Principal accused of taking $900 from disabled 9-year-old

LAND O’LAKES, Fla. (AP) — A Florida elementary school principal is accused of stealing $900 from a mentally disabled 9-year-old.

The Tampa Bay Times reports 50-year-old Edward John Abernathy was arrested Thursday and charged with grand theft. A Pasco County Sheriff’s Office release says deputies were told the child brought $2,100 of his parents’ money to Connerton Elementary School in Land O’Lakes in October.

It says teachers told deputies they found the cash, counted it and locked it in the principal’s office. It says an investigation showed Abernathy only gave the student’s mother $1,200 when she went to pick up the cash, pocketing the rest.

Pasco County schools Superintendent Kurt Browning says Abernathy will be placed on paid administrative leave. It’s unclear if Abernathy has a lawyer.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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