Ex-Osceola principal accused of allowing parties, drugs, alcohol in school



OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - A former principal is accused of allowing parties, drugs and alcohol inside an Osceola County elementary school.

David Groover, former principal at Partin Settlement Elementary School, resigned last month following a drug arrest at his home.

Since then, Channel 9's Nancy Alvarez uncovered shocking new claims of how Groover ran the school and why the school board didn't get rid of him sooner.

Groover first made headlines in 2009 with a DUI arrest, but records show trouble was brewing years before that.

In 2005, a teacher accused Groover of making sexually charged comments at school. And in 2008, he was accused of harassment and nicknaming a bookkeeper, "The Nazi."

By 2012, allegations made by employees got even more disturbing, Alvarez said. One complaint claims regular office parties were being held during school hours. The complaint stated that, "Staff are allowed to do drugs and have alcohol on campus."

It also claims two staff members were known to do drugs in their cars and bring alcohol into the office.

"As soon as I knew I wasn't going to stay, I moved my kids out of that school," said former school nurse Ginnie England.

England filed a complaint against Groover after she said she witnessed him yelling at kindergartner who was hurt and crying in the clinic.

"He came running in, walked around the back of her, slammed his hand on her mouth and told her, 'We don't act like that in this school,' as he yelled at me, 'Just pull her sock off,'" said England.

School board member Barbara Horn said she went to former superintendent Terry Andrews last year with concerns about Groover.

"His response was, with all the political clout his family has in this community, there wasn't anything to come of it," said Horn.

The complaints were part of a district investigation that ended May 29 with a written reprimand and an order for Groover to attend sensitivity training.

A district spokeswoman said many of the allegations against Groover at the time could not be proven, and that is the reason he did not receive harsher punishment.

However, two weeks later, he was arrested when undercover agents said they found methamphetamine and the drug GHB in his home.

Groover resigned three days later in an email to district leaders. He ended the email, "I apologize if you feel I have dishonored you in any way."

"The district has to own up to the fact that, hey, we made mistakes, and we're going to do everything in our power to rectify those mistakes," said Horn.