The head of Tampa Prep has temporarily stepped down over allegations from 25-years ago.
Parents and alumni learned about the unsettling news in an e-mail.
Kevin Plummer has led Tampa Prep for nine years---getting nothing but praise.
"This does not seem consistent with that behavior," said Tom Scarritt. Two of his three children attended the school.
Scarritt, a local attorney was heavily involved in fundraising efforts and dealt with Plummer directly.
"He had a very good reputation with a mission to crack down on discipline," said Scarritt.
But now, there are questions surrounding Plummer's past after an email went to parents and alumni.
The email reveals, "Allegations of possible inappropriate behavior."
School officials won't elaborate on the accusation or how it came to light. But we do know it happened more than 25 years ago when Plummer was an intern teaching elsewhere.
"There has been a lot of shock and surprise. Mr. Plummer was himself shocked," said Kyle Parks who is a spokesperson for the school.
According to a statement from his attorney, Plummer had no idea.
"He was unaware of any allegations of any kind and emphatically denies any allegation of inappropriate behavior."
But there was a record somewhere, because according to the school's email there was an investigation.
"There were never any charges and authorities consider the matter closed."
Now, school officials have hired an independent firm to do their own inquiry.
"Everything they are doing is to try and make sure that the kids and the school and parents don't have any concerns as the school year starts again," said Parks.
Scarritt thinks an investigation is the right move.
"It gives the school a chance to operate without having him be there and even have the appearance of influencing the investigation," said Scarritt.
No word on when the investigation could come to an end. Until then Plummer won't be walking through these halls.
EMAIL TO PARENTS
This is a joint message from President of the Board of Trustees Laurel Fredlake and the Head of School Kevin Plummer
Dear Parents, Faculty and Alumni,
You are receiving this correspondence as a valued member of our school community. Tampa Prep leadership, including Head of School Kevin Plummer, recently learned that allegations of possible inappropriate behavior have been made about Kevin's time as an intern-teacher at another school more than 25 years ago.
The allegations were investigated at the school where they originated. No charges were filed and authorities consider the matter closed. Kevin was unaware of the allegations until he recently met with President of the Board, Laurel Fredlake, and School Counsel. Kevin emphatically denies the allegations and contends that no inappropriate behavior has ever occurred with any student.
The safety and well-being of the children at Tampa Prep is our top priority. You well know that the school's policies include thorough reporting procedures, designed to ensure that our children are in a safe and supportive environment. These policies and procedures are in place to be sure children are safe and feel free to learn and grow without fear.
It is important to note that there have been no complaints of this nature filed against Kevin at Tampa Prep in his nine years of exemplary service at the school. Because the Board takes any allegations of this nature seriously, it has initiated a comprehensive, professional investigation to determine if there has been any wrongdoing at any time, here or anywhere else. A professional investigator, with no prior ties to the school, is conducting the inquiry. Kevin has given his full cooperation, support and assistance.
In addition, Tampa Prep will reach out to the school community in the next two weeks, including current families and alumni, to provide a confidential, independent resource for the reporting and investigation of any wrongdoing by anyone at Tampa Prep.
The Prep community, the broader Tampa community, and the national educational community have looked, and continue to look to Kevin for vision, wisdom, leadership, and inspiration. It is important to reserve judgment until the investigation is complete and the Board of Trustees communicates its findings.
Kevin is taking leave while the investigation and "reach out" effort take place. Joe Fenlon, long time administrator of the Middle School, is now the acting Head of School. He, along with the team of senior administrators, will handle any and all issues related to the management of the school. Carl Carlson will continue to lead the Upper School as we transition into the newly renovated building.
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, we encourage you to call 813-421-8944 and leave a message. A member of the Board's Executive Committee, or the appropriate school administrator, will return your call as quickly as possible. You can also email your concern to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is our understanding the school was recently advised of possible allegations against. Kevin from over 25 years ago. He was unaware of any allegations of any kind until recently and emphatically denies any allegation of inappropriate behavior at any time at any school. He has and will continue to fully cooperate in the school’s complete and thorough investigation and looks forward to the resolution of this matter.
Statement from Trombley & Hanes, which is representing Head of School Kevin Plummer