcoming environment. During the 23-minute recording, one teacher says that Switzer’s comment evoked images of the Jim Crow South and segregation with its similarity to the phrase, “coloreds only.”. “That was my context. Connect to local news for just $1 a month for 3 months. The district as a whole is made up of approximately 27 percent white students, 36 percent black students, and 27 percent Hispanic students, according to CMS data. Jamie Brooks has been with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 1994 and most recently comes from Community House Middle School… If you harbor hate, if you identify with racist thinking, you have no place at Ardrey Kell High School.”. A teacher can be heard telling Switzer that while the issues may not be “a black and white thing,” the recent incidents at Ardrey Kell have all involved black students being targeted, according to the audio. A petition in support of Principal … He said that he worked toward building more positive relationships whenever a student had a negative experience with him or anyone else on staff. P: 980-343-0860 | F: 980-343-0862: Principal: Jamie Brooks. During a follow-up staff meeting in August, Ardrey Kell High School principal David Switzer apologized for offending anyone with his remarks at the earlier meeting and said that he does not use racially insensitive language. This changing of the guard comes after the former principal and CMS thought it was time for new leadership. Established in 2006, Ardrey Kell High School was built in the growing Ballantyne area of South Charlotte. “Those little things just create this tone of feeling weird and tense.”. A person in the second meeting recorded it. At Ardrey Kell, the penalty for being late to class after two warnings was to be sent to “lockout.” Students in lockout missed their class for the period and were assigned to do manual labor or chores around the school, according to six former students, which included mopping the halls, moving mulch, picking up traffic cones or digging holes in the garden. Brooks has been principal at Community House, which is less than a mile from Ardrey Kell, since 2008. Audible gasps were heard at the first staff meeting when the comment was made, a teacher tells Switzer in the recording, and some of the people who most visibly reacted to the comment were white. Before that she was an assistant principal at Ardrey Kell… Switzer has been the principal at Ardrey Kell since 2010. The former students are calling for new leadership after constant racial incidents that have happened at the school through the years. “I have never felt so unaccepted in a place, ever,” said Charisse Thompson, who graduated in 2014. In 2017, during a football game against Hough High School, Ardrey Kell students yelled racial threats at a black middle school student visiting from Community House Middle School, which feeds into Ardrey Kell, the Observer previously reported. It’s a new day at Ardrey Kell High School this school year. Jamie Brooks takes over at a time when there have been multiple racial incidents that have happened at the school since the school opened 10 years ago. Ardrey Kell was named after two prominent local families in the area known as "Lower Providence" in southern Mecklenburg County. Principal: Jamie Brooks. He was named Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools principal of the year for the 2013-2014 school year, and was recognized nationally in 2017 when he earned an Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council for Educational Administration. RELATED: West Charlotte … About 22 percent of students are Asian and 10 percent are Hispanic. Sign up for Afternoon Headlines and get the day’s biggest stories in your inbox. “I have always built quality relationships with as many students as I could to help them navigate their high school years,” Switzer wrote in his email. Bañuelos said she picked up on microaggressions and sexist undertones at Ardrey Kell, including when Switzer would call her “sunshine” because she didn’t smile in the hallways. On the audio, Switzer says he does not remember exactly what he said, and asks if anyone can tell him what they heard. I’ve known him for four years and he has high character.”. 2 new school clusters reported. Switzer said he was proud of the work Ardrey Kell has done to address racism and bias, but that he was aware the school had a long way to go in undoing racism, along with the rest of the country. She said that he worked with leadership to address those concerns, and that CMS is committed to training its staff members in cultural awareness and sensitivity. Still, Cash said he spoke to his daughter after the West Charlotte basketball incident and asked her if she felt intimidated or uncomfortable at school. But he acknowledged that he may have gotten swept up in the moment and had a slip of the tongue, saying “colored folks” instead of “people of color” as he had intended. He said the petition does not reflect the “equitable educational experience we work hard to develop at Ardrey Kell High School.”. A petition has been created to keep Ardrey Kell High School principal David Switzer on the job. Brooks says she is up for the assignment. She said that given the current moment, as Charlotte enters its third week of protests related to Floyd, there should be no tolerance for racism and harm to black students. “There’s just complacency regarding racist actions,” Bucey said. Switzer declined a phone interview, and asked for questions to be sent by email. Ardrey Kell High School Home of the Knights: School Information: 10220 Ardrey Kell Road Charlotte, NC 28277 Courier # 302. Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball gets huge endorsement from NBA general managers, After student ousted, some question Providence Day promise to listen to Black voices, ‘It was torture’: NC teacher dumped special-ed students in trash can, lawsuit says, ECU gets new leader who grew up in Greenville and has strong ties to the university. It has more than 3,000 signatures. The same student had previously made a similar comment to another black teammate, The Observer reported. “He can’t be the one to change it when he’s done so much to promote it.”. 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