WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Regulators voted Thursday to issue a formal warning to a Utah charter school run by people with ties to a polygamous cult, and to launch a further investigation.
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A recent audit found that Vanguard Academy in West Valley City had almost no students of color and that its vendors had family ties to school employees, among other issues.
Vanguard students and staff are individuals associated with the Davis County Cooperative Society, also known as the Kingston Group.
“Probably most, if not all, are family members,” said Amanda Rae, a former cult member who attended the meeting.
The audit took place after FOX 13 investigated and discovered multiple links between Vanguard and the Kingston Group.
The warning requires Vanguard to correct any issues identified during the audit. But the Utah State Charter School Board also voted Thursday that a further investigation was needed.
“We need to be transparent,” said Bryan Bowles, vice chairman of the board. “These are public money.
WATCH: School linked to polygamous sect investigated by charter school board
Utah charter schools are said to be open to students who apply, but the audit found only children in the Kingston group were admitted. The listeners found a reference to the only students who belong to the “LDCC” being allowed to enter the gymnasium.
“Our staff, we don’t know what LDCC means,” said Stewart Okobia, chief financial officer of the board of directors Thursday. “We have no idea what it is.”
Rae has stated that it means The Church of Christ of the latter days – the incorporated church of the sect.
WATCH: Audit confirms FOX 13 investigation into public school linked to polygamous sect
Rae and another woman who grew up in the group, Kollene Snow, are thrilled with the further investigation as they believe a warning is not enough.
” It’s not good ! Snow said. “The state must do a lot more. “
The board has the option of imposing a harsher probation sentence or shutting down Vanguard.