This may end up on her permanent record.
A kindergarten teacher in Virginia was nabbed by police while her students were enjoying recess after a white powder purported to be cocaine was discovered in her desk drawer at the school, according to authorities.
“During the course of the investigation, the SRO located contraband that is believed to be cocaine, inside of the teacher’s desk,” officials said.
Forty-six-year-old Cybil Billie of Chesterfield County was arrested during school hours last week at Lakeview Elementary School when an administrator reached out to a school resource officer after having suspicions about potentially finding illegal drugs, according to the news station WWBT.
The cops had a chat with Billie and detected what is thought to be cocaine in the desk of her classroom, according to the news station WRIC.
Division Superintendent William D. Sroufe acknowledged that the kindergarteners were at recess, totally unaware that their teacher was taken away by police. The arrest was said to be carried out “tactfully” so as to not alarm the children.
“The safety of our students is a top priority and we will continue to follow School Board policies and procedures throughout this process. Families with any concerns or who may need additional support during this time may contact Lakeview Elementary School,” the superintendent said in a statement.
“We are continuing to cooperate with the Colonial Heights Police Department during their investigation.”
“She was actually my daughter’s teacher,” Mark Klingman, whose daughter is enrolled in classes at Lakeview Elementary, told local news. “I don’t know what to make of it. I thought it was a joke of some kind.”
“She was an excellent teacher,” another parent said to NBC12. “My daughter did really well in her class. I used to meet with her. Everything was fine when we met. My daughter always enjoyed being in her class.”
Billie has been charged with felony possession of cocaine, according to the outlets. The teacher is currently being held without bond until her next appearance before a judge on June 2.
“Children are absolutely and unequivocally entitled to a drug-free learning environment,” said education consultant Dana Hawes, who has no affiliation to Colonial Heights Schools. “The thought that a primary caregiver–like a teacher–could potentially expose his or her students to harm or neglect is not a risk that a school system is likely to consider itself liable for.”
For this reason, the school district swiftly dismissed the kindergarten teacher. The district says it plans to send out notices to parents about who will replace Billie for the rest of the school year.
“Families of students in Ms. Billie’s class will receive additional communication from Dr. Patrick Neuman, regarding the assignment of a new teacher in the near future,” the superintendent wrote in a statement to parents.
“Children become very connected to their caregivers and teachers are no exception to that rule,” Hawes explained. “The transition of a teacher at this time of year can be very disruptive to young people, especially elementary-aged students.”
One of the parents of a student, Kelli Gagnon, said that she had to have a difficult talk with her daughter about how “sometimes adults make mistakes.”
“I did just let her know that sometimes adults make mistakes and just like children, there are consequences. Sometimes adult mistakes are a little bigger. We can’t just go stand in time out,” Gagnon said to WRIC. “[Bilie] will get the help that she needs. She was a great teacher. My daughter enjoyed having her so much.”
Billie had been a kindergarten teacher with Colonial Heights Public Schools for the last seven years.