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Pasco school custodian arrested for bringing knife to campus

Alec J. Roarks, 27, has resigned his position at Connerton Elementary School.
Published Oct. 18
Updated Oct. 18

A custodian at Connerton Elementary School in Pasco County was arrested Wednesday for bringing a 6- to 10-inch knife to school a week earlier.

Alec J. Roarks, 27, was taken into protective custody through the Baker Act on Oct. 8, after he cut himself with the knife while in the school’s custodian work area. School district and Pasco County Sheriff’s Office officials said no children saw the incident or were in harm’s way.

Children saw the emergency vehicles at the school, and their parents later received a call from the principal stating that an adult had experienced non-life-threatening injuries and was transported away in an ambulance.

A group of parents has demanded more information from schools superintendent Kurt Browning. They wanted to know why Roarks was allowed to work at the school after he was suspended in late 2018 for consuming alcohol and taking prescription drugs while on the job, as documented in his personnel file.

They said that their children could have been at risk.

Browning met with the parents on Friday, and according to spokeswoman Linda Cobbe, told them that he could not discuss certain personnel matters with them. The district planned to send a robocall message with similar information to Connerton families, Cobbe said.

Roarks had worked for the school district since 2017. These two incidents were the only ones in his personnel file.

He resigned his job immediately after his arrest on Wednesday.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out to the 24–hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741; or chat with someone online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay can be reached by dialing 211 or by visiting crisiscenter.com.

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