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Update: Teacher Was Drunk, Police Say

The third-grade teacher at LaVorgna Elementary allegedly failed a sobriety exam administered by sheriff's deputies at the school.

 

A third-grade teacher at was allegedly drunk on the job, a sheriff's official said.

A school official called the sheriff's department at 11:59 a.m. on Thursday asking deputies to conduct a sobriety test on Theresa Davis.

She failed the test, said sheriff's Lt. Scott Madden today. "There was an indication she was under the influence of alcohol," he said.

After an investigation at the school, sheriff's officials determined she drove to the school sober, but drank while teaching her class of 23 students, the lieutenant said.

School officials were prompted to investigate the teacher's sobriety when she wrote an illegible hall pass for a student, according to sheriff's Sgt. Andy Woods.

Davis was detained temporarily and released to family members, Madden said.

Whether Davis was put on leave was unavailable, but she is not be allowed to be around students at this time, said Melanie Norton, spokesperson for the .

"She is currently not with students. The incident is being addressed by our Human Resources Department, and appropriate action will be taken," she said.

The sheriff's department , then sent the case to the District Attorney's Office, and it will be up to that agency to decide whether to proceed.

"We'll release her case to the District Attorney for the possibility of child endangerment charges," Madden said.

A spokesperson for the was unavailable for comment as of publication time.

Editor's note: This story was updated with details at 9:50 a.m. Jan. 14.

