An elementary school principal has committed suicide just one week after he was found in his office with a fifth-grade girl with the lights off.
Police were actually headed to 42-year-old Lance Clement’s house to search his home when he shot himself. Police arrived by his house at around 7:30 am and heard the gunshot inside.
His wife ran out of the house, telling police that her husband just shot himself.
A week prior, a school employee found Clement in his office with the lights turned off with a fifth-grade girl. The employee contacted the police and authorities have been investigating the principal for the past week.
Sheriff Margaret Mims told reporters that both the principal and the girl were interviewed but the department determined that “nothing inappropriate had happened.”
When police interviewed other students, however, they found that Clement often summoned young girls to his office. Based on the interviews, they also learned Clement had given some of the girls gifts and determined that something inappropriate did happen.
Mims said “definitely, unethical behavior took place.”
Police were ready to charge him with sexual battery or lewd acts with a minor and were going to search his home and computer hard drive when he shot himself.
Authorities say they will continue the investigation despite his suicide because “parents need to know.”
Clement has been the principal of Orange Center Elementary for four years and was principal of Parkview Middle School in Kings County for three years before that. He has also worked as a bus driver, janitor, and basketball coach at various area schools.
Gus Amos, who sits on the board of the Armona School District, says Clement “dazzled us with his knowledge, with his demeanor. He was great with kids. I don’t think anyone didn’t like Lance.”