Last month, we brought you news of violence involving Mavericks High charter school students in Homestead. One 17-year-old was arrested for bringing a gun to school, and a 16-year-old student was shot and killed by a police officer. Now the Mavericks High in North Miami Beach is making headlines for crime -- and city officials are not happy about it.
According to the Miami Herald : "Police records show that since the school opened in 2009 to December 2011, police have arrested 32 Mavericks students and responded to 88 calls for service at the school. But police say the number of incidents is likely much higher."
On February 27, police say 16-year-old North Miami Beach Mavericks student Juan Carlos Montoya tried to steal a fellow student's iPod at a bus stop and was charged with strong-armed robbery. In a separate incident five days earlier, Montoya was arrested after fleeing the scene of an alleged attempted burglary.
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The allegations of criminal activity by Mavericks students are not new. In December, Jarret Gross told the Pulp he was worried about fights and weapons-related incidents he said involved Mavericks students. Gross, a North Miami Beach developer, owns a building that houses a Jewish girls' school near the charter school.
"They're importing them into our city to commit crimes," Gross said of the students. "I don't want them in our city."
Mavericks, which is run by the West Palm Beach-based for-profit management company Mavericks in Education, serves students who would otherwise drop out of high school. Many of Mavericks' eight Florida charter schools have been plagued with academic and financial troubles. Last year, the graduation rate at Mavericks High in North Miami Beach was just 12.7 percent. To read New Times' in-depth investigation of Mavericks, click here.
Gross wants the city of North Miami Beach to revoke the school's occupational license, and the city manager told the Herald that might be possible if problems at Mavericks continue. For now, though, the city has asked the school to help foot the bill for additional police presence around Mavericks.