What happened in the woods?

Ledger investigation: The full story of the Myers Park sexual assault cases

We’re breaking with our usual Wednesday format to give you an in-depth and deeply researched investigation of the Myers Park sexual assault cases. Because of its importance, we are making it available to everyone.

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LEDGER IN-DEPTH

Myers Park High’s principal has been suspended. CMS is beefing up its sexual assault response. Supporters are rallying around the young women. But court documents paint a much more complex picture of the facts.

By Tony Mecia and Cristina Bolling

On Nov. 3, 2015, before classes started for the day at Myers Park High School, a 17-year-old girl received a text from an 18-year-old boy wanting to know where she was.

The two shared a class, and the week before, she had given him her number. Over the previous few days, they had started texting. Some of the conversations turned explicit. They discussed her curiosity about sex.

Over the weekend, they traded texts about skipping school together.

That Tuesday, just before 7 a.m. — about 15 minutes before the start of her weightlifting class — she replied that she was in Myers Park’s Language Arts building, near the exit. About the same time, on the messaging app WhatsApp, she told a group of friends that he was “still trying to get me to skip first block with him.”

He showed up at the L.A. building, as students call it, and the two left campus together, heading toward Runnymede Lane. But when they got there, the school resource officer — who was directing traffic at the school’s entrance — saw her and recognized her, and called out to her by name. “I see you!” he said. “As soon as I finish here, I’m going to call your mother!”

The two turned around and started heading back up the hill toward the school, along an entry road with a path that leads into the adjacent woods.

What happened next is a matter of some dispute. Three years later, the girl filed a federal lawsuit against Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the school resource officer, the city, police and Myers Park’s assistant principal. (The description above of the morning’s events comes from filings in the case from lawyers for police for and the school resource officer.)

The girl, a junior, said that in the hour that followed her departure from the L.A. building, the 18-year-old made her perform oral sex on him in a wooded area close to campus — and that school administrators and police failed to believe her. They “were insensitive and kind of inconsiderate, considering what happened,” she later testified in a deposition, speculating that they had seen her friendly texts with the senior who she said sexually assaulted her. She told police he didn’t have a weapon or threaten her. “I don’t believe that I got the courtesy to pursue justice,” she testified.

Those events of that November morning from nearly six years ago would eventually carry an even wider significance to the high school and to the school system. The publicity about those allegations from a former student known only as “Jane Doe” would set into motion a chain of events: a second federal lawsuit from another Myers Park student with similar allegations, additional young women coming forward with accounts of sexual violence, rallies and angry speeches at school board meetings — and, just weeks before school started, the paid suspension of Myers Park’s principal, Mark Bosco.

The allegations are sickening — of a second teenage girl being raped in the woods; a third forced into a bathroom by an athlete and raped, resulting in a ruptured ovarian cyst; and a fourth who reported a student putting his hand down her pants on a school bus. A common thread running through the reports is skepticism and inaction when they summoned the courage to report the assaults. A fifth young woman said she didn’t report her sexual assault in the woods to the school because she feared nobody would believe her.

The reports raise a series of troubling questions, many still unanswered:

  • How could this happen, repeatedly, over the course of several years at one of Charlotte’s most highly regarded high schools?

  • Why would school administrators and police ignore complaints from young women who said they were sexually assaulted?

There are no easy answers. But a Ledger review of hundreds of pages of court documents, depositions, public records and interviews paints a picture considerably more nuanced and complex than has been publicized so far.

Court documents provide clues as to why officials might have projected a skeptical attitude toward the accusers, and they detail the steps that administrators and police took to record and report the claims — which their attorneys say were consistent with procedures that existed at the time.

The years-old allegations that surfaced this summer seemed to come out of nowhere. The Ledger found that:

  • They were publicized by large Charlotte media organizations, who advanced the storyline of young abuse victims being denied justice by indifferent school administrators and police — while mostly failing to report the existence of easily accessible records providing an alternative interpretation of the facts of the alleged assaults and their aftermath.

  • People who had a different perspective on the cases — notably the school district and lawyers for administrators and police — have not defended themselves publicly for fear of alienating sexual assault victims and because of pending litigation.

The Myers Park sexual assault controversy also reflects a tension between the contemporary sensitivity to sexual violence, springing from the #MeToo movement that started in 2017, and the more blunt approach taken by the mostly male longtime school administrators and the school resource officer. The incidents that led to the two lawsuits took place in 2014 and 2015.

