Saturday, April 22, 2017

Statement by Superintendent Kurt Browning on ZHS Employee Arrest

Land O’ Lakes, FL — (April 22, 2017) — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested Samuel Walker, a 39 year old Zephyrhills High School instructional assistant and girls junior varsity basketball coach. He was charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor. According to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s report, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is pursuing arrest warrants.

“It is heartbreaking to see one of our employees arrested for a sexual crime involving one of our students,” said Superintendent Kurt Browning. “Student safety is the district’s top priority. The alleged behavior does not reflect the qualities instilled in our employees and it will not be tolerated. I applaud Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, and their deputies’ swift ability to hold criminals accountable. Our community can rest assured that our district will handle this situation appropriately at the proper time, in accordance with state law and school board policy.”

Mr. Walker, hired in August of 2016, is currently on administrative leave. The School Board will address his employment status after the conclusion of the investigation. Zephyrhills High School and Pasco County Schools personnel have worked cooperatively with both Pasco and Hillsborough sheriff’s offices to ensure this situation is handled quickly and confidentially to protect the identity of the student victim.

To clarify an incorrect news report, at no time were there any allegations regarding administrators at Zephyrhills High School. Pasco County Schools continues to await any further outcome of the Hillsborough and Pasco sheriff’s offices’ investigations. Out of concern for the investigation integrity and student safety, please direct any further inquires to their offices.