Emails shed light on author's ban from New Hanover County School - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Emails shed light on author's ban from New Hanover County Schools

Clyde Edgerton (Source: clydeedgerton.com) Clyde Edgerton (Source: clydeedgerton.com)
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

Emails obtained through a public records request provide some insight as to why local author and UNCW professor Clyde Edgerton was banned from New Hanover County Schools by Superintendent Tim Markley.

Markley requested a meeting with Edgerton on May 4. That same day, Edgerton sought a reason for the meeting, as did his attorney, Jim Lea.

Lea expressed concern over how Edgerton would be treated, and said he would appear alongside him in any meeting after “reviewing all the transcripts in the [redacted] matter and his treatment by the [redacted], all seemingly because he has voiced very legitimate concerns.”

Markley responded saying he requested the meeting over a parent complaint.

The unidentified parent claimed Edgerton called on April 22 saying their child had been discriminated against when trying to get into the Spanish Immersion program at Forest Hills Elementary School. The parent also said Edgerton, who has two children at Forest Hills and one at Williston, told her he may have acquired her information illegally.

The parent expressed concern as to how Edgerton obtained the confidential records, as they contain custody information, which the parent feared could compromise the child’s safety due to a difficult family situation.

Lea responded to Markley on May 5, saying they would talk soon.

On May 10, Markley sent Edgerton a letter saying since he had still not responded to the allegations made in the parent’s email, he was prohibited from all NHCS grounds until further notice.

Markley also requested Edgerton turn over all student records he may have in his possession, a detailed report of how he obtained the records, and that he destroy any documents he may have transferred records to. He added the school would be reviewing the matter and would consider other actions if warranted.

Lea fired back at the letter, saying it “jumps the gun, is inflammatory, patently false and libelous.” He then questioned Markley’s ability to keep a parent off of school grounds “based off innuendo and speculation,” and recommended Markley get a lawyer.

Several days later, NHCS General Counsel Wayne Bullard sent Lea a letter reinforcing Markley’s requests.

On June 3, Markley sent Edgerton another letter, once again requesting a meeting to address a parent concern involving “your access to confidential student records.”

In the letter Markley said this was the second incident involving this issue, and that the “first incident resulted in [Markley] having to send a letter to a number of parents.”

Markley then expressed interest in reaching an agreement, stating Edgerton had never been reluctant to speak in the past, and addressed Edgerton speaking with media outlets about the issue.

Markley ended the letter by allowing Edgerton attend his son’s graduation.

“You have publicly expressed your desire to attend your son’s fifth grade graduation,” Markley said. “As a parent, I understand and welcome you to attend the ceremony.”

Lea responded to Markley’s letter, contesting Edgerton’s alleged access to confidential student school records and Markley allowing Edgerton to be at his son’s graduation.

“You have wrongly banned him from the school campus, yet you feel as if you need to give him permission to attend his own son’s graduation,” Lea said. “He was going to anyway.”

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