The records The Ledger is drawing upon for this article are publicly available to anyone with a computer and a credit card. (At the end of this article, we are including links to the records, which we have downloaded and are making available for free.)

From ‘Principal of the Year’ to principal under fire

On June 3 of this year, at Bojangles Coliseum, Mark Bosco walked up to the lectern. For Myers Park’s 830 seniors, it was a happy day — their graduation — after a rocky previous 15 months of remote learning and the cancellation of many cherished high school activities.

Wearing a green bow tie, Bosco, the school’s round-faced principal with short-cropped dark hair, said he empathized with the challenges they had faced during Covid. In a six-minute speech, he noted that the graduating class missed traditional rites of passage, like proms and senior carnival and homecoming, and for that, he said, “I am personally very sorry.”

And he exhorted them to examine their motivations and to find their passions: “I encourage this spirit in an attempt to seek clarity and understanding as opposed to creating discord and divisiveness. … Analyze all the facts. Unpack bias, beliefs and prejudgments.”

Myers Park High principal Mark Bosco at the school’s graduation in June, just days before revelations surfaced about students saying they were sexually assaulted years earlier.

Other than the Covid references, it was a standard graduation speech. And other than the mask-wearing and social distancing that day, nothing seemed amiss. While the court cases had been active, hardly anyone knew about them. Within days, though, that was about to change — and Bosco would be at the center of a firestorm.

Bosco, 51, joined CMS in 1994 as a social studies teacher at Northwest School of the Arts. He went into education to follow the path of his mother, who had been a high school principal. “I saw her give everything,” he said in a 2018 profile. “I wanted to follow her lead and give back with a spirit of service.” Bosco’s wife, Samantha, is a school counselor at Charlotte Country Day School, and they have two sons and a daughter. 

Bosco was named principal of Myers Park in 2013, following a six-year stint as principal of Quail Hollow Middle. CMS named him a “Principal of the Year” in 2018.

Bosco declined to be interviewed for this article.

Interviews with former Myers Park staff who worked with Bosco paint a picture of a principal who was generally well-liked by staff and families, while being adept at making parents and students feel heard even when he didn’t give in to their requests. 

Myers Park is the largest high school in the state, with more than 3,500 students. Throw in teachers and staff, and Myers Park’s principal is responsible for closer to 4,000 people — a population larger than two-thirds of the cities and towns in North Carolina. Unlike many schools that are in a single building, Myers Park has about 15 separate buildings that are laid out more like a college campus, with several different ways for students to enter and exit the site.

Colleagues describe being principal as a demanding job, at a school where administrators are often challenged by parents who have high expectations and don’t hesitate to make demands. They described Bosco as a leader who was able to stand his ground while being open to discussion and debate. 

“People always felt like they could come to him,” said former Myers Park secretary Pam Queen, whose desk was just outside of Bosco’s office from the day he arrived in the summer of 2013 until Queen retired in 2019. 

She said staff appreciated that Bosco took his own parenting duties seriously, and said he was understanding when employees had childcare issues.

“We’d have a position open, and people wanted just to get into that school to work with him,” Queen said.

Not everyone was a fan, though. One former Myers Park teacher who left the school in 2020 wrote to school board members in June about what she called Bosco’s “sweep it under the rug” culture of handling student safety concerns. 

“Mr. Bosco places more value on the school's reputation than on student safety,” she wrote, in an email released by the district in response to a public records request. She said Bosco made sure the school scored 100% on surprise CMS security audits by alerting teachers with text messages when audit teams arrived on campus.

A bombshell report: raped ‘with no response from police or school’

On May 27, WBTV’s chief investigative reporter, Nick Ochsner, wrote an email to the CMS communications department to request an interview for a story he was working on based on interviews with former Myers Park students. Sharing the premise of the story, he wrote: “I am working on a story that will air Monday, June 7 about a years-long history of sexual assault and sexual harassment at Myers Park High School that has been reported to and ignored by school leadership.” CMS declined his interview request, according to the email exchange, which CMS made public after Ochsner later requested it.

As promised, WBTV on June 7 aired a shocking report.

“Female students report being raped, sexually assaulted and harassed, with little being done about it — that’s what a WBTV investigation has found at Myers Park High School,” anchor Jamie Boll said on the 6:00 news that night. The first accusation, he said, was from a student in 2015 who “reported being raped in the woods behind the school, with no response from police or school administrators.”

