Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesman Tracy Russ says when someone tweeted a photo of South Charlotte Middle School’s sign bearing a profanity targeting new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh the photo looked fake. And when a staffer drove to the school Monday evening, the sign bore no message.

“Fake news,” came the response from the CMS Twitter account

A.P. Dillon, a conservative blogger based in the Raleigh area, sent the first tweet. On her blog Monday night she questioned that response, sharing tweets from two people who said they had photographed the sign over the weekend. Those photos show the message “F— Kavanaugh.”

“Not Fake and pretty pathetic that anyone would say it was!” tweeted Tracy Lundell, who reported photographing the sign with a relative who also shared a photo. “One would think the Chief Communications Officer at CMS would know to check facts before labeling it fake news.”

Tuesday morning Russ confirmed: The message was real. Someone apparently altered the school’s sign, which Russ said had another message on it and should have been locked, to reflect dissatisfaction with Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

“We thought it had been fake. It turns out it was real,” Russ said.

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Russ said the principal learned of the message and removed it “pretty quickly.” Russ said CMS is checking security cameras to see if the culprit was recorded, but as of Tuesday morning he said the district doesn’t know how the sign was altered or who did it.

“CMS messaging guidelines, Board policies and codes of conduct forbid use of profanities in any communications. CMS is investigating this matter with law enforcement,” he said in a statement sent Tuesday morning.

Dillon responded to an Observer query Tuesday by saying the CMS response was “perhaps a bit too hasty.”

“I think the citizens in the area and parents of children at that school would like to know how the sign was vandalized in the first place,” she said.


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