LECANTO, Fla. (WFLA) — A high school math teacher and coach in Citrus County resigned on Monday after deputies arrested him for sending lewd text messages and images to a student.
According to the Citrus County School District, administration officials at Lecanto High School found out about allegations against 33-year-old Adam Joerres late Friday evening. After finding out about the allegations, the school immediately contacted the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Children and Families, district officials say.
Deputies investigating the allegations say they found evidence that revealed Joerres had been having “inappropriate conversations of a sexual nature” with a student through text messages over the past several months. During an interview with detectives, Joerres made statements confirming the allegations, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to a spokesperson for the school district, Joerres worked at Lecanto Middle School intermittently from 2016 to 2018 before he started teaching at Lecanto High School in November 2020. Joerres also coached the Lady Panthers flag football team, according to school officials.
“The Citrus County School District remains steadfast to provide a safe and secure environment for all students and staff,” Superintendent Sam Himmel said in a statement. “When we become aware of individuals who may have subjected our students to inappropriate behavior, we act swiftly to protect the student body.”
Citrus County Sheriff Mike Pendergrast has one word to describe Joerres and that’s as a predator.
“And here this teacher is engaging in inappropriate conduct sending text messages and suggestive things through text and also sending images through text,” Sheriff Pendergrast said.
Pendergrast is not just the Citrus County Sheriff he is also a grandfather to a 13-year-old girl and can’t imagine if something like this were to happen to her.
“My granddaughter is young, very impressionable, cute kid, love her to death but I would shudder to think about what someone like that could be doing to poison her mind and ruin her life,” Pendergrast said.
A media alert from the district says Joerres was arrested by sheriff’s office detectives early Monday morning on his way to work. He has since resigned from the school district, the news release says.
Joerres is the third teacher in as many days — accused of having inappropriate interactions with children.
On Friday, Tarpon Springs police arrested 30-year old Stephan Badertscher and he’s charged with sending a 15-year old former student a graphic video. Badertscher was a science teacher at tarpon springs middle school.
Last Wednesday, Hillsborough deputies arrested Strawberry Crest High School teacher Anthony Peace. Deputies say Peace was communicating with a detective who he thought was a 14-year old boy.
He died by suicide one day after deputies say he was arrested for soliciting nude photos from minors online.
Detectives say Joerres has been charged with solicitation of sexual conduct from a student by an authority figure. He is being held at the Citrus County Detention Facility with a bond of $10,0000.
Joerres was a math teacher and also coached the girl’s flag football team. The sheriff would be shocked if there aren’t additional victims.
“Very few professions are as trusted with nurturing our children as teachers are. Unfortunately, in his official capacity, Joerres abused our community’s trust in him,” Sheriff Mike Prendergast said in a statement. “A school should always be a place of safety and learning, not somewhere that a predator like Joerres takes advantage of their position and authority.”
The school district is calling it an “open and active investigation” and says it will continue to work with the sheriff’s office.
Anyone who have been a victim of Joerres is asked to call the Citrus County Sheriff’s Special Victim’s Unit as 352-249-2790 and ask to speak to one of the detectives.