The online version of the story was headlined: “Myers Park HS students reported rape, sexual assault. Nothing happened.”

Ochsner’s piece featured interviews with two women who said that their complaints about sexual assault and harassment were met with skepticism and that they felt ignored. CMS declined to address the accusations, citing pending litigation.

No criminal charges were filed in any of the cases. But the idea that there was “no response from police or school administrators” or that “nothing happened” when students reported rape is disputed in court filings by CMS, police and the school resource officer. Those have been publicly available since last fall.

In the court cases, lawyers for both sides generally have few disagreements over the facts of the response to the accusations. Instead, they disagree over the legal standards needed to prove the cases. Lawyers for the women portray school administrators and police as insensitive and skeptical; lawyers for CMS and the city say their responses were reasonable given the facts.

Take, for instance, Jane Doe, the 17-year-old who had been texting with the senior from her class and was spotted walking off campus with him.

Just a few minutes after the school resource officer saw the two, the girl started texting that she was in trouble. “Help me,” she wrote to her friends at 7:03 a.m. At 7:18 a.m., she wrote to her mom: “Mom I’m being kidnapped.”

At 7:22, she asked her friends to get the school resource officer, who is a police officer stationed at school. At Myers Park, that was Bradley Leak, a 25-year veteran of CMPD who had spent 14 of those years as a school resource officer.

And at 7:50 a.m., she texted her mother: “I wa[s] attacked.”

After one of the girl’s friends alerted Leak, he and assistant principal Anthony Perkins drove around looking for the two. They found them walking together just after 8 a.m. on Brandywine Road, off Selwyn Avenue. They rode mostly in silence back to campus, and when they got there, Perkins and the senior left the car, and Leak sought details from the girl.

“Tell me what’s going on,” he asked her, according to his deposition cited in court filings by his lawyers. “Are you hurt? Have you been threatened? Is anything wrong with you?”

He said he recalled the girl replied: “No, but I have his DNA all over me.” She said she had spit it onto her sweater to preserve it. She said she wasn’t forced but that she didn’t feel as though she could tell him “no,” according to Leak’s version of the conversation.

In her deposition, she denies saying that to Leak: “I didn’t respond,” she said. “I was — I was pretty shaken up by what happened.” She said in the deposition that the senior “had his hands in my hair” and that he “pushed my shoulders back down.” 

When Leak asked her questions that morning, she said he was on the phone, and she could hear the person on the line doubting her: “The person on the phone was loud and said, ‘How do we know she’s not making this up?’”

At 8:19 a.m., Leak called Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Sgt. Muriel Hughes, a supervisor over sexual assault cases. Hughes later testified that Leak told her that the girl said she felt uncomfortable but performed oral sex anyway, according to Leak’s lawyers. Hughes recalled that she told Leak that that did not meet the definition of a sexual assault.

At 8:26 a.m., Detective Angela Banner called Leak about the report. She later testified that when she asked Leak if the girl had been threatened, Leak said: “No, no, no. She just said that he asked me, no, he asked me, no, and then I felt uncomfortable and I went ahead and did it.” According to a court filing from Leak’s lawyers, Banner said she recalled telling Leak: “Being uncomfortable is uncomfortable, but we’ve got to have force … And if there’s no force, we don’t have a crime.”

North Carolina law defines a sexual assault as a sexual act committed “by force and against the will of the other person.” Prosecutors are often reluctant to file charges in the absence of clear evidence.

CMPD then dispatched Banner and another detective to investigate. Leak filled out an incident report, and the case was handed over to CMPD sexual assault detectives, court records say. The girl’s parents took her to the hospital to be evaluated for sexual assault.

Meanwhile, police detectives and Perkins, the assistant principal, interviewed the alleged attacker, referred to as “Q.W.” in court documents. Q.W. said the two had planned to skip class together, and he denied using force against her, according to Perkins’ account summarized in a CMS court filing. He also took written statements from Q.W. and Jane Doe’s friend who had alerted the school resource officer.

In a police interview that night, the girl told a detective that Q.W. didn’t show a weapon or threaten her, according to the girl’s deposition.

That day, Myers Park suspended Q.W. for 10 days, pending the outcome of a school investigation, according to the assistant principal’s deposition referenced in CMS court filings. Perkins also completed an incident reporting form summarizing to CMS supervisors what had taken place. (Bosco, the principal, is hardly mentioned in court filings related to this case, though he did testify in a deposition.)

