Lakeland school for children with disabilities closes

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The Monarch School’s wings have been clipped. The school, which teaches kids with autism and other challenges, officially and abruptly closed Tuesday.

“I was in complete and utter shock,” Crystal Spell, whose daughter goes to Monarch, told FOX 13.

“It has been very rough,” said another mom, Brittany Lesnett. Her son Grant was a student there.

“He said, 'Mommy, why did I get kicked out of another school?' That just broke my heart because he didn’t get kicked out,” Lesnett said.

The state just announced that the man who runs Monarch, Dr. Randy Coggins missed a deadline to apply for the money needed to keep the school going. Coggins is a pastor at Perfecting Hope Church in Winter Haven.

He has had a tumultuous year.

In the spring, Coggins was charged with stealing 7,800 in food stamps and medical benefits. He was sentenced to probation and had to pay the money back.

Apparently, Coggins' money problems did not end there. Teachers at Monarch say they have not been paid since August.

Parents now wonder if any money is missing from the school’s coffers. They’re asking the Lakeland PD to open an investigation.