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Lake Worth High School Principal George Lockhart demoted after asking teachers to do son's homework

Posted at 2:33 PM, Jul 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-19 22:20:41-04

LAKE WORTH, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida high school principal was demoted after he had his math teachers do his son's middle school algebra assignments.

The Palm Beach Post reports former Lake Worth High School principal George Lockhart asked three teachers to do his son's online math assignments two years ago. He originally denied the allegation to district investigators, then said he requested help to better tutor his son. One teacher told investigators he did the homework out of respect for Lockhart.

Lockhart also didn't report some student suspensions to the district and violated other policies. He received a $21,000 pay cut and was reassigned.

Palm Beach Superintendent Robert Avossa said he didn't fire Lockhart because his "bad decisions" didn't outweigh the good he's done.

“You've got an individual who may have spent 25-27 years getting high marks doing a great job, has a lapse in judgment. I have to take all that information into play, " said Avossa.

Meanwhile, some parents were disappointed to see Lockhart go, saying he was a good principal. 

“I was very disappointed," said Jose Cotta, a father of two Lake Worth High recent graduates. "He's a good guy...my kids loved him." 

Lockhart's attorney, Fred Schwartz, said Avossa was "very fair."

In a statement Schwartz said:

Dr. Lockhart is the victim of an employee whom he reprimanded and whose transfer he sought. That employee made 38 allegations of misconduct against Dr. Lockhart, 35 of which had absolutely no merit.  The other 3 appeared improper on the surface and caused an initial determination of termination.  However, Dr. Lockhart met with the Superintendent, who is extremely bright and competent.  The Superintendent understood that, while Dr. Lockhart had made a few mistakes, he did not act malicious intent.  Therefore, the Superintendent reversed the determination of termination. 
Dr. Lockhart is a gifted administrator and his continued employment will benefit the school district.