Thursday, May 29, 2008

Drug User Teaching Grade School?

(North Conway, New Hampshire) A 26-year-old sixth-grade teacher at John Fuller Elementary School, Kelly Horrigan, was arrested early this month for possession of marijuana.

Police stopped a car for erratic driving and found Horrigan and Lauren Kulberg, 23, smelling of marijuana and in possession of two small bags of the drug.

Notably, Horrigan assists local police officers in teaching anti-drug DARE classes to her sixth-grade students. Nevertheless, her teaching position is not in jeopardy. The Conway School Board has ruled that drug charges or convictions for actions away from school grounds cannot be used as a basis for dismissal.

Apparently, school system policies do not address situations where teachers are caught with drugs outside of school grounds. According to School Board Chair Sheryl Kovalik,
As it stands, under the drug and alcohol policy, Kovalik said the school board does not police teachers or punish them for their actions after they leave the premises.

"We have limited control over what happens off school grounds. We do background checks on all employees, but this (crime Horrigan is accused of) qualifies as a misdemeanor, and those don't come up on background checks," she said.

"The next question is, should we have random drug testing for all teachers?" she said. "We do it for busdrivers. We're going to have a conversation."
Frankly, this whole situation is a mess. Elementary school principal Mark Zangari's statement that "he hopes Horrigan realizes that as a teacher she is held to a higher standard than others" is ludicrous. What higher standard?

Furthermore, it's utterly illogical to have an alleged drug-user teaching sixth-graders anything, much less anti-drug DARE classes.

Maybe the readers can weigh in. Is it prudent to have known drug-users teaching America's future generations? I don't think so.

Also: The Jawa Report and EdWatch

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