Students, staff return to Davie school after charter revoked

Davie police officer on campus Wednesday at Championship Academy

By Saira Anwer - Reporter

DAVIE, Fla. - A day after having its charter revoked, Championship Academy of Distinction at Davie was still open for students and staff, but it's now under the control of the Broward County School District. 

The change comes after an 8-to-1 vote Tuesday by the School Board, which took back the school's charter contract after School Board members said the school failed to provide adequate armed security for the first day of classes as required by state law.

But parents and staff on Wednesday said they're confused because the school did have security staff every day so far this school year.

"I'm very confused myself because they've had BSO officers here. They've also had a security guard," parent Gracie Mangual said. 

According to Broward County Public Schools officials, while Championship Academy of Distinction at Davie did have a security guard on campus last week on the first day of school, that person has not yet been certified by the Broward Sheriff's Office.

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

"This school knowingly put its student and staff at risk not once but twice," BCPS Superintendent Robert Runcie said during Tuesday's School Board meeting. 

School leaders said they searched for the proper security to go through the guardian training but could not find a qualified person in time.

"With no candidates available, we placed an ad on a popular recruitment site in hopes to land  a qualified candidate of our own. There were many applicants who expressed interest, but no one met the requirement," one school official said. 

The school has more than 500 students, and parents who love the school are desperate to keep it open. Many came to Tuesday's meeting pleading for discretion and more time.

"It's not about whose fault it is. It's about how we can fix it," one mother said. 

School Board members were empathetic but in the end felt they were bound by the new law that came after the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

"The law is very clear to us, and we are really being put on the spot here. We have to be the jury here and make that decision," School Board member Ann Murray said. 

A Davie police officer was on campus Wednesday.

The school has 10 days to appeal the School Board's decision. 

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