COCONUT CREEK, FLA. (WSVN) - The principal of Monarch High School and several staff members have been reassigned to non-school sites pending the outcome of an “investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports,” according to a statement from Broward County Public Schools.
Sources with knowledge of the situation told 7News that the investigation is related to a biological male who is transitioning or has transitioned and was allowed to play on the girls’ volleyball team. According to Florida law, it bars biological males from participating in female sports.
The district’s website lists James Cecil as the principal of Monarch High School, located at 5050 Wiles Road in Coconut Creek.
The statement, issued by John J. Sullivan, Chief Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer of Broward County Public Schools, did not provide specific details regarding the nature of the investigation.
“The principal of Monarch High School and several staff members have been reassigned to non-school sites pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of improper student participation in sports. Although we cannot comment further, we will continue to follow state law and will take appropriate action based on the outcome of the investigation. We are committed to providing all our students with a safe and inclusive learning environment.”– John J. Sullivan, Chief Communications and Legislative Affairs Officer of Broward County Public Schools,
Aside from Cecil being reassigned, Broward County Public Schools notified three other staff members are part of the BCPS Special Investigative Unit’s investigation and were reassigned to non-school sites pending the outcome.
The staff members include the following:
- Kenneth May – Assistant Principal
- Dione Hester – Teacher/Athletic Director
- Jessica Norton – Information Management Technician
Additionally, Alex Burgess, a temporary athletic coach, was advised that his serviced were paused as the investigation is underway.
Students at the school reacted to the news of investigation.
“I don’t think it should be a problem big enough for you to have the school’s principal reassigned,” a student said. “At the end of the day, that’s just an extracurricular.”
“I don’t agree with that. He shouldn’t be allowed to play on the team,” a student said. “If he’s a biological boy, I don’t think he should play on the team.”
BCPS board member Torey Alston also reacted to the investigation into the transgender student playing on the girls’ volleyball team.
“The investigation will follow the facts and if it is revealed that state law is in question, I could tell you, we will follow state law,” Alston said.
Lisa Maxwell, executive director of the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, released a statement, which reads as follows, “We are confident that at the end of this investigation, principal James Cecil will be fully exonerated and will return to Monarch High.”
Cecil has been with the district in Broward County for 20 years. One of the assistant principals at the school will now take over pending the outcome of the investigation.
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