North Carolina Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit Alleging Political Agenda at Charlotte Latin Schools

Charlotte, North Carolina – The North Carolina Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by parents against Charlotte Latin Schools. The parents alleged that the school was promoting a political agenda and expelled their two students as a result. The ruling has drawn attention from groups such as ‘Moms For Liberty’ and ‘Concerned Private School Parents Of Charlotte,’ who supported the lawsuit.

This is the second time the state’s second-highest court has ruled on the case. The court found that the school’s decision to remove the students was based on a contract signed by families with students at the school. The contract, called the ‘Charlotte Latin School Parent-School Partnership,’ outlined the policies and rules that parents and guardians agreed to abide by.

In response to the termination of their agreement with the school, the parents created a website called ‘Honor Above All.’ On the website, they described the school’s actions and called on others to voice their concerns to the school. They also requested donations to support their pursuit of justice for their children.

The lawsuit stemmed from the parents’ belief that the school was adopting a political agenda following the murder of George Floyd. They claimed that a letter sent to parents, faculty, and staff after Floyd’s death indicated the school’s shift towards a specific political ideology. Concerns grew, leading parents to form a group named ‘Refocus Latin’ to discuss their worries about changes in the curriculum, reading materials, and classroom policies.

The group had an opportunity to present their concerns to the school’s Executive Committee of the Board in 2021. Some members expressed fears of retaliation from the school, but were assured by the board chair that it would not happen. Despite their efforts, the board chose not to continue the dialogue or respond to their presentation. The group then shared the presentation with other families at the school, causing further discontent.

Head of the school, Charles Baldecchi, responded to the distribution of the presentation by meeting with staff and faculty to address its contents. He criticized the presentation as “awful” and “hurtful,” characterizing it as an attack on the school’s community. Baldecchi further claimed that the parents presented their concerns to the board in “bad faith.”

Following subsequent allegations made by the parents against a teacher at the school, their contracts were terminated during a meeting with Baldecchi. The parents accused the teacher of indoctrination and claimed their child was not even allowed to remove their mask to drink water. The teacher denied the allegations.

The Turpins, the parents who filed the lawsuit, originally claimed eight different violations against the school. However, the court ultimately dismissed eight of the nine claims. Judge John Arrowood, in a separate concurring opinion, expressed concern that allowing the case to continue would impede the right to freely contract in North Carolina. Judge Julee Flood dissented from the majority opinion, suggesting that the court prematurely dismissed the claims and would have sent the case back to the lower court.

As this legal battle continues, it highlights the tensions that can arise between private schools and parents over issues like curriculum and ideological influences.