South Charlotte Middle School displayed a special message to the community over the weekend, though officials with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District tried and failed to cover it up.
On Sunday, the marquee in front of the middle school read: F*ck Kavanaugh.
Fake news. pic.twitter.com/oGHiSjaS0s
— CMS (@CharMeckSchools) October 8, 2018
Blogger A.P. Dillon posted an image of the sign she received from a reader on Twitter Monday and tagged CMS with the question: “Have you seen this?”
Tracy Russ, chief communications officer, took a picture of the sign in front of the school Monday, which by that time had been cleared off, and alleged the first image was “fake news.”
She was wrong.
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! pic.twitter.com/hAUSgSoE6H
— Tracy Lundell (@TalynL) October 8, 2018
“I guess my son, brother in law and I were hallucinating yesterday morning around 10am then?” Tracy Lundell, the woman who took the original image, shot back. “We pulled in the parking lot and took pictures of the awesomeness! … Nothing fake about it!”
Brendan Bailey then chimed in to confirm Lundell’s account.
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 (@Brendan1963) October 8, 2018
“I took the photo at 9:47 am Sunday morning,” Brendan Bailey posted. “By 1:30 pm, someone had removed the letters. The glass panel was obviously open for anyone to edit the letters.”
The vandalism came one day after Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote in the Senate following perhaps the ugliest confirmation process in U.S. history. Kavanaugh was poised to breeze through the confirmation before Democrats unveiled California college professor Christine Blasey Ford’s uncorroborated allegations of unwanted dry humping at a high school drinking party 36 years ago.
Both Ford and Kavanaugh testified about the allegations and Kavanaugh strongly denied any sexual contact with Ford at any time. Witnesses named by Ford, including her lifelong friend, denied any knowledge of her story and a supplemental FBI investigation ultimately cleared his name, though many liberals are convinced Kavanaugh is a rapist.
Lundell was clearly not impressed with the folks who decided to vent their frustrations in the profanity-laced message to students, or the district’s reaction to the stunt.
“We’re looking into it,” CMS tweeted in response to Bailey’s comments confirming the sign’s language. “As of right now, we’re sitting in the parking lot and the sign is blank.”
— Tracy Lundell (@TalynL) October 8, 2018
“@Brendan1963 and I were there yesterday morning at 10 and we both took pictures! Not Fake and pretty pathetic that anyone would say it was!” Lundell responded, along with more images of the sign.
One would think the Chief Communications Officer at CMS would know to check facts before labeling it fake news.
— Tracy Lundell (@TalynL) October 9, 2018
“One would think the Chief Communications Officer at CMS would know to check the facts before labeling it fake news,” Lundell wrote.
On Tuesday, CMS eventually got around to straightening out the mess, putting out an official statement through a CMS Media Relations Twitter account, presumably to keep the conversation off the district’s main Twitter page.
— CMS Media Relations (@CMS_MR) October 9, 2018
“An exterior sign at South Middle School was vandalized over the weekend. A picture posted to social media Monday evening 10/8 by a community member initially appeared to show a faked alteration of the sign and content,” the official statement read. “This determination was made after on-site investigation within one hour of the social media post showed the sign was confirmed clear of all content on Monday evening.
“Later corroboration of the initial posted image and review of the incident from school staff confirmed the sign had been defaced over the weekend with an inappropriate message that was removed early Sunday by staff members,” it continued. “CMS messaging guidelines, Board policies and codes of conduct forbid use of profanities in any communications. CMS is investigating this matter with law enforcement.”
The statement did not apologize to the folks who pointed out the problem, only to be dismissed as “fake news.”