The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has arrested Polk County Public Schools teacher Shawn Fitzgerald on charges of possessing child pornography.
Shawn Fitzgerald taught special needs students at Lakeland High School. He also coached tennis and soccer. His annual salary is $49,969.
The school district is in the process of terminating Mr. Fitzgerald’s employment.
Mr. Fitzgerald has been employed with the school district since 1998. He previously worked as a teacher at the following schools: Lake Alfred Middle, Stephens Elementary, Bill Duncan Opportunity Center, and George Jenkins High School.
There is no previous discipline in his personnel file.
In response to the arrest, Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd offers the following statement:
“We are shocked and disgusted by these charges. As educators, we are entrusted with the well-being of our young people every day. It is our sacred duty to set the highest moral example in our schools and our communities. We are cooperating fully with the investigation to ensure justice is served, and we are in the process of terminating this employee.”