Harkers Island, N.C.

Dec.11, 2020

TO THE EDITOR:

This school administration has put up with a board member who has an entire hate website dedicated to its 4th high school for the past several years. Now that same board member blatantly, continuously, and publicly wears his protective face mask incorrectly nearly 100 percent of the time. This has been on our local news, in our papers and on the recorded school board meetings.

It does not matter what his personal feelings about this mask mandate are. Every single student, teacher, and administrator is being mandated to adhere to this mask policy. Everyone from teachers to parents is struggling every single day with the fallout that Covid-19 has brought to all our families.

Travis Day, himself an educator, continues to hold himself to what is an obvious elitist and narcissistic view that he is above the mask mandate. He clearly has a total lack of respect for the entire educator family in Carteret County working so hard to adhere to the rules they have been subjected to.

I believe the fact that this ongoing environment within the school administration of allowing Travis Day and others to consistently attack the 4th high school is having additional fallout. Just this week, a coach at East Carteret High School gave an interview to the Carteret County News Times where he came out and threw a public and verbal temper tantrum blaming the children at MaST for ECHS’s realignment classification to 2A. This is further proof of that this behavior is common and acceptable within this administration. Not only did he publicly attack another high school under the Carteret County School System, but he gave completely inaccurate information. I believe at the very least a very sincere and public apology is in order from this coach.

This climate of continuous public attacking of a school where children are just trying to get an education is absolutely APPALLING. The school system claims to have a no tolerance policy for bullying, but they clearly are having a difficult time enforcing that policy within their own board of education, administration and employees.

I think it is high time to call in some outside agencies to take a look at their behavior, their Dual Enrollment program with only .07% minority enrollment, their plan for that DE program to replace MaST which has a 24% minority enrollment (which is on record at our last hearing), how exactly the BOE was changed from non-partisan to partisan, and finally exactly who was involved with that, where it happened and how it went down, with documentation of course.

ROBIN ANDREWS MEYER

(17) comments

mpjeep

Wow! Talk about bitterness and anger….

This letter is about MaST, with a big slice of character assassination on the side.

As Mr. Day has said several times, the majority of the folks that are against him or give him negative feedback is due to MaST.

I visited what the writer says is Mr Day’s “hate website”. Didn’t see any hate at all. Seems to be an extremely well-educated and knowledgeable leader, for our community.

And it is about money and funding. Everything is. With limited funds, priority decisions have to be made on who gets what. Always been that way. Maybe Biden will finance this educational project.

Herewegoagain

....... Let me educate you instead of reading a very biased “hate website.” Funding was paid this past year. 200000 from the state to directly to MaST. The state also funded the principal’s salary as with every other in the county. Funding an issue- NOT! The other 3 high schools complain because they loose money for their schools and that funding goes to MaST just like if a student were to attend a charter school. Oh Btw Carteret Community College receives money from the state with the attendance of the kids enrolled. For every 2 high schooler they count as 1college student. .......

(Edited by staff.)

Herewegoagain

And not a project but a high school just as the other 3 in the county!

LoggedIn

If you merely skim through Mr. Day’s website, it may look educated and knowledgeable...unless you take the time to get all the actual facts. He’s mastered the art of being a typical politician. His numbers and information are quite skewed and extremely misleading. Also, does he have any other information available on his site about any of the other schools in Carteret County? No, he does not. He has only sought to turn the uninformed public against MaST and make it seem like he’s some kind of hero for saving a small amount of money. He’s been anything but a hero for all the students in Carteret County.

It very well may be true that the majority of those not in favor of Mr. Day are because of MaST but I’d say that’s to be expected when he’s negatively dedicated his entire website just to MaST. Nowhere does he provide anything positive or negative about any other school in the county. Why? Wasn’t he elected to represent every student in every school of this county?

I believe his character assassination is more of a character suicide, it’s just now being brought out into the public eye.

mpjeep

"Just now being brought out into the public eye"....what a farce. It's been talked about here for at least 2 years.

mpjeep

Those in favor of MaST seem to use personal attacks to make their points. I support Mr. Day and feel bad that he has to endure these personal attacks.

Decisions needed to be made for thousands of students rather than less than 100. What does MaST offer that the other 3 schools don’t?

