A Florida charter school principal was caught last week in the back seat of her car with one of her students, according to police, and subsequently arrested. But Krista Morton, 45, was not taken into custody for being with the the student, who was 18, but for possession of marijuana. But these improper acts aren’t the principal’s first brushes with controversy. That happened at another Florida high school where she was also principal.
Gulf Live reported May 11 that Krista Morton’s arrest for marijuana possession, not to mention the impropriety of being caught with a student with an illegal substance and presenting the perception of possible sexual activity, will only add to a resume burdened with controversy. Prior to signing on at Mavericks High School in Palm Springs, she was head administrator for Milburn Academy in Bradenton, Florida. A charter school, it was not provided a renewal of its charter due to several institutional failures.
According to the Bradenton Herald, the school had not met specific goals for its students, including shorting students credits (an estimated 80-100 students reportedly did not receive credits due them) and not issuing report cards or progress reports. An investigatory report found that many graduating seniors were unqualified for graduation and many underclassmen currently attending Milburn Academy have lost class credit as well.
Krista Morton left Milburn Academy shortly after the investigation into its records started. According to the charter school’s administrative officials in Virginia, Morton took several staff members with her when she left. Even with the blemish on her record, she managed to secure the principal’s position at Mavericks High School.
It was that same Mavericks High principal that was found by North Palm Beach Police officers in a state of partial undress in the back seat of her car at Lakeland Park on Wednesday evening. The first thing she told the police was that she and the teen were “just friends.”
According to WFLA, police were called to the scene when someone reported “people in the back seat engaged in some sort of sexual activity or being attacked.” North Palm Beach Police said that a sergeant knocked on the car door. He quickly noticed that Morton had wings tattooed on her lower back prior to her opening the door and immediately saying, “We’re just friends.” The sergeant also noticed Morton’s shirt was unbuttoned, leaving her shoulders and part of her chest exposed.
Then she altered her story to say she didn’t know her fellow back seat occupier, had been “lonely” and had picked him up just to get to know him. “She continued to tell me that she had just met him, that she was lonely, she had just picked him up down the street and brought him here to get to know him,” the police officer said.
It was the student that admitted that Morton was his principal. The 18-year-old male is a senior at Mavericks High.
A strong odor of marijuana was detected coming from within the car. A search by police found a container holding less than 20 grams of marijuana.
Both Krista Morton and the unnamed student were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. (She told police that pot was smoked in the car but that she had not smoked any.) Morton, who is married, spent the night in jail but posted bond Thursday. The teen was held on a $1000 bond.