The lawsuit was the result of a contractual dispute between the diocese and Christ the King Regional High School, who has been renting out space to MVP for three years.
The suit claims that Christ the King is forbidden from renting space to a secular group per a 1976 agreement between the school and diocese.
The lawsuit may force the closure of the school, since the immediate area does not have another facility to house its 400-plus students, according to school officials.
But the school and families are hoping that the court will rule in Christ the King’s favor, especially since a decision was delayed prior to MVP’s first day of school, said Serf Maltese, vice chair of MVP’s Board of Trustees.
Recently, state test results showed that students from MVP outperformed students across Community School District 24 in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Claudia Valdez, head of the Parent Coalition, said parents were confident that MVP’s school year will continue. Her daughter, Daniella, a seventh-grade student, was recently named to the National Junior Honor Society.
Maltese called the lawsuit a civics and government lesson for students that will “stay with them for the rest of their lives.”
“It’s really sad that the Brooklyn Diocese wants to take away the foundation of our education, especially when the school’s doing so good with the extracurricular activities and academics,” said eighth-grader Danielle Desanti.
School officials fully expect to continue to operate on the Christ the King campus for at least another three years. Christ the King, MVP and Christ the King Community Daycare have all filed stay orders.
Maltese said the Christ the King campus features a “trendsetting experiment.”
The students at MVP are able to have a “big brother and big sister system” with the younger children at the daycare, allowing them to collaborate on activities like gardening and working with small animals.
Students from MVP also participated in Christ the King’s Glee Club and Theatre/Arts program.
“District 24 is overcrowded, estimates saying by as much as 150 percent,” Maltese said. “To throw 450 students into the student mix will create chaos, not only for this school, but for the entire school district.”