CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – A Charlotte mother says her teenager was expelled from an elite prep school after she complained about a book being taught in class. Now, she says the school is attacking her personally.
Faith Fox and Providence Day School have drastically different views on the situation unfolding, all caused by the book “Fences.”
She said the book being taught in class is full is racial stereotypes and that she didn’t want her son learning that. The school, meanwhile, is accusing her of harassment and bullying.
Fences is a Tony award-winning play, adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie. It tells the story of a working-class African American family in the 1950s.
“There are so many other books that don’t have so many other negative images that are perpetuated. Not just for my son; white students shouldn’t only see this either,” Fox said.
Fox said that she reached out to Providence Day School when she found out her son’s high school English teacher planned to teach the book in class. She said she was mortified when she heard the predominately white class would be reading the play out loud.
“The N-word is not the only slur in the book. There are several,” Fox said.
After a series of emails and one Zoom meeting, Fox got a letter in the mail the day after Thanksgiving. Her son Jamel was being expelled.
“What they’ve done to him is unforgivable. I will not forget it.”
The head of the school, Dr. Glyn Cowlishaw, released a long letter to parents, saying in part:
“I am devastated that we had to terminate an enrollment agreement adversely impacting a PD student. However, the school will not tolerate bullying, harassment, and racially discriminatory actions and language by parents towards our faculty or staff. This pattern of bullying and harassment of a black female administrator continued despite our efforts to work with this parent.”
Fox said she doesn’t agree with what the school is saying.
“I think what they’re doing now is bullying. They bullied my son. Now they’re telling outright lies about me.”
Fox said all her son wants is to go back to school, but she doesn’t see that in the cards and plans to enroll him in public school.
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