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WHO'S RIGHT, GOLDEN GATE? People fight new school as supporters call out threats

Mason Classical Academy founder and Collier Co. School Board Member Kelly Lichter addressed threats at end of Tuesday's board meeting
Posted at 9:31 PM, Dec 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-15 09:37:47-05

NAPLES, Fla. — Neighbors of Seventh Avenue Northwest in Golden Gate joined together outside of the Mason Classical Academy (MCA) in hopes of gaining support.

RELATED STORY: Quiet Golden Gate street soon will have a school built in the middle (fox4now.com)

Talk of an extension of MCA, a charter school, to Vanderbilt Beach Road, has neighbors worried about Seventh Avenue Northwest which is located on the south side of the busy road.

"They're thinking about their pocketbook first," said Agnes Tabor, a resident of Seventh Avenue Northwest. "They're not thinking about the children. We would really like to have a sit down with these people and talk to them."

Neighbors tell Fox 4 that it has come to the point of joining in a peaceful demonstration outside of the school to share their message with the parents and staff of MCA.

"We already have issues with our roads and the fact that they are trying to have this school, I don't agree with it, and that's why I'm here," said Marcela Zurita, a Golden Gate resident who heard about the demonstration.

Zurita tells Fox 4, she is worried that future developments may continue to come to Golden Gate and that is why she is joining them.

The potential location off Vanderbilt Beach Road currently has 4 houses residing on it.

"If you've ever driven the area between let's say, Livingston and Collier Boulevard, the traffic can be horrendous," said Tabor. "This close to Vanderbilt and Collier is just, you're jeopardizing the students."

Founder and President of MCA, and also part of the Collier County School Board, Kelly Lichter talked about threats and concerns regarding her family's safety over this topic during Tuesday's board meeting.

"These are scary times. I've been in the public arena for over a decade. I've never been more scared in my life, so I just want people to know that and take this more seriously."
Kelly Lichter, Collier County School Board Chair

I reached out to Lichter to clarify those comments from Tuesday night, but she did not meet with us on camera. However, MCA's Executive Director David Hull wrote an email to Fox 4 today saying there is "nothing yet set in stone" for a new campus and also asked if, "There will be a report on how misinformation is being used to create a false narrative."

Fox 4 will keep you up to date as this develops.