Parents enroll their children in school, often knowing nothing about the teacher(s) their children will spend hours with every school day. When a trusted school employee does something criminal, it’s heartbreaking for the adults who understand and confusing to the students who don’t.
The particular second-grade teacher in this true-crime case summary that I originally wrote about in 2018, was in her 40s, divorced, a mother of three children, and lived with two men, one of whom was on home detention for a previous crime. She’d been with the elementary school for ten years.
Following a tip, the local sheriff’s department dispatched deputies to the teacher’s home, where they found drugs and paraphernalia. The deputies arrested the teacher’s housemates.
Upon finding the drugs at her home, additional deputies went to the elementary school where the teacher worked. Deputies found methamphetamine and marijuana in her unattended purse in her classroom. The deputies arrested her at the school without incident.
The authorities charged her with possession of methamphetamine on school property, 14 counts of neglect of a dependent (endangering the students in her classroom), and possession of illegal substances in her home.
In a written statement, the school district superintendent said,
“We hope a message has been sent to the community that we will not tolerate this type of act in our school system.”
To avoid a trial, the ex-teacher with a master’s degree, pleaded guilty to having drugs at school and guilty to possession of methamphetamine.
The county prosecutor said,
“When you send your kids to school, you should have an expectation that it's a drug-free environment.”
The prosecutor also said,
“When you have teachers bringing drugs into an elementary school, that's something that certainly we need to take very seriously.”
Even with the county prosecutor’s strong words, the judge sentenced her to a three-year suspended sentence, with one year to serve on home incarceration and two years of probation.
Sadly, before she could begin serving her sentence, she went back to her life of drug use. The authorities arrest her a second time for dealing drugs.
After changing her plea to guilty, the ex-teacher faced a judge for the second time. She told him she had been a functioning addict for 26 years, now she had prayed to the Lord to take temptation away, and he did. She also told the judge she had a job far away from the classroom. The judge sentenced her to three more years of probation and random drug testing, at least every other week. #truecrime #drugaddiction
Now, the ex-teacher drives a forklift among other duties at a factory, runs recovery meetings, mentors others and shares her story with her community.
Credits: Courier Journal, ABC-WHAS11, NBC-13WTHR, WDRB.com
*Original post March 17, 2018
*Updated May 4, 2022