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Students of unaccredited academy that operated for 23 years without certification forced to redo high school

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BATON ROUGE - Second Chance Academy has received a lot of attention since the school administrator, Corey Nash, was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with several minors at the school.

Nash was arrested and charged with the alleged crimes, but the backlash is affecting more than just him; it also affects his former students. Their transcripts are not being recognized by school districts. 

Second Chance opened 34 years ago, in 1989, but for the last 23 years, the school has been operating outside of the Louisiana Department of Education. It lost its accreditation in 2000. 

This means that the curriculum taught and the diplomas earned are not recognized by the state. Now, parents and students are feeling hopeless.

"I feel like I was scammed," says one former parent who asked to remain anonymous. 

Most parents did not find out the school was unaccredited until they tried enrolling their kids in another school. They quickly learned their kids' Second Chance transcripts are basically useless.

"It's not right, it's not fair because we, as parents... we didn't know we were putting our kids into a school that was unaccredited," the anonymous parent said. "The student went to school as an eleventh grader. In the middle of the day, the school went in, pulled him out of class, and took him to the 9th grade."

The schools are requiring the kids the start high school over again.

Second Chance has not held accreditation since 2000. Now, parents are confused about how this could've happened. 

"This is something that the Department of Education should've caught. Think about the 23 years of diplomas that are out and not even accredited," the parent said.

According to Preston Castille, District 8 representative for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the state knew the school was still operating. 

"The law allows that even without BESE's approval, without the Department of Education's oversight, some small schools can operate in a small fashion," Castille said.

That law aims to allow things like homeschooling and small charters. Now, some ex-Second Chance students aren't getting the second chance they were promised.

"The school did not teach these kids so when they go back into the public school system they are not going to be as fluent with the information as the other students at the schools," the anonymous parent continued. "My kid doesn't know timetables, my kid doesn't know multiplication or some of English. None of that was taught at Second Chance."

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