Personal feeling between two leaders in Clay County could put students safety at risk

Action News at 6:00 p.m.

In Clay County, there's been somewhat of a battle between the two leaders.

Action News Jax told you Monday when Sheriff Darryl Daniels told Superintendent Addison Davis his deputies would only handle calls at schools during school hours. On Wednesday, the superintendent sent a letter to the sheriff that reads in part:

"Throughout this entire process, I have been an advocate for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, along with the body of work that you have exhibited during your entire tenure. At no point have I ever publicly shamed you, spoken ill of your work, or discredited your efforts to lead the work. Unfortunately, it appears that the same respect has not been reciprocated."

Davis also said he's been trying to contact the sheriff to have a sit-down meeting about this issue.


Representatives from the Sheriff’s Office said Davis was calling the wrong number. Parents,  including Michael VanDyke and his wife, Mallory, just want to know how their kids are going to remain safe. 

“I have a 9-year-old in third grade in Clay County at Paterson Elementary,” VanDyke said.

The VanDykes have two boys and another one on the way. They said Clay County's schools are the reason they moved to the area. 

“That's a lot of the reason why we've come and stayed in Clay County because the schools are really good and I'd like to keep them in good schools, good A schools,” VanDyke said.

That is why they were disappointed to learn about the recent battle between the superintendent and the sheriff about school safety. The VanDykes, along with other parents, fear the friction between the two leaders could put their children safety at risk. 

“To have people watch over our kids is important. Definitely need to have people there so that our kids are safe in elementary, middle school and high school,” VanDyke said. 

Action News Jax tried to speak with the superintendent about the letter he wrote to the sheriff but he was out for the day with family. 

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Representatives from the Sheriff's Office sent Action News Jax an email the sheriff sent, which said, "Addie lets work together. I will do anything I can in my power to make things work, let's get together next week. You have my word that we will not abandon the district the chief just need to formalize his needs. Fair enough?"

Davis said that, after he meets with Sheriff Daniels next week, he will be prepared to address the media concerning their plans moving forward.

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