Editor’s Note: I have family members with children of that age at Pinnacle Classical Academy who have NOT raised any concerns regarding these allegations. I have personal knowledge that Cleveland County Schools will lie about and conceal incidents ranging from playground injuries to sexual predators masquerading as teachers, with plenty of cover-up by CCS when the preds are caught.
The facts of the Pinnacle Classical Academy subject alleged incident, that I know of so far, are these:
1. The mother of a six-year-old black girl has accused, on Facebook, a seven-year-old white boy of trying to lynch her daughter on the playground with a plastic jump-rope. Speculation on Facebook is the jump rope was tied into a “hangman’s noose. Sources report the boy has trouble tying his shoes.
2. The mother allegedly took the girl to the hospital. Pictures of the girl’s neck area was posted on Facebook allegedly showing bruises. I looked at the pictures on Facebook myself (and I have no appropriate medical training) and could not determine whether or not there were bruises.
3. What appears to be threats of violence are posted on Facebook that call for retaliation against the boy and the boy’s family.
4. Pinnacle Classical Academy Chairman of the Board, Debbie Clary, has promptly issued a statement to all K-2 Parents and the Press involving the alleged incident that says:
“The below letter was sent to our parents and Dr. Bullard is making a public statement today.
Dear K-2 Families,
There have been some concerns about an incident that happened on the playground on Friday, February 28.
A 7-year-old, 1st grade child was playing with a plastic jump rope, swinging it like a lasso. It wrapped around another student. The student swinging it was immediately disciplined and the plastic jump rope was taken away. There was never any sort of noose, as has been accused, nor any attempt to cause harm. No child was bullied, no child complained of bullying on the playground. The children were playing and one made a bad judgement in trying to use the plastic jump rope as a lasso in a game. A member of the administrative team checked on the student after the incident and she was having lunch and then singing and dancing in music class. The incident has been investigated and appropriate disciplinary action was taken before the end of the day. Please be assured that the safety of all of our students is our top priority.
Dr. Shelly Bullard
Pinnacle Classical Academy”
5. Rev. Dante Murphy of the Southern Coalition for Equal Protection Under the Law (SCEPUL) has issued a request to Sheriff Alan Norman and Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford to immediately call in the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to investigate this “hanging” incident.
From the “Facts” noted above, we concur with Rev. Dante Murphy’s request for an Immediate SBI Investigation. WE share SCEPUL’s concerns as previous Shelby Police Department investigations have indeed been determined to be “white-washed” and such SPD investigations now would be suspect. Also, there appears to be a “Protocol” issue where the SPD and the Sheriff’s Office resent their “turf” being stepped on. Our recommendation, in the future, is that ALL investigations regarding Cleveland County Schools be conducted by the Sheriff’s Department as well as ALL School Resource Officers at Cleveland County Schools be provided and supervised by the Sheriff’s Department. Thus, eliminating any and all “turf” issues as well as providing a consistent policy and accountability for everybody. It is “Cleveland County” Schools and the Sheriff has authority for law enforcement in ALL of Cleveland County.
We also recommend a “Due Process” element to take hold on Facebook and in public conversations. The Cleveland County Schools are full of problems and cover-ups. To date the Pinnacle Classical Academy has been the reverse. Good educational programs, good test scores and high public confidence. If an independent investigation shows problems are involved here, it is very likely that Pinnacle will take quick and decisive actions-involving criminal charges if appropriate. On the other hand, numerous public scandals have erupted out of Cleveland County Schools for their numerous cover-up attempts.
Also, the timing of this incident, which coincides with the 2020 Primary Election TOMORROW, raises some questions too.
But we can do more NOW!
As soon as I get this article off to the printing press, I am going to make a Public Records Request to Pinnacle Classical Academy for any security video recordings that might be telling in this controversy. Whatever I get, I will provide to the public for all to see. No matter if the recordings go in favor of Pinnacle Classical Academy of NOT.
Get the evidence and make a decision. That is what “Due Process” is all about. At CCS and PCA.
In the meantime, the 2020 Republican Primary Election is Tomorrow. Our recommendations on Commissioner and School Board candidates are provided below. This is the first step in cleaning up the mess at our schools. All Schools!!!