Judge won’t intervene in fight between principal and student
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida high school principal asked a judge this week for a restraining order against a former student turned critic.
The South Florida SunSentinel reported that a judge rejected Karlton Johnson’s restraining order request, and suggested that he should try to talk out his differences with Delvin King, 27.
Johnson, 54, is a longtime principal of Blanche Ely High in Pompano Beach. He has been feuding for more than a year with King, who graduated in 2011 and chaired the School Advisory Council from 2018 to 2019.
The newspaper sparred again on Monday afternoon during a hearing that King livestreamed on Facebook. The livestream attracted some 5,000 views and more than 2,100 comments, most of whom sided with the former student.
King now heads a private school in Pompano Beach. He’s been a critic of Johnson’s leadership for some time, the newspaper reported.
But recently, the behavior has become dangerous, Johnson told Judge Frank Ledee in seeking the restraining order.
“He’s creating hostility among the citizens of Broward County, and I’m afraid for my life at this point,” Johnson said. “He’s threatened me on social media,”
Johnson was not able to provide any evidence of his claims to the judge. He said King had removed the questionable posts.
Johnson also alleged that King used fake names to call into School Advisory Council meetings on Nov. 17 and Dec. 15, shouting obscenities.
King denied the accusation, telling the judge that Johnson is “doing all of this because I stand up for the community and call out everything he does wrong at the school.”
The newspaper reported that both men represented themselves without lawyers. It was the second time the legal system ruled against Johnson in his disputes with King.
King was kicked off the School Advisory Council in October 2019, and issued a no-trespass letter, which said he made comments at meetings such as “You are a liar” and “You are a fraud.”
In January, King showed up just off campus wearing a shirt that read, “Fire Mr. Johnson.”
The newspaper reported that King posted a video on social media showing him getting arrested for being less than 1,000 feet from the school — just seconds after a smiling Johnson posed in a photo with King.
Prosecutors dropped the charges, deciding there was “no reasonable likelihood of conviction.”
At virtual council meetings in October and November, King complained about how the school is run. In November, when King and a friend asked about about the trespassing arrest, Johnson removed both men from the meeting.
A few minutes later, the newspaper reported, a caller posed as Broward School Board member Nora Rupert and began shouting obscenities. Johnson said a similar incident happened in December and he blamed King. King has denied making the calls.
While the judge didn’t resolve that issue, he noted that both men seemed to want the same thing: to protect and educate kids. Ledee suggested the two “negotiate their disputes” through “respect and conversation,” the newspaper reported.
King said Johnson “will lie his way through anything just to stop someone from coming to make a change at Blanche Ely High School. This has to stop. We need a new principal.”
Johnson told the newspaper on Monday night that he has a lot of community support and suggested the fight isn’t over.
“We shouldn’t allow people to be able to victimize students and parents,” he said before hanging up.