The following day, the girl’s mother lodged a complaint with CMPD’s internal affairs division, saying Leak lied about having spoken to the girl about the assault and that he filed an inaccurate report.

As part of the internal affairs inquiry, Detective Banner told investigators that after reviewing evidence, she “believed that Plaintiff sent out text messages to her friends expressing fear because she was trying to lay the groundwork so that she would not get in trouble with her parents for skipping school. … She stated that [there] were no indications that Q.W. was being deceptive in describing what happened,” according to a summary of her testimony by CMS lawyers.

According to court documents filed by Leak’s attorney, CMPD’s internal affairs investigation ultimately concluded that the mother’s allegations of police misconduct were unfounded.

The following week, the girl went to CMPD headquarters on Trade Street, where she was interviewed by Detective Banner for more than an hour, according to the girl’s deposition in the case.

Six months later, the girl and her parents filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. In December 2017, the Office of Civil Rights replied that it had finished its investigation. It found some deficiencies in record-keeping and notifications. It also “concluded that CMS conducted a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of the November 3, 2015, incident,” according to court documents filed by CMS.

Asked about its coverage of the Myers Park sexual assault cases, and its conclusion that there was “little being done” and “no response” to reports of sexual assault at the school, WBTV news director Kim Saxon said in a statement to The Ledger:

WBTV believes all of its news coverage has been fair and accurate, and its reporting on this issue of paramount importance to student safety speaks for itself. WBTV has consistently sought comment and feedback from CMS officials, and broadcast a sit-down interview with Superintendent Earnest Winston on July 19.  However, because CMS has failed to respond to a series of public records requests as the North Carolina Public Records Law requires, WBTV filed suit against CMS in North Carolina Superior Court earlier this month.

A lawyer promising ‘zealous advocacy’

In November 2018, the girl filed a federal lawsuit over the incident. But she didn’t use a Charlotte lawyer. She turned to Laura Dunn, a Washington lawyer in her mid-30s who has built a niche law practice that stands up for alleged victims of sexual assault.

Buzzfeed called Dunn “the woman students call when they’ve been raped on campus.” She has been featured in People magazine and Forbes and has appeared on the “Today” show.

Her website says: “My firm provides survivors with the type of zealous advocacy that I needed after experiencing campus sexual assault.” Her passion for the issue can be traced to 2005, when as a freshman at University of Wisconsin-Madison, she says she was drinking at a party and raped by two fellow members of the school’s rowing team, on which she was a coxswain. They weren’t charged, and she felt that the school, prosecutors and her own civil lawyer failed her.

“By being denied justice in the campus, criminal and civil system, I became a fighter,” she explained in a 2018 video on PBS. “I decided to go to law school to become the attorney I wish I had on campus.”

Dunn told The Ledger that she has a national reputation for representing victims of rape and sexual abuse, and that the alleged victims in the Myers Park cases reached out to her for representation.

In December 2019, a young woman with Dunn as her lawyer filed a second suit related to sexual assault involving Myers Park. In the suit, a woman known in court documents as “Jill Roe” said she was raped by a fellow student in the woods next to campus when she was a 15-year-old sophomore. The suit named CMS, Myers Park High administrators, police and the school resource officer, Bradley Leak, as defendants.

The alleged attack took place in October 2014, she said — about a year before the incident in the other case. She said hearing about the initial case gave her the courage to come forward: “I was struck by how similar it felt to my own case, and I decided that I needed to step forward and help in any way I could to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, because it can’t keep happening,” she told WBTV in June. She has since publicly stated that her actual name is Nikki Wombwell, and local media have quoted her extensively using her real name in connection with the case.

Wombwell said that a male student, an ex-boyfriend, told her he had brought a gun to school and would use it if she didn’t meet him after classes. She agreed, they met, and he raped her in the woods, she alleges in the lawsuit.

In the suit and in the media, she says she reported the rape several times to different people — a staff member of the nonprofit Communities in Schools, a guidance counselor, the school resource officer and ultimately Bosco, the principal — but that each time, she received no help.

“I was embarrassed. I was scared,” Wombwell told WBTV in June. “It was a difficult thing to talk about with anyone in the first place … I went to the school, because I thought they could protect me. I was told it wasn’t rape. I was told there was nothing they could do.”

