PLANT CITY, Fla. - Judging by the activity around Springhead Elementary, you would have no way of knowing that they were the victim of a serious crime.
At least from watching the kids, because to a child, elementary school is a wonder.
For parents like Jesus Ortiz though, they are wondering how anything like this could have happened, "It's heartbreaking because it's a lot of money."
What Jesus was referring to is the arrest of 34-year-old Lisa Shirah.
Shirah, the former treasure of the school's PTA, is now facing numerous charges, including grand theft, scheming to defraud, and forgery.
According to a Lakeland Police report, Shirah forged or altered a number of PTA checks, some for as much as $3,500, and then cashed them in her own name.
She essentially depleted the school's PTA fund, a fund that just last January had over $25,000 and is now left with just over $500.
Glenda Draggers, grandmother of three who go to the school, expressed her disgust. "That's the kids' money. That gets raised for their school. The schools having a hard enough time."
Springhead Principal Ann Rushing spelled out just how important that PTA money is, "They supported our reading nights, and our math nights, and our science nights. They gave money to our media center. They gave money to our music program, to our PE department. They also did lots of student incentives, like their rewards. Just different things that they would need throughout the year. And to think all of that is really gone."
So from here, the PTA doesn't have to start over, they have to catch up. Why?
Because while the money was disappearing, the bills weren't being paid. So instead of having $20,000 to start the year and spend on the kids, the teachers, and the school, they have less than zero.
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