And why would/should we financially support a school principal and staff for so few?

mpjeep

If you want to be angry with anyone, you should look toward Governor Coop and his lack of state funding for a freshman class.

And Robin Meyer is the same person ranting and raving about the Realignment of East to 2A and Croatan bumped up to 3A with West.

Osprey

But he was just re-elected,......

Herewegoagain

Ran unopposed. No one in his district got the GOP nod. Hence the other comments about the partisan politics at the school board....

mpjeep

I think Mr. Day should be commended for his desire and ability to look at every angle of educational resources for our students. Mr. Day probably has done more research than most and I’m well satisfied that the voters made a good choice with this man.

High school and community college degrees are very important to our young folks. I know, because many years ago I went the community college route after high school. I know times have changed and what four year colleges will accept as transfer credits has changed. Our students from our traditional high schools CTE can transfer credits to CCC, just like students from MaST.

I went to Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, after high school and received an A.A.S. degree in computer science. After that, I applied to and was accepted by Gardner-Webb College (it’s a University now, but back then it was a College) and received a B.S. degree in business management. All of my credits from the community college transferred to the four year school and from there on to an MBA at Appalachian State University. I know my schools were not in the same league as Duke, Wake and UNC, but it’s the effort you put into your education as to what you get out of it.

Our regular/traditional high schools should take priority and we must ensure we don’t diminish our efforts there.

As the very true saying goes: You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all of the time.

Robin Andrews Meyer

Hate and bitterness? No, what is full of is honesty and the fact that Mr. Day and his constant attacks on the county’s 4th high school, ESPECIALLY within the ECHS district has led to an attitude of acceptance for attacking CHILDREN for pursuing their education. You say it is about funding, but the BOE voted in June 2020 to pause freshman enrollment due to “lack of funding.” On July 1, 2020 State Bill 816 released $200,000 SPECIFICALLY mentioning MaST to receive that money, which was released by July 15, 2020. All of the sudden, the freshman enrollment couldn’t be done due to the funds “not being reoccurring.” Every other school in the county and the entire state runs off of non-reoccurring funds...it’s called an ANNUAL BUDGET! Yet none of the other county schools had their enrollment stopped because their money for next year hasn’t been allocated yet!

With both of those excuses shot down, then the BOE stated they couldn’t allow the freshman enrollment because they aren’t “comfortable with the applicants.” They implied there was not enough first-generation college students and even implied there were only 4 true first generation college students. The US Department of Labor defines a 1st Generation College student as one with a parent or guardian who has completed a BACHELOR’S DEGREE. On the fact sheet the Carteret County School System prepared (and also has prepared on the students for the past 2 years) they have manipulated that information to fit their narrative. They had put 22 students who had a parent or guardian with “some college education” and 24 students with a parent of guardian “with a college degree.”

In essence a parent with “some college education” is NOT a college degree, so that would mean that AT LEAST 26 of the freshmen applicants are TRUE 1ST generation college students! (Over half confirmed...not 4 like they claim!) Likely, more than that actually are, because they did not specify whether “a college degree” was an Associate’s Degree or a Bachelor’s Degree. Since Travis Day was on the BOE when they were originally applying to the state for MaST, and it is on page 5 of the original application AND his job as a professor at UNC Chapel Hill would deem it necessary for him to know that “some college” does not equal a Bachelor’s Degree, he has intentionally mislead the entire county for the past 3 years. There is yet ANOTHER violation of the Code of Ethics of the BOE.

Add to that Mr. Day’s insistence the Dual Enrollment program is a replacement for MaST when out of 272 students enrolled in the entire county (out of 2500 traditional high school students), ONLY 20 are minors. That 20 includes ALL minors. Also, when a student is enrolled in Dual Enrollment, their family is completely responsible for all of their transportation between their high school and the college. Their family is also responsible for the costs of all of the books and supplies that class requires. And fees. This is a huge roadblock for even middle-class families, much less lower income families. Every child at MaST can take those classes, and only 5 of the 50 applicants did not choose a trade interest. The overall minority enrollment is 24%, and they want to shut it down for a program which has .07% minority enrollment and have the families responsible for daily transportation and the exorbitant costs of books and fees? Books and fees often exceed tuition in vocational programs which is what MaST is focusing on!