Vicki January 14, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Interesting Tiana, if she didn't drink at the school then are you implying she was drunk while driving to the school? Disease, church....whatever. Call in sick, there's no excuse.
Tiana January 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
As I said before, a lot of this article is false. She didn't have a drink that day at all AND she didn't even drive that day. That's the problem when the media reports wrong info to the public.
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 05:08 PM
The PD sat on this a day to insure appropriate charges against her. Meaning it was discussed between the PD, DA, school district, and union. Child endangerment would be the only action, IF what we read in the article is accurate and that could be lowered in a plea agreement for completion of AA classes. We hear so many times that a person with a drinking problem is the nicest person, so sweet, everyone loves them. Well of course they are, they are drinking, or making up to everyone for all the times they were drinking and feel guilty. We have all known alcoholics to have an opinion on this one. None of us know what is true concerning this woman, her drinking in general or that day. We are all speaking on emotions which is the 1st and natural way to react when we hear of something like this. Also being a member of her church and contributor to activities is a wonderful support system for her but she will be her own savior in this and draw her strength from there. Ultimitly she has the hard work ahead of her. I do hope as with others before her that she is given the time allowance to get better and return to her job. Which I believe is practical for her, based on what information is in the article.
Lisa H January 14, 2012 at 05:34 PM
This is a very difficult situation for all concerned. As a parent, it is concerning to know that your child was left in the care of someone who allegedly was under the influence of alcohol (sobriety tests were given and failed). As a family member or friend, you want to defend all actions and convey to everyone how she is a loving, church going woman who is just going through a rough patch. Either way, it's a no win situation. I feel for her, alcoholism is a very difficult disease to deal with and overcome. On the same note, while dealing with this disease, children should not be left in her care in a classroom situation. The school is responsible to make sure all children are safely supervised at all times. Anybody who suffers from alcoholism cannot be certain that this disease will not impair their judgement and responsibilities with children. Unfortunately, I believe that, if the facts come out to prove she was under the influence at school, she should be let go from her position as she did put a classroom full of children in danger. It takes only a momentary lapse of judgement to create a devastating situation. Someday, after treating her disease, may she be able to prove herself responsible enough to have our children left in her care and may she then apply for another job in the teaching profession. If she is proven innocent in all charges, may the community be able to let this go and let her go about the job that she truly loves without any further judgement.
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Part 2 of 2 Unfortunately this was not private, hit papers, will add another issue to get over. Anyone else, say a UPS driver, would have quietly went off to get help, and returned two months later, no lose of salary. As a "boss" type person most of my working career I know that in every new hire packet was documents stating the companies policies on seeking help for abuse of drugs, alcohol and they were all positive, some even paying a portion if not all of their salary depending on how long with the company etc. This young woman probably needed more help then just AA meetings but was in fear of loosing her job,lose of pay if she was granted a leave, Which all leads to more drinking. Not making excuses for her, but it appears many knew she had a problem and was reaching out prior to this incident per these posts. **Note**nothing I say here is directed intentionally at this young woman, I do not know her or her situation, and I truly hope she is able to maintain her job after a leave of absense to get help for her drinking, and personal issues, that her friends who have posted say she has. If we looked up case law we would fined similiar cases with teachers, I think etc*** Child Endangerment is a tough charge to take, especially for a teacher, but if she was drinking, I suppose it'd like a mother drinking while watching her 8 yr old? This is difficult as I am usually a barracuda when it comes to any crime against children. I hope this some how turns out positive..
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Very well said Lisa, and accurate.
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Alot of employers do James. Especially if that person is a great employee. The employer, where the problem is, cannot usually afford to pay that persons salary and the salary of someone to take that persons place....sooo the alcoholic to get help must do without pay and that is one of the primary reasons they go on as long as they can. So they get their pay to take care of family, themselves, and more alcohol of course, and they do NOT want to loose their job. Usually honesty is the best bet, and if you are a good employee the employer would love to hvae you back. As far as pay, its something you will have to chance. Or talk them into letting you use vacation time, or sick days for the next 2 years, some agreement will usually work. BUT TRY IT before you end up without a job anyway.
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Hey Just, I agree to a point with you. Its tough because I am a barracuda, totally talk with my heart when it comes to anything that endangers children. However with this woman, as with any alcoholic, ie like the one that didnt think the whole time she was getting ready to go and party that she could kill some one later on when driving home drunk, this teacher didnt think that a child, in her care, could get hurt from the moment she took the first drink that day. IF she did indeed drink that day, police say yes, and she failed the detector, her friends post she did not drink and Right now with feelings and the article I would have to assume she was drunk and failed the sobriety test and put children at risk. I believe though that either a leave to address her charges and alcoholism is appropriate and if they dont want to pay her during a leave, then at least put her in a room doing paperwork etc. that the schools are always so far behind on with lack of volunteers. Working would also help her during her treatment even if its onky 4 hours a day. Also agree that if she goes back to teaching or some other position in the school district that it be at a different school. That is just common sense.
