The Teacher On A Downward Spiral Of Addiction

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #109

When a school employee or other public service employee is arrested for illegal activities most people are disappointed and shocked. I know I continue to be saddened by the cases I research. If only there were a way to vet applicants so as to hire the very best.

Thank you for taking time from your busy life to read and learn about school news that often doesn’t make ‘the news.’

BLOG POST #104: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school special education teacher.

I’ve never known a heroin addict. After researching this case, I wondered…Was his drug use not noticeable?

And Then There Was One

A student found a syringe on the restroom floor. He gave the syringe to a teacher’s aide. The school notified local authorities and a criminal investigation ensued.

At the beginning of the investigation, there were three teachers under suspicion. It was when the  K-9 narcotics officer began searching the school and detected drugs in the teacher’s backpack that he became the single suspect.

He was in his mid-30s and taught special education at the high school level.

The Dog Knows

His backpack which was in the classroom, on the floor next to his desk.

Officers found in the backpack, 125 packets of heroin, syringes, pills, and other paraphernalia.

Under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, he never returned to the classroom.

The judge didn’t believe the personal use admission and said to the teacher, “That’s a tremendous amount of narcotics in your possession, in your classroom, in your bag, right by your desk.”

He denied selling narcotics but admitted to being a heroin addict and claimed all the heroin in his possession was for personal use.

Was The Sentence Appropriate?

There wasn’t enough evidence to prove distribution. The ex-teacher accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled and dangerous substance.

The court sentenced no jail time; instead, he’ll serve four years of probation, 100 hours of community service and undergo regular drug testing.

Eight years after issuance, he relinquished his teaching certificates and began working in a hotel restaurant.

The judge commended the student who found the syringe as, “Bright and responsible.”

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read a similar case: Chasing the Dragon

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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2 thoughts on “The Teacher On A Downward Spiral Of Addiction

  1. Robin, interesting case. I was wondering how the narc squad knew it was a teacher so quickly (rather than a student). Were people talking about staff drug use?

    You mention that the story made you wonder how the teacher’s drug use went undetected as long as it did. This seems surprising because people who regularly do heroin, in my very limited and at a distance experience, tend to visibly “disintegrate.” Even in my college days, when many took a fairly casual attitude to marijuana, hashish, and LSD, heroin was considered a serious, serious drug and we tended to steer clear of the few people who used it.

    It may just be that people often choose to look the other way in such a situation. That’s certainly been the case with pedophile teachers in schools.

    • Robin Lyons

      Hi Amy! Thank you for commenting on this post. I too wondered how the investigators were able to pinpoint teachers so quickly. I was unable to find an answer to that mystery.

      My research has lead me to believe (like you) a heroin addict does tend to visibly “disintegrate.” So, it surprises me that an addict can show up to work every day and teach without any suspicion. That is until you get sloppy and drop your syringe in the restroom.

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