PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — A legal battle has caused a charter school on Pensacola Beach to start the new school year later than expected.
The first day of class was scheduled for Monday at Pensacola Beach Elementary School but now the 140 students and 17 staff members will be back one day later because of a court hearing that school leaders and some teachers are required to attend.
This all started when first-grade teacher Kelli Moyer’s contract wasn’t renewed in 2012. Parents and staff members complained that she was rude and yelled at her students.
In 2013, Moyer filed a lawsuit against the school alleging Principal Jeff Castleberry treated her in a “hostile and rude manner.”
In May 2019, Moyer came to the school with enrollment applications for her daughters. According to court documents, Castleberry was shocked to see her back at the school after filing the lawsuit.
The school board says Moyer had a “continuing pattern of threats and intimidation toward the school” after she left. She’s accused of posting a picture with the principal’s last name on a highway exit sign saying, “Part of me would have taken the time to shoot this sign had my gun been in reach while driving.”
The school sent a letter home to parents July 30th that states they have stepped up security and that the board tried to get a restraining order against Moyer but the judge denied it and ordered her to give up her gun and maintain a gun-free home. The school was ordered to accept her children’s enrollment. They still haven’t complied. The board is in the process of requesting a stay on the judge’s order to accept her enrollment application and to allow her access to campus.
The school board says because of her physical threats online, students and staff won’t feel safe.
The court hearing is Monday morning at 8:30.