A community in Florida is disturbed by news that a principal was caught, possibly smoking weed, in the back seat of a car with one of her male students. Krista Morton, principal of a Mavericks High School in Palm Springs, was arrested Wednesday. The partly-clothed woman and her 18-year-old companion were busted and booked on drug possession charges, according to reporting from WREG News 3.
North Palm Beach police reported receiving an emergency 911 call from someone who feared a crime was in progress — possibly sexual in nature — in a parked vehicle. Officers arrived a short time later at Lakeside Park and observed the vehicle in question. They tapped on the car glass to get the attention of the occupants.
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A police report says the woman’s “shirt was unbuttoned,” which exposed “her shoulders and part of her chest.” Morton said she and the unnamed male were friends. Later, the woman said she picked up the man because she was “lonely.”
After talking to man in the car, investigators learned he was a student from Mavericks High of Palm Springs, a tuition-free facility, according to its website. Moreover, the woman caught with him was the school principal where he attends.
Records show drug paraphernalia — a container that held pot — was inside the passenger compartment. Allegedly, the principal and student gave off an aroma of marijuana while talking to cops. Morton acknowledged there was weed in the container at one point, but she denied smoking any of the product.
New information surfaced after the woman’s arrest. According to the Palm Beach Post, years before the Mavericks principal was caught in a car with one of her students, she was the head of Richard Milburn Academy. Then, the school came under investigation by Manatee officials over allegations of widespread institutional failures and improprieties. The Bradenton Herald wrote this about the incident in 2011.
“Superintendent Tim McGonegal recommended the academy, which opened in 1999, be closed after a formal investigation showed the school had not fulfilled graduation requirements. Courses did not comply with Florida State Standards, students classified as ‘special needs’ were not qualified for the classification and academic grades had not reflected student performance.”
Before the investigation concluded, Morton abruptly vacated her post at the school and took a “large number of staffers with her” to the current position as principal. Nevertheless, after being caught with the student, she was suspended until executives determine her fate in the wake of the charges.
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