TAMPA, Fla — A Hillsborough school principal was charged with failure to report child abuse after reporting a May 2021 incident to professional standards instead of the Abuse Hotline as is required by law.
The affidavit alleges that Davis Elementary School Principal Patrick Lalone, saw a video of a teacher and an eight-year-old victim arguing in a classroom. The video was reported to show the teacher shove a desk into the child.
After Lalone was shown the video, he allegedly contacted professional standards instead of calling the abuse hotline. Police say Lalone reported the incident as “verbal only.”
Professional Standards considered the video to not show the interaction as verbal only. Lalone and the teacher in the video were disciplined by Professional Standards.
No abuse report was completed after the disciplinary action. The affidavit states Lalone failed to contact the abuse hotline for 11 days.
Lalone waited to report the incident until he was forced to by Hillsborough County Public Schools. When Lalone finally made the report it didn't say anything about the victim getting hurt.
A full three months later a witness reported more abusive behaviors by the same teacher to police. The witness said those separate incidents were also never addressed by Lalone.
According to the affidavit, Lalone did not contact parents about the incident until Aug. 13, 2021. Three months later.
Lalone is a mandatory reporter which means he is required to report potential cases of child abuse. Lalone was charged with one count of failure to report child abuse. He has been released on bail.
See the full report below: