Education

Butler High canceled classes after fatal shooting. Result: An extra day of school.

Video of Butler High shooting surfaces on Instagram

Raw video from Instagram shows moment when fight between two Butler students turns deadly. 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie is charged with shooting and killing Bobby McKeithen.
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Raw video from Instagram shows moment when fight between two Butler students turns deadly. 16-year-old Jatwan Cuffie is charged with shooting and killing Bobby McKeithen.

Butler High School will be open a day longer than other Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools at the end of the school year because of a fatal shooting there last October.

The scheduled last day of the CMS spring quarter is Friday, June 7. But Butler Principal John Legrand notified parents Wednesday that Monday, June 10, will be a make-up day because classes were canceled after the Oct. 29 shooting.

The shooting in a school hallway left Bobby McKeithen, 16, dead and Jatwan Craig Cuffie, 16, charged with second-degree murder. State records show Cuffie has a court date in Charlotte on Thursday.

In his message to parents, Legrand said the make-up day was scheduled in order to meet the state-mandated minimum number of instructional hours for students. CMS was unable to get a waiver from state legislators, he said, and ruled out adding 15 minutes to other school days, to make up the lost time, for logistical reasons.

June 10 will be a day for make-up testing and special programs for students including peer support training, mental health and community building, the message said.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, CMS clarified that “an option for waiving a day of instruction through legislative action was informally explored but deemed not possible to guarantee within the time frame available. No formal legislation was introduced into the NCGA.”

The district said it explored several options to ensure that Butler students would get the required instructional hours allowing them to graduate on time and advance to higher grade levels, but found none.

Pat Ryan, a spokesman for Senate leader Phil Berger, said legislators weren’t asked and had no legal way to waive the makeup day. Ryan said Butler’s makeup day might not be an issue if CMS had not canceled classes May 1, when thousands of teachers marched in Raleigh to demand that legislators increase education spending.

Commenters on social media Thursday morning weren’t happy about the decision.

“Why does Butler high school have to make up the day of Bobby getting shot?? Doesn’t really make sense. That was a day of mourning. If your child died, would your workplace make you make up the day you went to his funeral? Or maybe a day when you were giving birth? No,” @etherize_me666 tweeted.

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