Compared with the first case, there are fewer court documents detailing the response by the school and police because the case was settled at an early stage. In April of this year, CMS agreed to pay Wombwell $50,000, without admitting wrongdoing.

Still, there are some indications from court filings that the case is more complicated than has been portrayed, and lawyers for Wombwell and CMS have different interpretations of the events.

A ‘controlling and abusive’ relationship

Wombwell says in the lawsuit that she began dating a fellow freshman in March 2014. He is identified in court documents as “M.G.” Wombwell found him to be “controlling and abusive,” and she ended their relationship in July 2014.

Starting in August of that year, Wombwell says, M.G. starting ramping up the threats. He said he had attempted suicide because of the break-up, threatened to send her photos of himself slitting his wrists with a razor blade and told her the only way he would not hurt himself would be if she would send explicit photos.

By September, he was sending “threatening text messages on a daily basis,” and threatening to disseminate explicit photos of her to their friends, according to the lawsuit. In the second week of October, she acceded to his demands to meet at Freedom Park, where she says he physically forced her to perform oral sex, leaving her struggling “with feelings of shame that left her unable to report the sexual abuse to anyone, including her parents.”

On Oct. 22, 2014, he sent her a text saying he had a gun in his backpack and would shoot himself in the head if she didn’t agree to meet. They met on the quad and walked together into the woods, where he raped her “while she cried out for him to stop and struggled to break free,” according to the lawsuit.

She texted a friend that afternoon, who urged her to report it, but she declined, saying she was terrified. The next day, though, she agreed, and reported it to the site coordinator for Communities in Schools, a nonprofit that helps at-risk students. But the harassment from M.G. continued. So in early December, some six weeks or so after the attack, Wombwell went to counselor Kimberly Folk, who directed her to go to Leak, the school resource officer.

Leak questioned her about her allegations and set up a meeting with Bosco, the principal. At that meeting, Leak said there was no “reasonable duress” required to support a rape charge, the lawsuit says.

According to Leak’s deposition in the earlier Jane Doe case, he says he checked with CMPD attorney Judy Emken, because the allegation was so unusual, and that she told him it was not criminal if the two had an ongoing sexual relationship: “Judy Emkens [sic] told us that we had nothing simply because if she did it more than one time it wasn't necessarily — well, when I say multiple times I ain’t saying just once or twice, but multiple times — it was not coercion,” Leak testified. Emken told WBTV she didn’t recall the conversation but doubted that’s what she said, and Wombwell told the TV station that she told Leak that she and her attacker had not previously had sex.

A crucial meeting

Bosco’s critics have pointed to his meeting with Wombwell as evidence of his insensitivity and indifference toward rape victims. The widely publicized account of that meeting comes largely from Wombwell’s lawsuit.

According to Wombwell, Bosco said he had reviewed the threatening messages and said he’d meet with M.G. to discuss the “proper way to treat a lady.” He discouraged her from making a report, the lawsuit says, adding that if an investigation determined she was lying, she could be suspended. WBTV reported that in a deposition, Bosco said: “I just wanted her to be aware, and that she was confident that what she thought happened happened.” The Ledger has not found a publicly available record of Bosco’s testimony that sheds light on his version of the meeting.

In a court filing, CMS denies Wombwell’s account of the meeting but doesn’t present an alternative description. CMS wrote that Bosco investigated Wombwell’s allegations by:

(1) interviewing Plaintiff (2) speaking with Plaintiff’s mother; (3) speaking with M.G.; (4) reviewing text messages provided; (5) consulting with Defendant Leak (CMPD Officer) who concluded that the “threats” and information received were insufficient for a criminal charge; (6) contacting M.G’s mother; (7) informing Plaintiff and her mother that MPHS would make sure that M.G. left Plaintiff alone moving forward; and (8) giving Plaintiff the option to take further action including making a formal report, which Plaintiff and her mother declined.

In a ruling a year ago, U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney dismissed the city and Leak, the resource officer, from the case, saying there was insufficient evidence to suggest Leak was “deliberately indifferent.” He allowed the case to continue against Bosco and CMS.

Asked for more details on the meeting with Wombwell, Bosco’s lawyer, Sally Higgins, said she could not comment. “It has been frustrating for Mark not to be able to respond to the things being said, particularly given his sustained efforts over many years to create a safe and enriching school environment,” she said.

