CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Parents are speaking out about a Charlotte charter school being forced to close its doors this week.
Among the new revelations, parents say there were food shortages and almost no textbooks at StudentFirst Academy. The board surrendered the school's license last week and now parents are scrambling to find schools that will take their kids. Like most parents, the Leakes want the world for their son Zmari.
We want him to thrive, not survive but thrive, said dad Sean.
When the second grader was bullied at his CMS school last year they moved him to StudentFirst Academy. Then, it was a brand new charter school where they were told a therapist would be on hand to deal with his special needs. The school never brought in any therapist. Zmari is on the autism spectrum, he has sensory overload.
Mom Betty says, They really didn t have any answers, hemming and hawing. Were putting it together , there were no answers. So I was volunteering.
The state says that s one reason the school's board had to surrender its charter - they didn't do what is legally required for special needs students.
The school has also faced serious money troubles. Parents say there were very few textbooks and sometimes a shortage at lunch.
One of the parents mentioned that her child ran out of food and again I was shocked, what do you mean we ran out of food. There was a problem with the vendor and payment so they didn t have any food to feed the kids, Betty told us.
Now the Leakes are worried Zmari will have to repeat the second grade wherever he ends up.
I'm certain of things they didn't have all the necessary resources that they needed, I'm sure he's not on grade level the way he should be moving into the third grade.
NBC Charlotte tried to get some answers from the school about the textbooks and the food. When we called a woman who says she was the office manager, she told us We don't have a statement. School is closing Friday, it's irrelevant.