Citations at Crestworth Middle keep school closed

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The 2012 school year is just days away, but students at one middle school are just learning in these final hours that they may have to go to another school.

Just two days before school is set to begin, two specific citations are what State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said have Crestworth Middle school shut down.

"Chaining doors in any type of assembly, especially a school, is a major violation, and we consider that to be an immediate threat," said Browning.

A threat because it means the locks on the doors are not working so chains are doing the job, but that's not all.

"The fire alarm system, smoke alert system does not appear to be operating properly so that would need to be repaired," said Browning.

The State Fire Marshal's office was out at the school exactly one month ago, July 6th, when they issued a cease and desist. Monday, August 6th, they were back out there, and Browning said none of the issues have been addressed in the past month.

It's why sources told WAFB that the students enrolled at Crestworth Middle will now have to go to Glen Oaks.

Because the school falls under the Recovery School District, WAFB called to get some answers. How many students were impacted, and for how long they may be transferred? The calls were not returned.

Before the Recovery School District took over, Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church chartered Crestworth back in 2009.

"When both of those things are remedied, then we would give occupancy to the building, and of course it could be used," said Browning.

Sources said that in itself is an issue. It's said the church said because the school is under the state now, it's not their problem. On the flip side, the state said the problems were under the charter so it's their problem. Caught between their bickering are hundreds of students who now have to go to Glen Oaks over Crestworth Middle.

Calls to Mount Pilgrim were also not returned.

There will be a meeting held at the Scotlandville Library Tuesday at 6 p.m. for Crestworth Middle parents to answer any questions about the upcoming school year. A Recovery School District representative is expected to be there.

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