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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Former Zephyrhills High principal accused of "unwanted advances"



LAND O'LAKES — A 346-page investigative file into the activities of former Zephyrhills High School principal Steve Van Gorden focuses on what officials termed "unwanted advances from a person in a position of authority."

More than one Zephyrhills teacher accused Van Gorden, who is also the mayor of Zephyrhills, of making comments about their appearance and seeking dates or sex from them.

The written questions for the investigator's interview with Van Gorden, whose resignation the School Board accepted Tuesday, make clear the concerns. These included:

"Have you ever commented on a subordinate employee's physical features, like an employee's breasts?"

"Have you ever requested that an employee assist you with 'stress relief'?"

"Have you ever suggested that a subordinate's employment or advancement in the school system was contingent upon them having a non-work relationship with you?" 

The School Board unanimously accepted Van Gorden's resignation Tuesday without comment. See the developing story here

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 12:31pm]


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