In a statement about the case in June, posted to the school board’s Facebook page, CMS said:

Myers Park principal, Mark Bosco, did not learn of the Roe matter until approximately two months after it occurred. He immediately investigated the incident, including meeting with Ms. Roe and her parents. After that meeting, measures were put in place to keep the students separated. Neither Ms. Roe or her parents voiced disagreement over those measures or took any further action — they did not contact the learning community superintendent; they did not contact the superintendent; and they did not contact Board members. Instead, Roe filed a lawsuit 5 years later.

CMS quickly deleted the statement. There was blowback on social media that the statement was insensitive to rape victims, as it also declared: “Neither case was a rape.”

Laura Dunn, the lawyer for the two women who sued, told The Ledger that the takeaways from the cases illustrate that authorities need to take alleged victims more seriously:

Adults need to believe survivors when they make reports. They need to make written records, to follow up on written records, to make sure law enforcement is responding. They need to make sure parents are contacted and for officials to meaningfully and thoughtfully investigate, and they need to take more serious action.

Controversy catches fire

Over the summer, the media coverage intensified. Much of the reporting by The Charlotte Observer has focused on requirements under federal law called Title IX, which requires public schools to investigate reports of sexual violence and offer training. CMS did not have a Title IX coordinator until 2016, The Observer reported.

Some students held a rally at Myers Park in late June. More young women came forward, saying that they, too, thought their reports of sexual assault or harassment were minimized, or thought they wouldn’t be taken seriously. There are no court cases on those, although Dunn said in a court filing in August that two former students reached out to her attesting to additional assaults in the woods, following the extensive media coverage. The Doe case is ongoing in front of federal Judge Robert Conrad.

Others started speaking up at school board meetings — with some calling out their principal publicly.

“This pattern of disrespect and insensitivity toward victims of sexual violence and gender-based harassment on campus shows that some CMS staff are ill-equipped to handle such a sensitive and complex issue as sexual assault,” Myers Park senior Lily Russell-Pinson told the school board in July. “… Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, specifically Myers Park High School and its administration, have failed to protect their students against sexual violence on campus.”

Nikki Wombwell, 22, who said she was raped in the woods near Myers Park High School in 2014, told the school board in July: “There needs to be an overhaul of how this district handles reports of sexual violence at their schools. … There needs to be accountability for the Myers Park administration that has allowed and encouraged these atrocities to be swept under the rug because they value their reputation over their students’ well-being.”

For some watching the growing controversy, the idea that Bosco would ignore and downplay serious reports from students didn’t seem to add up.

Former CMS teacher Jeff Joyce, who met Bosco in 1996 when they were both teachers at Northwest School of the Arts and worked under Bosco years later when Bosco became an assistant principal, said allegations that Bosco didn’t take allegations of rape seriously don’t line up with the man he knows. 

“I know who he is. This idea of that he would say ‘Oh, we’re not going to address it’ just doesn’t ring true to me,” Joyce told The Ledger. “That just doesn’t sound like the person I know. … He’s been a guy who said, ‘Kids come first. The needs of the kids come first.’ I’ve heard him say it a thousand times.”

On Aug. 6, in an automated phone call to Myers Park families, CMS announced it was suspending Bosco with pay and provided no explanation. (He earns $149,462 a year.) CMS also said it was forming a task force to advise it on improving sexual assault reporting in schools.

CMS quickly named an interim replacement principal. In an automated call to families a few days before school started, she promised Myers Park would ensure that “safety is at the forefront of our opening days and throughout the year” and that all staff “are clear on important topics such as properly handling reports of misconduct.”

She said the school would hold meetings with students to share expectations: “For example, students will learn that they’re forbidden from entering unauthorized areas on and around campus, which includes the surrounding woods, without staff permission and adult supervision.”

Tony Mecia, The Ledger’s executive editor, has two daughters who are recent graduates of Myers Park High and a son who is a student there. Cristina Bolling is The Ledger’s managing editor.


Read the documents for yourself

The Ledger drew heavily on publicly available court documents in reporting this article.

We summarized them and pulled out the most important points as best we could. But if you want the full versions of the main documents we cited in this article, you can read them yourself:

◼️ Jane Doe case

◼️ Jill Roe case


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Executive editorTony MeciaManaging editorCristina BollingContributing editor: Tim Whitmire, CXN Advisory