COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. (WWBT) - A Colonial Heights elementary school teacher was arrested at school after suspected cocaine was found in her desk, police said.
Officials said a Colonial Heights School Resource Officer at Lakeview Elementary was told by a school administrator about a possible drug offense on April 21.
The SRO then contacted kindergarten teacher Cybil Billie at the school.
“During the course of the investigation, the SRO located contraband that is believed to be cocaine, inside of the teacher’s desk,” police said.
Billie, 46, of Chesterfield, was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine.
“She was actually my daughter’s teacher,” Mark Klingman said. His daughter attends Lakeview Elementary. “I don’t know what to make of it...I thought it was a joke of some kind.”
Education consultant, Dana Hawes, has no ties to Colonial Heights Schools, but plenty of experience managing school staff.
“Children are absolutely and unequivocally entitled to a drug-free learning environment,” he said. “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.”
Which is one possible reason the school district quickly parted ways with their kindergarten teacher. Notices are going out to parents about who will teach their children for the remainder of the school year.
“Children become very connected to their caregivers and teachers are no exception to that rule...The transition of a teacher at this time of year can be very disruptive to young people, especially elementary-aged students,” Hawes added.
“She was an excellent teacher. 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,” Klingman said.
Billie is being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail pending her next court appearance.
The school division notified parents about the arrest in a letter that read in part:
“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. 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.”
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