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 06:04 PM
I hope Ms. Davis appreciates all the support she apparently has through all this, and it also appears that her problems were not being kept quiet. I hope everyone knew because they were helping her, and not because they were trying to c over it up is all I am saying. Just wondering if so many knew about it, why it was not already being addressed, or was it, but just not as aggressively as needed?
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Tiana, great to have the support of friends when Ms. Davis obviously needs it. At a time she has hit rock bottom and now especially needs to be watched over. If she indeed loves her school children, her job, and the church then she knows first hand, probably at a sober point, that what she did was wrong, and very much was putting herself and her children at school in risk of injury.
Brenda January 14, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Yikes!! Even though I say again I am a barracuda when it comes to drinking and doing anything after that can hurt someone else like work, drive, etc. And when you are aware that those dangers exist when you are under the influence, before, during and after.!! But if found guilty she should serve her sentence, community services hopefully around the subject of alcoholism in a profession that has children as the benefactors of her training and job. I do believe she should be allowed to eventually teach again after her sentences are served, even probation and in the interim she could do paperwork at a different school to help them catch up. Always something to do at a school w here volunteers are few and far between.
Tristen January 14, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Fire her. Who really knows how many times she has done it and gotten away with it. This time she was so under the influence, she got caught. Maybe she was so intoxicated from the previous night that she was still intoxicated the following day only she knows. But can anyone explain why there was vodka in her water bottle with her in class? Personal problems or not. She showed poor judgement and a lack of responsibility. That is not the kind of person I want teaching and looking after my children while in school.
James January 15, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Or maybe it was the first time that it had occurred and she did not get away with it on even one occasion. I don't understand why there are so many posters that are hysterical about the situation. She exercised some bad judgment. Yes, I agree. We've all made mistakes. But I still suggest reason and cool heads should prevail. Otherwise, I suggest that the posts demanding the teacher's termination amount to nothing more then an online modern day "lynch" mob. And while I understand the anger. I think that it's mob mentality. Nothing more.
jill January 15, 2012 at 04:31 AM
How do you all know this is intoxication and not a medication reaction? I know her personally and would not instantly think alchohol.Medications always fail sobriety tests.
Brenda January 15, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Everything good possible can open up to her once she gets help for the drinking, if it is indeed an issue with her. Might be teaching that makes her drink more with all the other added stress her friends say she is going through. But regardless, I hope she gets the help she needs and moves on
Lisa H January 15, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Jill - I appreciate you wanting to defend a friend. We all would want to do the same thing with our friends and family. But as the article states, it was alcohol, not medication, she was arrested for. If it was narcotics, the arrest would simply of stated under the influence of a controlled substance. Hopefully, this will all turn out well for the teacher and she may move forward with her life and teaching. But, if the article is accurate, the situation is not looking well for her.
Mel January 15, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Lisa-Failing a Field sobriety test does not just indicate alcohol! With words such as ALLEGEDLLY It can be several factors. It she failed a breathalizer then that is something different but it doesn't state that in the article! I think in reality that the media decides these things for us! Unless there is a specific statement about a blood test or a breathalizer then we really cant just speculate!
Lisa H January 15, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I'm sorry Mel - are you reading the same article that I am? Did you read the very first line? "A third-grade teacher at Susan LaVorgna Elementary was allegedly drunk on the job, a sheriff's official said." Drunk - sheriff's official. And if you read all of my comments - they all state "if" she is proven drunk, "if" the allegations are true. So before you go trying to prove me inaccurate with my statements - you might want to actually read the article and all of my statements. AGAIN, I hope the allegations prove to be false and the teacher may move on with her life. In the meantime, Mel please get your facts straight before attacking somebody else posting on the Patch.
Brenda January 15, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Hi Jill, We dont know what really happened, even by what the article says. Many news stories go on to change a little bit, or drastically after a few days or a week. She could have been on medications, with or without alcohol, or just alcohol. WE ALSO DO NOT know what kind of "sobriety test" she had. Hopefully it was a breathalyzer so it is known if she was legally drunk. They had no reason to make this a crime, with all the embarrassment, notoriety now if there was not a breathalyzer showing her legally intoxicated. Some friends knew she had some problems. This was her first time in trouble for drinking at school, (we still do not know if it was at school, before school)having the PD called, given the sobriety test is plenty for the school to have set her down to explain their position and what her choices were and what help they could provide to this obviously well liked teacher. I hope its not all as bad as it seems, and that the PD did a breathalyzer to find her legally drunk. No jumping the gun I hope. Otherwise this was an awful lot of embarrassment to go through for someone already battling demons and issues.
Popeye January 15, 2012 at 08:04 PM
James, I assume their are non alcoholic teachers waiting to take her place. There is no shortage of teachers:)
