A 50-year-old elementary school principal was arrested Thursday after deputies said he stole money brought to school by a 9-year-old student with a mental disability, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
Connerton Elementary School principal Edward John Abernathy, of Land O’Lakes, is accused of stealing $900, deputies said.
On Oct. 23, the student brought $2,100 of his parents’ money to school. Once teachers realized, deputies said they took it, counted it and locked it in the principal’s office.
When the student’s mother went to collect the money, Abernathy only returned $1,200, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives later determined Abernathy kept the rest.
Abernathy was booked into the Land O’Lakes Detention Center on a charge of grand theft. His bail information was not available Thursday night.
Pasco County schools Superintendent Kurt Browning said Abernathy will be placed on paid administrative leave while the district gathers more information about the arrest.