DAVIE (CBSMiami) — Big changes are coming to Championship Academy of Distinction in Davie.  Tuesday, the Broward School board voted 8 to 1 to immediately terminate the charter renewal for the school.  It comes after the school did not have a safe school officer on campus for the first two days of class.

“The board of the charter as well as the administration was aware that when they opened school it would not be in compliance with state statute,” said School Board Commissioner Donna Korn. “They made the decision not only to open school, to have school open the second day.”

The school argued they now have an agreement with Davie Police to provide a school resource officer.  The board noted that agreement was not executed and initially only guaranteed coverage 16 of the first 30 days.

“Would we let a day go by, our airports, not protect them?  No,” said Board Member Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was murdered in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.

“Our students and our teachers are our diamonds, they’re our top priorities and we need to make sure we comply with the law.  And coming here today and not having a fully executed contract, it’s not acceptable,” she said.

The principal argued the school was always safe.  “It’s our position that at no time was the true safety of our students in question,” said school Principal Todd Dupell.

The board was also concerned after learning the school did have an armed guard on campus, but he is not certified by the state, meaning it is another violation.  Championship school administrators made passionate pleas to keep their charter agreement.

“What makes you think for one second that we would jeopardize our children and our safety after having an amazing track record for 7 years,” said Championship’s Cyndia Dotson.  “What makes you think I’m just going to turn my back on my families? We have reached out for help.”

Parents lined up too to speak, hoping to change the board’s mind. “I consider Davie, where my kids go, a jewel. It is a hidden jewel,” said one parent. “I’ve never felt unsafe in that location. I’ve never felt unsafe with my kids at that location. There’s always been a security guard.”

The Broward School District will now run Championship Academy of Distinction in Davie.  By keeping the school open, the district hopes to lessen the impacts on students, teachers and staff.

Championship has ten days to appeal to the state.  They should have a ruling from Tallahassee within two months after filing.

Ted Scouten

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