CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - Students arriving at a brand new charter school in Clayton County were turned away on the first day of classes Monday.
School leaders decided not to let parents and students inside the Utopian Academy for the Arts Monday morning.
Leaders were told they were breaking the law, because they didn’t have a business license or an operating license.
The city refused to sign off on those licenses because there’s an issue with the building lease.
School officials say they have a five-year lease, but the city says that lease may not be valid because the organization that subleased it to them may not be authorized to do so.
Utopian Academy’s founder, Artesius Miller, told Channel 2’s Sophia Choi that there was no way the school could open without the proper license.
“We've been told by the city of Riverdale, along with the fire marshall of the city of Riverdale fire department, that they will evacuate our building if we do not have a business license on file,” said Miller.
One parent said she is determined to see Utopian Academy opened.
“The state has already approved them, given them the green light. That is the authorizer for the school
- and that's what I'm going by, I'm standing on that. I am not moving off that,” said Sharon Daniel.
Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon met with upset parents and school leaders. She said she first learned of the problems over the weekend.
Wynn-Dixion called a meeting at Riverdale City Hall Monday morning to figure out what the school needs to do to open.
A representative from the Clayton County School Board, school leaders, Riverdale city leaders and other others attended the meeting.
Stay with Channel 2 Action News for updates on this developing story.