Brenda January 15, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Correct Mel. That is what concerns me about this entire article and sad situation. It says "A third-grade teacher at Susan LaVorgna Elementary was allegedly drunk on the job, a sheriff's official said. A school official called the sheriff's department at 11:59 a.m. on Thursday asking deputies to conduct a sobriety test on Theresa Davis. She failed the test, said sheriff's Lt. Scott Madden today. "There was an indication she was under the influence of alcohol," he said." The school called the PD to have a "sobrity test" done. A school teacher was alledgedly drunk. She failed the test, and there was an indication she was under the influence of alcohol. Otherwise, they smelled it on her, she admitted it possibly, maybe they did find some in a cup or something, blah blah blah. But a field sobriety test is wishy washy and I hope they did do a breathalyzer or someone really jumped the gun on this one slinging her name through the mud. First she was not driving, so she was not in anyway obligated to take that test for driving reasons. If it says something in her teacher rules and regulations that she has to take a sobriety test IMMEDIATELY if thought to being intoxicated that would bring in the test. Otherwise she still could have said no and went the route of the union if she was put on suspension until it was resolved, help was offered, time off given etc. Regardless there was alot of different ways to handle this I am sure without the release of her name.
concerned parent from that school January 24, 2012 at 03:45 PM
First of all, even when the news has video footage of someone breaking the law and eye witnesses, they have to say "allegedy" because the person is innocent until proven guilty. So reports saying allegedy does not mean that they don't already know the facts. It also doesn't mean that it wasn't exaggerated. My child is in 3rd grade and goes to that school and has had Mrs. Davis as a teacher. Whether or not she is a good teacher is subjective. But I have to say that for me, the worst part of this was READING about it in the news first, and then hearing it from the point of view of my child and other children and NOT hearing it from the school or the district first. This happened a couple of days before a 3 day weekend. Plenty of time for the school to take responsibility and tell us (at least the 3rd grade parents) that there was an "alleged" incident and they wanted us to hear it from them before anywhere else. And given the gravity of the charges--in addition to the letter which should have gone to all parents all grade levels, how hard would it have been to make 23 phone calls?
Brenda January 24, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Concerned, the schools are able to get out a audio message to our phone numbers listed with the school. We got one sometime ago about a PE teacher, I believe he was being terminated, and giving a date the Principal would have a meeting about it the next school day. Also during the call assuring everyone that he was there to speak to and blah blah blah. So there is some kind of system in place in our districts for those type of calls.
Lisa A January 27, 2012 at 05:53 PM
While I understand how many people are upset by this, and rightfully so.. I also know Mrs. Davis personally and believe that it is all being blown out of proportion. I have had 2 of my children in her classes, and if I had a choice, she would also have had my 3rd. I was a weekly volunteer and spent much time with Mrs. Davis. I also agree that she is the best teacher there, and that says a lot because I love many of the teachers and have been very happy with all of them. My kids are very open with me and would tell me if they ever felt unsafe. On the contrary, they also think that Mrs. Davis was the best teacher ever. She genuinely cares about her students and would do anything for them. I know that she is going through some tough times right now. We were all completely shocked when we heard about what had happened. I do not know if the article its true or not, but I know that if it is- this is COMPLETELY out of character for her. I liked James' lynch mob analogy. I believe that it would be a complete loss to the school and the children to not let her teach again. Hate me for saying it if you want. I am not an alcoholic, although I know some and I do not believe in making excuses for them. I believe they need to face their disease and overcome it. However- to completely cut them off from society is not right either. No one is perfect and there is not one single person that hasn't made a stupid decision that may have endangered someone. I hope people can forgive.
Lisa A January 27, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I do not believe that this has ever happened before. I'm sure it was an isolated incident.
Laura Eichert February 03, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?
Brenda February 03, 2012 at 09:01 PM
That is true Laura. However there appears to have been plenty of witnesses unfortunately and things she said at her own admission. Like, she did not drink until she got to school and she failed the test. Its a sad case and I hope the district handles it like alot of companies and schools do now, give her time to go to rehab(if she indeed has a drinking problem or just stressers at this point)and attend meetings and go back to teaching. Since companies started this way back when they have saved some great employee's from being fired who just needed some medical time off and are too scared to ask for it. I hope all things good happen for her.
Paul February 21, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Hi! I am not the Paul that wrote the first comment above. I have been posting other comments on here today about the stores applying for 7-11 and Arco permits to sell beer, and some comments after the $10,000 for charity routed to us via Supv. Stone. I say sometime I will add to my name here, but I was getting some kind of error message last time I tried.
Amanda June 08, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Wow, except she FAILED the sobriety test. So obviously she was under the influence. A sober person would not fail the test. There was obviously a problem, otherwise she wouldn't have been arrested during the school day. I know she is your friend, but she needs help. Not people lying for her and trying to cover up her mistakes.
Brenda June 08, 2012 at 09:14 PM
After nearly 6 months I am sure it has been resolved but very quietly by now. Obviously with papers signed by all that it wont be discussed with the general public, news agencies which is usually what is in the agreements. Wish her the best and she has gotten help and is able to either go back to teaching here or at another school with random testing. If she is completely black balled here she will never get another teaching job imo.

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