HUNTERSVILLE – Lake Norman Charter School Managing Director Tim Riemer sent a voicemail message to parents earlier this month reminding students to treat others with respect and that bullying would not be tolerated.
The minute-long message came after police were called to investigate an incident of bullying, and the school fired a gym teacher. It is unclear, however, if the incidents are related, as Riemer did not return a call for comment.
Huntersville police were called to the school at 12435 S. Old Statesville Road April 8, a day after a student alleged he was “hazed” by other students in the school’s gym. He told officers several other students yelled at him and called him names, threatening to do “certain things,” Huntersville Police Lt. Ken Richardson said last week. Police did not investigate the matter further when the student declined to pursue charges and the school said it planned to look into the matter internally.
“In the end, even the student said it wasn’t an incident. I think that this has gotten a lot bigger than it really was as people have talked about it and it’s been passed along like that,” Richardson said.
Shortly after police were called, Lake Norman Charter administrators fired Troy Simko, the school’s basketball coach and gym teacher. He declined to comment when reached by the Herald. The school’s athletic director Matt Schlegel confirmed the firing, but declined to say why Simko was released. Schlegel said a press release would be sent out soon. No press release was ever issued to the Herald, and he has not returned emails and calls seeking further comment.
After the Herald Weekly called the school April 15 about the incident, Riemer sent the mass voicemail at 5:01 p.m., a parent said. The following week the school was on spring break.
The message said in part:
“I would appreciate if you could take the time to remind your child or children about the behavioral expectations that we have in place. We expect Lake Norman Charter students to treat one another with dignity and respect at all times and refrain from engaging in any form of bullying.
“It is important that we hold our students accountable for meeting these expectations, as we want our school to be a place where students can focus on learning, while enjoying themselves at the same time.”