Report suggests teacher was drunk; Pasco County schools investigating
LAND O'LAKES - The Pasco County school district is interviewing students this morning to learn more details about the behavior of a teacher who was escorted from campus Wednesday by sheriff's deputies.
Rushe Middle School administrators contacted their school resource officer about language arts teacher Kylene Nelson, 42, early Wednesday. Deputy Joseph Stimac wrote in his incident report that Nelson had "the odor commonly associated with alcohol."
"Kylene's speech was slurred and she was having trouble talking," Stimac wrote. "Kylene told me she was two years sober and had not been drinking."
About three hours later, Stimac learned that assistant principal Ron Michalak had taken Nelson to a clinic that tests employees for drugs and alcohol and had just returned. Ten minutes after their return, Nelson - whose blood-alcohol content was reported at 0.26 - ran off campus to a nearby recreation center, where she passed out, the report states.
"Kylene told me, 'Just leave me alone. I want to die,' " Stimac wrote. "She then said she was going to go home and drown herself in her pool. I took Kylene into custody for her safety."
Stimac wrote that he took her to the Harbor in New Port Richey.
Assistant superintendent Renalia DuBose said that district personnel officials went to the school this morning to interview students.
"We want to ask kids what they saw, what happened," she said. "You never know."
Nelson is not in school, DuBose said. But neither is she fired.
"We don't automatically fire people," she said, stressing the investigation had just begun.
Jeffrey S. Solochek, Pasco education reporter