South East Junior High substitute removed for intoxication

School district said teacher was not arrested, but will face disciplinary action

An Iowa City squad car. (file photo)
An Iowa City squad car. (file photo)

IOWA CITY — A drunk substitute teacher was removed from South East Junior High by police Thursday morning.

The Iowa City Community School District is not identifying the teacher, who was not arrested. However, the teacher will face disciplinary action.

“He will be excluded from subbing in our district,” said Jim Pedersen, Chief Human Resource Officer for the district. “I’m not going to say forever. He will be excluded from subbing.”

Pedersen said the district is also required to file a complaint with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, which licenses teachers, coaches and substitutes. Pedersen said the complaint will not be filed until he’s had a chance to meet with the substitute.

Pedersen said the incident began at the beginning of the school day Thursday. He said the substitute — who he described as a “very successful” and a “longer term” substitute for the district — was in the art classroom at SEJH. Some students reported to school officials they suspected something was wrong with the substitute and that he might possibly be under the influence. School officials called the police and a plain clothes officer responded around 9:35 a.m., Pedersen said.

“They came right up and confirmed he was indeed under the influence of alcohol,” he said. “He was immediately escorted out of the building by police.”

Iowa City police Sgt. Scott Gaarde said the substitute was not charged.

“Not every public intoxication investigation results in arrest,” Gaarde said, noting an overwhelming number of those investigations do not result in an arrest.

Pedersen said officials were able to quickly find a new substitute.

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“The administration acted very appropriately,” he said. “It was handled well ... It was handled swiftly and correctly.”

Pedersen also praised the students who were aware something was wrong and reported it to school officials.

The receptionist with the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners said the board was in a meeting all day Friday and were not available for comment on the situation.

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