DALLAS — It was hardly what parents envisioned when they first sent their kids to Prime Prep Academy — upset kids, walking out of class... their iconic leader, Deion Sanders, being told to leave by security.
The charter school is in the middle of a bitter power struggle amid accusations of mismanagement and incompetence. But perhaps the biggest question is whether the Texas Education Agency is doing anything about it.
"I never dreamed this,” Deion Sanders lamented. "I just dreamed of having the best academic and athletic institution in the country, and we are going to have it. We are going to have it... we just have to get this mess out."
Those were Sanders' words from the parking lot of his Prime Prep Academy in Dallas Tuesday where a Dallas County Deputy Constable was keeping him at bay.
Minutes earlier, Sanders had been fired by administrators whom he and Prime Prep Board President T. Chris Lewis have been aggressively trying to replace.
"This is nonsense. We are sick of it," Sanders said. "The kids don't deserve it. Over-paid, under-qualified administrators never worked in a school in their life. Total chaos. We have a formula to restore what the was the dream at Prime Prep."
After hearing word that Sanders was fired, about 75 high school students staged a walkout. News 8 was there as Sanders addressed the students gathered in the field house.
Moments later they returned to class. But in their wake is a situation that Sanders himself calls "chaotic."
With Sanders gone, the former Dallas Cowboys star says Prime Prep Academy is now being run by administrators loyal to its co-founder, now former CEO and Executive Director D. L. Wallace.
Wallace resigned November 21, one day after we caught up with him in a Fort Worth parking lot. We had questions about mystery rent payments made with school operating funds.
Wallace was replaced this week by Prime Prep’s general counsel, Dallas attorney Kimberly Carlisle.
Sanders said Carlisle’s mother is Prime Prep's caterer, which he calls a conflict of interest.
Sanders said he hopes current Prime Prep administrators will be removed by the Board of Directors at a meeting called for this Friday.
"Right now they are trying to overthrow the board and do everything that is not legal and lawful,” Sanders said, adding: "It's unbelievable."
This is the second time Sanders has been fired from Prime Prep this fall. The first time was after he allegedly assaulted one of the administrators. Sanders was rehired the next day.
We reached out to Texas Education Agency officials asking about the status of their investigation into the problems at Prime Prep; we have yet to receive a response.