TURPIN: Canceling children at Charlotte Latin 

Charlotte Latin is shown in this file photo.

Imagine what it would be like if your young child was being treated unfairly by a teacher at the school.   

Imagine if that teacher headed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee at the school and taught your child that all Republicans are “white supremacists” trying to create Jim Crow 2.0.  

Imagine if that teacher taught your child from a book called “Woke, a Young Poets Guide to Justice.” 

Now imagine that you politely and professionally asked to speak with the school about these things, and your school reacted by summarily expelling your children from the school to eliminate you from asking further questions and to intimidate the other parents who had expressed similar concerns.   

Does this sound like something that would never happen in North Carolina?   

Well, it happened to my two young children at Charlotte Latin.   

Latin is marketed to parents as an apolitical, merit-based classical education private school which teaches children how to think, not what to think.  When a new headmaster, Chuck Baldecchi, was installed in mid-2020, a notice was sent out to all parents that the school has a new “foundational” position which said DEI would be the lens through which every aspect of the school’s culture and curriculum will be managed.   

Suddenly, alarming virtue-signaling, and woke class assignments were implemented. 

I was one of the leaders of a group of 60+ alarmed parents who created a group, Refocus Latin, which requested an audience with Latin’s Board.  We were invited to make a presentation, with the explicit promise there would be no retaliation against us.   

The presentation included images of artwork that suddenly began to appear in the school, such as a picture of Jesus with his throat cut and black blood flowing out from his body with the words “God is Dead.” The presentation also included a book that amounted to a how-to manual for gay sex found in the children’s library and a story containing a man graphically raping a young boy.  The Board listened politely, then told us they would not have any more meetings or discussions with us.  

In retaliation for meeting with the Board and in response to the circulation of the presentation following the meeting, Baldecchi went on a video conference with all parents and faculty, angrily denouncing the parents in Refocus Latin as “awful” and “threatening the fabric” of the school.  He ominously told school employees to notify him about any parent that raises concerns about Latin’s culture and curriculum.   

About one week later, I sent an email requesting an opportunity to discuss with the head of the middle school, Todd Ballaban, that my son reported to me that his teacher taught the class that Republicans are White supremacists who are trying to create Jim Crow 2.0.  He said his teacher also told him he was not able to remove his mask to drink water or to use the bathroom.  

Ballaban refused to talk with me, replying that he would instead go straight to the teacher to do a “thorough investigation” but promised no retaliation.  In 68 minutes, he completed his investigation, and, copying Baldecchi, he asked to have an in-person meeting. Suspicious, I confirmed it was legal to record such a meeting.  At the meeting, my children’s enrollment agreements were pulled out of a folder and Baldecchi summarily expelled them, effective that day, to intimidate other parents who were speaking out against his policies.    

I tried to contact every member of the Board, receiving only a reply from Baldecchi’s former college classmate and close friend, Board Chair Denny O’Leary, saying Baldecchi could expel any child at any time if he deemed that the school did not have a “positive and collaborative working relationship” with their parents.   

Despite the pledge of no retaliation, O’Leary said that the Board would not investigate or hear from us about the summary expulsions. Four days after Latin expelled my children, the Board sent out an email slandering my family. Every detail of this story is documented at www.honoraboveall.org.   

In response, my family filed a lawsuit against Latin, each member of the Board, Baldecchi, and Ballaban. We have filed a petition at the N.C. Supreme Court to request that the court hear the case as a matter of compelling public interest.  

We do not want to see this happen to any other family. Cancel culture is an evil that must be defeated, as it, and woke ideology, is what actually threatens the fabric of our society.  

Doug Turpin is CEO of Coalition For Liberty which can be reached at www.coalitionforliberty.com