A third grade teacher in Oklahoma was arrested for allegedly being under the influence on the first day of school.
On 17 August, Perkins-Tryon School officials reported to the school resource officer that they thought that Kimberly Coates, 53, was “possibly intoxicated” at the Intermediate School toward the end of the school day, around 3.20pm, according to a statement by the City of Perkins.
“I noticed Kimberly had red, watery eyes and a thick, slurred speech. Kimberly had a hard time completing sentences,” the school resource officer wrote in the police report, obtained by Stillwater News Press.
Police said they “confirmed that Ms Coates was indeed under the influence of alcohol,” the statement continued.
The third-grade teacher, seemingly holding back tears, admitted to police that she drank “a lot last night,” estimating she consumed half a box of wine the night before and stopped drinking around 3am, according to bodycam footage. According to the school’s website, the school day begins at 8.25am.
“I asked Kimberly again how much she had to drink. Kimberly stated she drank some wine on her way to work this morning. Kimberly denied drinking any this afternoon,” the school resource officer wrote, according to the outlet.
Ms Coates took a breath test, which marked her blood alcohol concentration at 0.24 – “which is three times the legal limit,” the statement said.
The superintendent then went to Ms Coates’ classroom to get her bag, which held a blue cup that had red liquid with an alcoholic odour in it, the News Press reported, adding that the school resource officer concluded that the liquid was wine.
“Kimberly stated she drank out of that cup yesterday and not today,” the school resource officer reportedly wrote.
Ms Coates could be heard saying in bodycam footage: “I know I’ve been having a hard time – am I going to get fired?” The superintendent then plainly replied, “Honestly, yes – or you can resign. You’re under the influence at school with kids.”
The teacher was then arrested and transported to the Payne County Jail “on the anticipated District Court charge of Public Intoxication,” according to the statement.
The Independent has reached out to Perkins Police Department and Perkins-Tryon School for comment.