BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered the story behind a local teacher found legally drunk while on the job.
And, parents, what just happened in court makes sure this won’t happen again.
Administrators in the Brecksville-Broadview Heights School District say they found a special education teacher in school crying in a hallway, and then they found she smelled of alcohol.
The District’s test results found Kimberly Taylor even had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit for drivers.
It happened last October at Highland Elementary. But, Taylor just struck a plea deal to criminal charges in court. And, she agreed to give up her teaching license in Ohio for good.
Superintendent Joelle Magyar tells the I-Team, Taylor had been leading a small class of special ed students. And, school administrators “smelled alcohol on her at that time.”
The superintendent added, “We are put in charge of these children for a period of time when they’re in school, and it’s very important that we are all not impaired and able to do that to the best of our ability.”
The district took the teacher out of the classroom, then took her for drug and alcohol testing. The Brecksville Prosecutor says two test results showed the teacher with a blood alcohol level of more than .09. That’s more than the legal limit for driving.
Of course, the superintendent says, if you’re teaching kids, your blood alcohol level should be zero.
Brecksville Prosecutor Lisa Sabol said, “Safety of the children is of utmost importance in every school district.”
She told us, Taylor had been hit with child endangering charges, and she just plead guilty to obstruction of justice.
The district says the teacher has been off the job since October, and now, she’ll be out of the classroom for good.
The Prosecutor told us, “Ms. Taylor did surrender her permanent teaching license.”
So, she can never teach in Ohio again.
Defense attorney Brian J. Smith told the I-Team, “There was no evidence she drank any alcohol at school. No child was in any danger.”
But, the superintendent said, “We have to protect our kids. And, so, the outcome came right on the side of the kids.”
As part of the plea bargain, the child endangering charges were dropped. The prosecutor says the teacher also received a $100 fine and probation. But, again, her teaching career in Ohio is now over. The superintendent called what happened “bittersweet” since, she says, Kimberly Taylor had been with the district for many years, and there had been no prior indication of anything like this.
Taylor’s attorney also said she’d been a teacher with a career covering decades.