Broward School Board revokes charter of Davie school for lack of proper security

Parents defend safety at Championship Academy of Distinction at Davie

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Broward County School Board voted 8-1 Tuesday to revoke the charter of Championship Academy of Distinction at Davie over security concerns. 

The school is accused of failing to have a proper school resource officer on campus for the first day of school last week.

"This school knowingly put its students and staff at risk, not once but twice," Superintendent Robert Runcie said. 

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission met last Wednesday as students returned to school and requested that Runcie send the commission a list of 29 schools that still lack proper SROs by this Friday.

For the first day of school, there were officers on most campuses, but more than two dozen charter schools do not have long-term plans for security coverage. 

While Championship Academy of Distinction at Davie did have a security guard on campus Wednesday, that person has not yet been certified by the Broward Sheriff's Office.

The school claimed the guard is scheduled to attend the training class in September.

"I've never felt unsafe at that location. I've never felt unsafe with my kids at that location. There's always been a security guard," one woman said during Tuesday's School Board meeting. "I've actually done traffic in the morning in the parking lot with the security guard ... As a teacher, as a parent, there's never been an issue with safety."

One father who spoke before the School Board asked them to consider what will happen with the students who attend the school if it's shut down.

"Please consider that. What's going to happen to these children when they close that school? It's good to flex your muscles and say, 'I'm going to teach one of these schools a lesson,'" the father said. 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, who sits on the MSD Public Safety Commission, told Runcie last week that action should be taken quickly against the charter school, so other charters will find long-term security coverage promptly. 

"You said twice today in your presentation that if they weren't in compliance, the only authority you had was to convene the School Board and revoke their charters, and it's time to take action," Judd told Runcie. "I guarantee you, if you convene your School Board and revoke somebody's charter, everybody else is going to come to attention real fast and they're going to be compliant." 

Runcie said parents who have children that attend the school will be informed Tuesday night about the change, likely via a robocall.

He said the school district will take over operations at the school and the teachers will continue working. 

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