An assistant principal of a Florida middle school under investigation by Homeland Security was arrested Tuesday and held without bail in Hillsborough County.
Kyle Ritsema, 35, an assistant principal at Cypress Creek Middle High School in Pasco County was taken into custody by US Marshals, a Homeland Security spokesperson confirmed. The nature of the charges are as of yet unclear.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ritsema Is Scheduled to Appear Before a Federal Magistrate in the Middle District of Florida in Orlando Wednesday
Ritsema was under investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit, which is under the umbrella of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
A spokesperson declined to identify the charges as the indictment is sealed until made public during the hearing. The investigation is ongoing, the HSI spokesperson said.
2. He Has Been Placed On Administrative Leave Pending The Outcome Of The Case
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Ritsema was placed on paid administrative leave when news of his arrest was made. No details of the charges were made by district officials and Ritsema has faced no professional or personnel complaints, grievances or accusations. The district has counselors at schools to counsel students and staff.
An audio robo call was placed to parents to alert them as to the situation with Ritsema and to assure people that law enforcement has said its charges against Ritsema are not related to the school, students or district.
3. Ritsema, Originally From Zeeland, Michigan, Was Also An Assistant Principal At Another Florida Middle School
According to his Facebook page, Ritsema worked as assistant principal at Pine View Middle School before joining the Cypress Creek Middle High School, part of the Pasco County (Florida) school district.
When Ritsema was named new assistant principal at Pine View Middle in 2015, he described the work in a local news article as “…a challenge, and it’s an exciting opportunity that is not available anywhere else in the county right now.”
Ritsema is currently still listed on the Cypress Creek Middle High School homepage as assistant principal.
Ritsema is originally from Michigan and graduated from Alma College in his home state in 2005 with a degree in elementary education. Before becoming a principal, Ritsema worked as a math teacher in Pasco County.
4. Ritsema’s Twitter Page Has Been Mostly Quiet Since Last Post in March 2017 Where He Frequently Shared Upbeat School Events
The Cypress Creek Middle High School, home Of The Coyotes, serves students in grades 6 through 11. It had recently undergone new construction and Ritsema chronicled that progress on his Twitter account.
According to a community newsletter, Ritsema is the assistant principal for 7th and 8th grade at Cypress Creek.
Along with his time at Cypress Creek and Pine View Middle School, Ritsema has worked as a teacher at Paul R. Smith Middle School and Seven Springs Middle School and as an administrator at River Ridge Middle School.
5. Ritsema Recently Visited Peru & Posted Images on Social Media
Kyle Ritsema visited Peru last summer and posted extensively on social media images of the trip. Otherwise, save for posts with friends, a llama and other trips, his Facebook account, though private, reveals little.
Ritsema has traveled often, according to his Facebook page, which shows other photos taken in Europe.
While at Alma College, Ritsema was a member of the choir and he has worked on school plays during his time in the Pasco County school system.