Charter school reverses decision to cancel 8th grade promotion ceremony

CHARLOTTE — Eighth-graders at a northeast Charlotte charter school will no longer miss a big milestone ceremony.

After parents told Channel 9 they were upset over KIPP Academy’s decision to cancel the students’ annual promotion ceremony to high school, the school has reversed its decision. School officials shared the update in a statement sent to Channel 9 late Wednesday night.

“After thoughtful conversations with families, we have decided to continue the planning of the promotion ceremony for our 8th grade cohort next week as originally scheduled on June 6,” the statement reads. “Earlier today, we communicated this update to parents and families. The safety of our students is our top priority, and we appreciate the partnership with families to make this ceremony a joyous celebration of student achievement.”

Earlier, in an email to parents, school leaders said behavioral issues with some students forced them to cancel the ceremony. Channel 9′s Anthony Kustura spoke to parents who thought their children were being punished unfairly.

“Due to the increase of egregious behavioral issues within the 8th grade cohort, it has been decided by both the 8th grade staff and school administration to cancel this year’s promotion ceremony,” the message read.

A parent, who does not want to be named, was stunned to hear the news.

“That’s not punishing those kids like that’s punishing the parents because we’re coming there to see them celebrate it,” she said.

The email said the decision came after numerous attempts to work with the students.

Another mom said she didn’t like the message the decision might have sent.

“It sends a negative message, so if I work hard and do the right thing I’ll get punished and they have no control over it,” she said.

State records show that there were five acts committed at the school last year, but it isn’t clear what the acts were. It is clear they could include assault or other crimes.

The concerned mother is still left with a lot of questions.

“What are you going to do moving forward?” she asked.

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