Court orders private school in Dover to stop charging for diplomas, services

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A private school in Dover that has operated under many aliases has been ordered to stop charging for educational services and diplomas, following consumer complaints.

A state Superior Court judge hasheld the Bright Rock Christian Academy and its principals in contempt and ordered the organization to stop soliciting, offering, charging for, or attempting to offer or charge for diploma or education services in Delaware until such time as it complies with the investigative demands.

Bright Rock has operated under various names since about 2006, including:

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  • Bertha E. Roach Academy
  • Bertha Roach Christian High School
  • Bertha Roach Christian School
  • Bertha Elizabeth Roach Christian School
  • B.E.R. Academy
  • B.E.R. Christian High School
  • Bright Rock Christian Academy
  • The Enlighten Center

Bright Rock’s principals include Clifton Maurice Pettyjohn, Derone L. Daniels, Ira D. Roach, III, Charmagne R. Quarles (a/k/a Reya Quarles), and Sonya Yvette Harris.

The school has claimed that it is accredited, according to a previous News Journal story.

In social media listings, it is described as a home high school and church and even had a video of its graduation posted. (See above)

In the summer of 2016, the consumer agency received complaints from former students of Bright Rock and its affiliates that high school diplomas obtained from those organizations were not accepted by employers or institutions of higher education, a release from the Attorney Geneal’s Office stated.

The Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) commenced an investigation in August 2016 and served Bright Rock, its principals, and affiliates with a subpoena, which Bright Rock ignored.

The state then obtained a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) from the Superior Court in April 2017.

Bright Rock produced a deficient, incomplete and untimely response to the CID, after which CPU asked the Superior Court for relief to ensure that Bright Rock and its principals and affiliates properly comply with their efforts to further investigate the matter.

On August 4, Superior Court issued an order finding Bright Rock, its principals, and affiliates in contempt for failing to respond properly and fully to the civil demand.

The order enjoins Bright Rock, its principals, and affiliates from soliciting, offering, charging for, or attempting to offer or charge for diploma or education services in Delaware, suspends their corporate charter and enjoins them from organizing in any form for the purpose of rendering diploma or education services in Delaware, and assesses fines and penalties.

These injunctions and sanctions remain in place until Bright Rock, its principals and affiliates come into compliance, the release stated.

The consumer protection offices advised that any Delawarean seeking to obtain a high school education or other education credential should be sure that the organization or institution they select is legitimate.

The Delaware Department of Education does not endorse, accredit, approve or monitor curriculum for any nonpublic school, or validate any type of credential provided by those schools.

However, the state does publish information on private schools that submit information. See guide below:

2016_2017_Nonpublic_Schools_Report
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