Busted: Christianity-Promoting Principal Charged with Stealing from Mentally Disabled Student

Back in October, I reported on social media activity of Connerton Elementary School, a public school in Land O’ Lakes, Florida, who tweeted an invitation for students to join the Good News Club at their flagpole for a prayer before school. After replying to their tweet asking how this could possibly be legal, they deleted the tweet and then reposted it so my reply would be gone. They also blocked me (shocker). Well, last month, the school’s principal finally (allegedly) broke a law that people actually care about. He was arrested for stealing $900 from a mentally disabled student. Oh, the irony.

On November 8th, Principal Edward John Abernathy was arrested and charged with skimming $900 from a sum of $2,100 that was brought to school by a young male student with mental disabilities. According to the police report, the student’s teacher discovered the money was taken from the child’s parents and brought to class. Teachers then delivered the cash to school administration for safekeeping, where it was counted and hidden in the principal’s office — inside a speaker on a shelf 6 feet high (where only he knew about it). When the student’s parents came to retrieve the money, they were handed $1,200.

After police interviewed multiple people at the school, as well as the student and his parents, they arrested Abernathy since he was the only person who knew where the money was hidden and was very likely the only person who could have pocketed the missing $900. At one point, the principal actually tried to blame the theft on students, despite the money being hidden away out of sight on a shelf much higher than an elementary-aged kid could reach.

Abernathy has been placed on paid administrative leave until the case reaches its conclusion. I’ll be tracking it to see how it’s decided in the courts. Will a suspected thief be returning to lead a Christianity-promoting public school, or will he be paying for his sins this time instead of running away from scrutiny?


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Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, co-founder of Young Skeptics, and author of Understanding an Atheist. He is known for local and national secular activism and has spoken at conferences and events such as Reason Rally 2016 and the Ark Encounter Protest and Rally.

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12 thoughts on “Busted: Christianity-Promoting Principal Charged with Stealing from Mentally Disabled Student

  1. Another Christian with authoritative power taking advantage of a child. All too common. Yet we keep hearing how Christianity equals morality…

  2. On November 8th, Principal Edward John Abernathy was arrested and charged with skimming $900 from a sum of $2,100 that was brought to school by a young male student with mental disabilities.

    Oh, no. No, no, fucking no.

    $50 out of $2100 would be ‘skimming.’

    $100 out of $2100 could be ‘skimming.’

    But $900 out of $2100 is taking a giant fucking cleaver down the middle of it, and then ‘generously’ offering the slightly bigger half.

    Fuck that guy.

  3. You know, I think our movement, such that it is, has only had one such incident. There was that guy who was stealing from the RDF, I think. I can not remember any other thing like this. Maybe is because there are so few of us, that these things are not noticeable.

    1. There have been a bunch more — scams regarding conferences, secular charities and more. And that’s not counting the sexual misconduct allegations all over the place. Atheists are no different than anyone else in that regard. We just don’t run around touting how moral we are.

      1. Looking at the ratios, their numbers vs ours, someone is leading and someone is not. Remember Gott mit ons, allows anything.

      1. An interesting philosophical question: do we start out with integrity? Is it acquired ? If it be relinquished, may it be reclaimed? Or created anew? Was it already gone when he chose to betray the trust inherent in his position as guardian?

  4. How can one be moral without god?

    I can ask how can one do something immoral in the presence of god? (Assuming they believes god sees everything they do)

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