PCSO: San Tan Valley teacher drunk in classroom

SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ - A Poston Butte High School teacher was cited for public intoxication Wednesday, according to police officials.

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office identified the teacher as 57-year-old Kathleen Jardine.

PCSO learned from a student that Jardine was intoxicated and yelling at a classroom full of students.

The 57-year-old teacher initially told authorities she was not drinking but later admitted to drinking the night before, the morning before school and during a lunch break in her classroom. She said she took a cab to work that morning.

PCSO said Jardine registered a .205 BAC.

A security officer at the school discovered a half full bottle of vodka, an empty single serving size of wine and a half bottle of orange juice in her purse.

The Poston Butte High School teacher was cited with Consumption of Alcohol in Public and released to her daughter.

PCSO Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “Learning math can be hard enough, I can't imagine trying to learn it from a drunk teacher.”

Babeu said Jardine has been intoxicated in the classroom before. According to Babeu, Jardine was intoxicated in 2011 while teaching at Belen High School in New Mexico.

Jardine was fired from the school in New Mexico.

According to Babeu, Jardine had also been arrested for DUI in Gilbert on Tuesday.

"Obviously she needs help, we want to see that she gets help. But she obviously needs to be held accountable for creating this disturbance in the schools," Babeu said.

The principal at Poston Butte High School said, “Our administrative team worked quickly with our new Pinal County School Resource officer to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. This teacher violated the trust of our students and our community and she will not be returning to our campus."

Florence Unified School District spokesman Richard Franco said Jardine is on paid administrative leave pending due process.

Franco said he could not comment on personnel matters, but that every teacher undergoes a background check and needs an FBI fingerprint clearance card as well as an Arizona teaching certificate.

He said after that, teachers are cross checked by references. They are also required to do mandatory reporting for any convictions, resignations or firings on their application.

He said whether the school district knew of Jardine being previously fired in New Mexico is still under investigation.



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