Pasco claims it followed policy returning suicidal custodian to job at elementary school

8 On Your Side

Parents contend a weapon and sheriff's deputies mean there is a threat

LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) – The Pasco County School District cleared a suicidal custodian to return to work at an elementary school, then he stabbed himself.

Superintendent Kurt Browning told 8 On Your Side that after the custodian attempted suicide at Connerton Elementary in December, he was cleared to go back to work, so he did.

Last month, the same custodian pulled out a knife and stabbed himself at the school.

“It wasn’t safe for him and it wasn’t safe for the children and it wasn’t safe for the staff,” Jen Weaver said.

Weaver enrolled her 3-year-old in a program at Connerton last month.

At the time, she hadn’t heard of the incident. Now that she does, she wants to know why the school district thought there was no threat to children.

“I don’t believe it,” Weaver stated. “Because of the fact there was a weapon on campus.”

“The day he committed that episode, there were no children involved, there was no threat,” Superintendent Browning insisted.

Parent Valerie Van Stronder disagrees and let the school board know at this week’s meeting that its policies failed.

“You carelessly placed him in an environment that was unhealthy for him, clearly failed to monitor him and endangered your employees and the precious students we parents entrust to you,” Valerie told school board members.

“We did everything according to policy,” Browning said. “We continue to review our policies we continue to to look at the way we deal with these kinds of situations.”

“He should not have have been put with the kids, even if he maintained his job with the school district, it should have been in some other capacity somewhere else,” Weaver said.

If you know of something that you think should be investigated, call our 8 On Your Side Helpline at 1-800-338-0808 or contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com

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