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Students and parents at Hawthorne Academy were notified late Tuesday night that Principal Diann Weston and Assistant Principal Nina Adams have been suspended with pay.  Officials did not say why the 2 were suspended but the action comes after the school was accused of mishandling sex assault allegations.

In August, a sophomore student reported being sexually assaulted by another student to administrators.  The district claims that the student falsified information and suspended her late last month.  They have now reopened their investigation and put the suspension on hold.

Statement from the mother of the student:

“This in no way has been easy for us as it’s been a daily battle ensuring my daughter feels safe and secure as well as letting her know she made the right decision.”

“My daughter wants everyone to know ‘that she thanks them and it makes her feel she has more support.’ We never expected to get as much publicity as we did but we want everyone to know that things like this should be heard and not hidden.”

Statement from the attorney of the student:

“CMS had plenty of opportunities to avoid yet another campus sexual assault scandal, but rather than taking meaningful action when issues arose at Myers Park High School, it waited for another disaster to strike at Hawthorne Academy.

“All parents need to stand with their students at this time and demand change so this does not happen to another student ever again.”

Statement from CMS Superintendent Winston released last week:

“As a parent, I understand the concerns many families are sharing about news coverage of incidents of misconduct. It is difficult for me to not give in to the parental instinct of providing information to help others gain a better understanding of situations, which many times prove more complex than news reports might lead one to conclude.

As the leader of the district, I am bound by law to not disclose confidential information about such matters as individual student discipline or ongoing police investigations.”

A 2nd student from Hawthorne came forward on Monday with details about 2019 sexual assault that she reported.  She was made to sign a NDA with 10 bullet points, one of which being that she could not talk about the assault until she graduated.