Questions remain about a North Carolina high school's response regarding the case of an athlete who was allowed to play football after being charged with a felony sex offense.
Since hundreds of students protested for hours outside Olympic High School in Charlotte on Friday, The Charlotte Observer has learned that the 16-year-old football player, whose name has not been released by the district or police, was charged before the start of the school year with a felony sex offense reported off campus, and that the player was allowed to take the field while wearing a court-ordered electronic monitoring device, or ankle bracelet. District officials speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed those details.
North Carolina High School Athletic Association rules permit student-athletes under criminal investigation to continue playing and only require exclusion if the student-athlete is convicted, but Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ athletic director Ericia Turner has said the district will no longer allow athletes under criminal investigation to play sports.
Meanwhile, in a separate but related story, at least two Olympic High School volleyball players are serving a one-game suspension as a consequence for participating in the protest, parents and two of the players told The Charlotte Observer on Tuesday.
An email shared with the paper shows Turner defending the decision saying, “The volleyball team members that received consequences either were seen at the unapproved protest or admitted that they were there.”