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Arizona high school teacher arrives at school drunk a day after DUI arrest

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PHOENIX (Reuters) – An Arizona math teacher arrived drunk at her high school and hit the bottle again in the classroom, where she yelled at her students before one of the pupils alerted administrators, authorities said on Thursday.

Kathleen Jardine, 57, a teacher at Poston Butte High School faces one count of public consumption of alcohol stemming from the incident on Wednesday in the community about 35 miles southeast of Phoenix, said Sergeant Pat Ramirez, a spokesman for the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office.

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Ramirez said a student called the main office to alert them that Jardine appeared drunk and was yelling at the students.

An on-site sheriff’s deputy responded and he could tell she was “extremely intoxicated,” police said.

Later, a school security officer found in her classroom a half bottle of vodka, an empty single-serving bottle of white wine and a half-empty bottle of an orange drink, police added.

The teacher eventually admitted that she had been drinking the night before, that morning and during lunch in her classroom, police said.

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Jardine’s blood-alcohol level was .205 percent when tested, which would be considered so-called “super extreme” if she were to drive under the influence of that much alcohol, police said.

She also acknowledged taking a taxi to the school and said it was because she felt too drunk to drive, police said.

But Jardine may not have had a choice about whether to drive. Her car was impounded on Tuesday in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert where she was cited and released for driving under the influence, said Gilbert police spokesman Sergeant Jesse Sanger.

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Jardine could not immediately be reached for comment.

“Learning math can be hard enough, I can’t imagine trying to learn it from a drunk teacher,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu in a statement.

This is not the first time Jardine was drunk in the classroom, as she was fired for such behavior while teaching in New Mexico in 2011, Babeu said.

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In addition to the public consumption of alcohol charge, Jardine also could face a charge of disorderly conduct stemming from the incident, Ramirez said.

Officials from the Florence Unified School District, which runs the Poston Butte High School, in a statement declined to release further details about the teacher or the incident.

(Reporting by David Schwartz, Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Sandra Maler)

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Watch a report on Jardine’s arrest, as aired on KPNX-TV, below.


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