Teacher Charged After Being Drunk At Work
On the first day of school, a third-grade teacher in Oklahoma was pulled out of the classroom and arrested for being “drunk on the job” after staff discovered she allegedly had a cup filled with wine.
Kimberly Coates, 53, was teaching her class at Perkins-Tryon Intermediate School when she was taken out of the classroom for questioning. After being taken out, she was questioned by the school’s superintendent Doug Ogle, and a police officer.
Despite her continued denial that she had consumed alcohol at school, administrators suggested she had been drinking since arriving at school and since class started at 8:25 a.m.
Eventually, Coates admitted she had drunk half a box of wine until 3 a.m. earlier that morning.
On Tuesday, the Perkins Police Department released body cam footage of the meeting with Coates showing her meeting with school administrators and law enforcement and her alleged intoxication.
Sergeant Spencer Gedon told Oklahoma City’s KFOR: “The school administration contacted our school resource officer. Whenever he got there, he saw some signs that maybe she was impaired.”
In the video, Ogle accused Coates of “acting weird” and being “off”. She was asked if she would consider taking a breath test and agreed to the breathalyzer. Coates tried to excuse her behavior by claiming she had taken anxiety medication.
A measurement of 0.24 was produced - three times the legal driving limit of 0.08. Ogle then told Coates that she needed to have someone come and pick her up and take her home. She refused to let him call her husband.
A police report then stated that an officer saw Coates had “red, watery eyes and a thick, slurred speech”. Ogle then gathered her belongings for her and returned with a blue cup - questioning what was contained in it. She then claimed it was “juice”, but smelling the cup, the officer said, “that there was wine.”
Coates asked if she was going to get fired and was bluntly told "honestly, yes - or you can resign. You're under the influence at school with kids".
At this point, Coates was told to put her hands behind her back as she was being cuffed and arrested.
The city of Perkins spokesperson said: "Ms. Coates breath sample in a portable breath tester showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.24, which is three times the legal limit. Ms. Coates was placed under arrest and transported to the Payne County Jail on the anticipated District Court charge of Public Intoxication.”
The shocking story of a school teacher being drunk on the job raises serious questions about the levels of supervision and alcohol policies in place at schools.
It is clear that the school system needs to put more safeguards in place to ensure such incidents do not happen again.