Pinal County Sheriff’s Office: Teacher drunk at school, admits alcohol found in Poston Butte HS classroom is hers

Kathleen Jardine (Courtesy of Pinal County Sheriff's Office)

Kathleen Jardine (Courtesy of Pinal County Sheriff’s Office)

Kathleen Jardine, 57, of Chandler, was cited on one count of consumption of alcohol in public after admitting to a sheriff’s office deputy and school officials she was drunk while teaching class at Poston Butte High School, 32375 N. Gantzel Road, according to a press release from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

Ms. Jardine had a blood alcohol concentration of .205, according to the release.

According to a PCSO document, a student in Ms. Jardine’s math class called the school’s main office Aug. 13 to report the teacher was intoxicated and yelling at students. Interviews later that day with six other students in the class corroborated the student’s statement, according to the release. A deputy reported after speaking with the teacher that he could tell she was intoxicated, according to the release.

The teacher denied drinking any alcohol but later admitted she drank the night before, before school that morning and during lunch in her classroom, according to the release.

When asked how she got to school that day, the teacher told the deputy, “I was afraid I was too intoxicated to drive so I took a cab this morning,” according to the release.

A school resource officer went to the teacher’s classroom to get her purse and discovered a half-full, 750-milliliter bottle of vodka; an empty, single-serving size bottle of white wine and a half-full bottle of an orange-flavored soft drink, according to a PCSO document, which also stated Ms. Jardine confirmed the alcohol belonged to her.

Ms. Jardine was cited on one count of consumption of alcohol in public and was released to her daughter, according to the release.

This was not the first time Ms. Jardine has been reported as teaching while intoxicated, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said in the release.

“During September of 2011 she was a math teacher at Belen High School in New Mexico. Students reported to their administration she was ‘acting strange and slurring her words.’ It was determined she was intoxicated and she was later fired from the school. The Florence Unified School District has a close working relationship with our office to ensure the safety and security of their students. School officials immediately took action and notified our school resource deputy as soon as they discovered Jardine was intoxicated,” Sheriff Babeu said in the release.

FUSD released the following statement to the news media Aug. 14:

“On Aug. 13, a teacher was reported by students exhibiting intoxicated-like symptoms. The fast-acting administrative team at Poston Butte High School responded by removing the teacher from the classroom environment immediately. The school resource officer was called and it was verified that this individual was intoxicated. This individual was then arrested and removed from campus.

“Due to the pending criminal charges and this being a personnel issue, the Florence Unified School District is not at liberty to give further comment at this time. Please contact the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office with any further inquiries about the criminal investigation.

“Please remember, as troubling as this situation is, it was the act of an individual and does not reflect the standards of the Florence Unified School District or the amazing people who work tirelessly for the kids who attend our schools.”

“I applaud the students and administration for their work in reporting and removing this person from the classroom,” FUSD Superintendent Dr. Amy Fuller said in the district’s press release. “The safety of our students is imperative and we will continue to strive for excellence. We will cooperate fully with the Pinal County Sheriff’s office.”

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