The county school system receives ADM money for every MaST student plus the Community College receives FTE money for every MaST student. So those children have brought the county $200,00 in funding for MaST, plus ADM money and FTE money and in addition to that Bucky Oliver offered $20,000 to the school which was denied. NC State law requires the CIHS to seek private funding for these programs. Out of over 130 CIHS in the state of NC, Carteret County is the ONLY one trying to shut theirs down. Because the school model is financially a no-brainer and a wonderful opportunity for the county to keep skilled workers after graduation!

Now take into consideration that coach is complaining about kids that would be attending ECHS is responsible for them being 2A. The students attending ECHS have the most to gain from attending MaST. Transportation is a HUGE obstacle, those families have the lowest per capita income in the county, and the job opportunities are far fewer. Yet that coach feels perfectly comfortable publicly attacking children trying to better themselves, their families, and the economy of our county. Over a sports classification they had nothing to do with?

It’s my belief the BOE did not allow the freshman enrollment to keep the school from reaching 100 students. They are currently at 90. Adding the 50 kids would put them in a position to receive state funding next year. That would keep the school open, which the BOE does not want to do. They would rather give up the opportunity for our county's children, the $200,000 funding the school will likely continue to receive, the FTE money, and the benefit for the future of our county's economy. Take a look at the BOE. Do you really think any of their children want or need a vocational pathway? Do you think they are going to be affected by this? Why are these upper middle class, Caucasian politicians so dead set on closing down a school that is serving lower socio-economic class minorities???? So no….Mr. I don’t print my name Jeep. This isn’t hate and bitterness. This is hard truth and lack of consequences. Congratulations on your MBA. It totally sounds like you know the struggle of a lot of these families and these kids. You know the last two years of legal complaints against the BOE are public record. I suggest you read them, and it will truly open you eyes to what they have done to these kids. I'm fairly easy to find because I don't hide my identity. If you would like I will be happy to email them to you. I’m going to Bless Your Heart Too.

mpjeep

I understand you are passionate about this subject, Ms. Meyer. I don’t know your background or why you are fighting so hard for MaST, but it’s not really any of my business anyway. I accept your information as factual, but it still seems like an economics issue to me.

Those in favor of MaST seem to use personal attacks to make their points. I support Mr. Day and feel bad that he has to endure these personal attacks.

Decisions needed to be made for thousands of students rather than less than 100. What does MaST offer that the other 3 schools don’t?

And why would/should we financially support a school principal, teachers and staff for so few students?

Osprey

Robin can you tell us of which School Board members supported funding MaST and which were opposed ?

Herewegoagain

This was the original vote to apply for MaST

Sept 5th 2017.

For- Chair Perry Harker and Board members Blake Beadle, Melissa Ehlers, Jake Godwin and John "Bubba" McLean

Against- Travis Day

Herewegoagain

If you read this article this is how the school board and county commission is in bed with each other. Just a small glimpse of the corruption that goes on. Some of the members of the BoE aren’t doing anything for the students or the tax payers they are reaping the benefits of back door hand shacks and nods. In this article you will find the connection is Mr. Bubba McLean, he is a member of the BoE and last years chairman. No only is it benefits him but solely his family too. No ones else does this dredge material benefit.

The Article states the following- “Dredged material will be stored, until it dries out, on two properties owned by Paxon Holz and another owned by John “Bubba” McLean and John McLean, who volunteered the properties and support the project.

Once the dredged material dries, it can be used by the property owners for fill material, and those who donated drying sites can also sell it. They do incur some costs, though, for fencing to keep the material out of adjacent waterways and off adjacent land. “ https://www.carolinacoastonline.com/news_times/article_e0758b2c-3a4d-11eb-bb83-.html

drewski

I know lil to nothing about this issue. Personal attacks are saying " your stupid"

Reporting on decisions made or actions taken is not a personal attack. The boe and commissioners can and will do exactly as they wish, public outrage will fade, and they get reelected, generation after generation.

David Collins

Agree ski , if the amount of outrage represented here is any indication , not much of it . Perhaps it is one more who cares issue .

Welcome to the discussion.

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