Environmental protest cancels Friday classes at The Meyer Academy in Palm Beach Gardens

Environmental protest cancels Friday classes at The Meyer Academy in Palm Beach Gardens

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (WFLX) - Three protesters face charges after the entrance to a Palm Beach Gardens private school was blocked Friday morning, prompting the school to cancel classes.

School officials at The Meyer Academy made the decision after a protest by the group "Everglades Earth First!"

Officers with the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department responded to the scene just before 7 a.m.

The group disabled a van in the middle of Hood Road at the entrance to the site of a nearby development under construction.

Police said two women also chained themselves to each other through windows that had been broken out of the van.

The van blocked traffic and the driveway at the entrance to the school's property, prompting the school closure.

The group said this week that work crews began clearing trees for the construction of the Kolter Development.

"Everglades Earth First!' said if the development is completed, it would destroy the 681-acre Briger Forest.

The JCC preschool at that location was also closed.

Palm Beach County deputies removed the van and cut the chain connecting the two women, who were both arrested.

Police said a man at the scene admitted parking the van at the location, and he was also arrested.

The trio faces charges of disorderly conduct, resisting an officer without violence, unlawful assembly, disturbing school functions, along with traffic citations for blocking a roadway and damaging a roadway.

Additional protesters, who were across the street standing on the public right-of-way, were not arrested.

A car battery that was put in a nearby lake by the protesters, according to police, was recovered by officers and removed to prevent any environmental hazard.

The protesters and vehicle were cleared from Hood Road by 10:45 a.m., said Palm Beach Gardens police.

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