Should School Teachers Be Drug-Tested?

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #120Why aren’t school teachers drug tested? I don’t know of any school districts requiring teachers to pass a drug test, before or during their employment. If you know of one, please email me with the district name and location.

Schools typically require safety-sensitive positions, such as a bus driver, to pass a pre-employment drug test. And more often than not bus drivers are also required to undergo periodic and random drug and alcohol testing.

BLOG POST #112: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 27-year-old second-grade school teacher with a drug problem.

A Classic Case

Too often a person prescribed pain medication for an injury of some sort becomes a drug addict. Their physician stops treatment, but the addiction remains. And then they turn to illegal drugs to self-medicate.

Teachers are not immune to the downward spiral of drug abuse.

As with most drug users, they get sloppy either by choice or by accident, and then they get caught.

Busted!

The second-grade teacher used a co-worker’s computer to access Facebook where she had communicated with someone on Messenger about using and selling heroin. She left the Messenger program open. The co-worker found it and reported what she’d read to her administrator.

The school administrator removed the teacher from her classroom and called the police. In the police interview, she admitted to drugs in her possession. She also admitted to pawning two of the district’s iPads for drug money and stealing from ‘field trip money.’

Her purse contained Methamphetamine, Heroin (described as black tar) and a sublingual film identified as Suboxone, a prescription medicine used to treat adults who are dependent on opioids.

She also had multiple empty and loaded syringes some with exposed needles, multiple small empty plastic baggies, multiple small broken and empty balloons commonly used to store narcotics, and two bent metal spoons with burn marks.

Her Life Is Forever Changed

Days before her arrest, she submitted her resignation to take effect approximately two weeks later, one day after the school’s final day of classes. During the interim, the school placed her on paid administrative leave.

The former teacher accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to drug possession and embezzlement. The judge sentenced her to 10 years in prison and payment of restitution.

She lost her career and at least ten years of her life to drugs.

Her prison term may be reduced if and when she completes a program designed to help women deal with drug addiction.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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