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UPDATED: Belen Teacher Fired for Alleged Drunkenness

UPDATED 8:55am 9/14/11 — BHS Teacher Fired for Being Intoxicated While in Class

A Belen High School teacher was fired Tuesday afternoon after an internal investigation and an alcohol and drug test confirmed she was intoxicated while teaching students on Monday.

UPDATE:Teacher arrested for drinking in Arizona (Aug. 14, 2014)

Kathleen Jardine, a second-year math teacher, was placed on paid administrative leave Monday afternoon after students notified school administrators Jardine was acting strange, said Belen Schools Superintendent Ron Marquez.


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School administrators, including BHS principal Chris Hotchkiss, conducted a visual investigation of Jardine for two hours, checking for odor, eye dilation and other signs of impairment, Marquez said.

Hotchkiss said Jardine was also saying “things out of the ordinary.”

At that point, it became “even more obvious” that Jardine was intoxicated, Marquez said. Jardine was assessed by the school nurse, who confirmed she was under the influence, the superintendent said.

Jardine initially refused to take a drug and alcohol test, but later agreed after administrators told her that if she wasn’t cooperative it would be the equivalent of a positive result from a drug and alcohol test, Marquez said.

The teacher was then escorted by security and an administrator to take the test and then taken home.

Results from the test came back positive Tuesday morning, Marquez said. Jardine was terminated that afternoon for violating the drug-free work place policy implemented by the school district.

The policy states that any employee “suspected of possessing, distributing, manufacturing, selling or using controlled or illicit substances or alcohol on school property or at any school sponsored event will be suspended” pending results from an internal investigation.

In a telephone interview Tuesday morning, Jardine declined to comment on the allegations but denied being under the influence in school Monday, and said “I care about my students more than anything else and don’t want to hurt them.”


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Marquez said the students’ safety wasn’t a concern while administrators were conducting the visual investigation because they “were within waist reach and arms reach (and) constantly in and out of the classroom.”

The test results and case will be turned over to Belen Police Department for investigation, Marquez said.

Belen Police Lt. Robert Miller said the case hadn’t been turned over to them early Tuesday, but he said the teacher’s actions might not warrant criminal charges.

“At this time, it’s a school personnel issue,” Miller said.

Marquez said this is Jardine’s first disciplinary action with the school.


Belen High School teacher Kathleen Jardine, a second-year math teacher, was fired Tuesday for allegedly being intoxicated on the job, school Superintendent Ron Marquez told KOAT-TV.

After a number of students came to the office on Monday afternoon claiming Jardine was acting strange and slurring her speech, the teacher was escorted from the school grounds and voluntarily submitted a drug and alcohol test, Action 7 News reported.

Marquez said Tuesday that Jardine’s blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the level of presumed intoxication, KOAT-TV said.

District officials told Action 7 News that Jardine had been employed by the district for the past year and a half and never had problems until this week.

The school district is referring the case — which officials called an isolated incident — to the state Public Education Department where officials will decide whether to revoke Jardine’s teaching license, KOAT-TV said.


6:14am 9/13/11 — Belen H.S. Teacher Accused of Teaching While Intoxicated

A Belen High School teacher is on paid leave while school authorities investigate whether she was teaching while intoxicated Monday, KOAT-TV reported.

Second-year math teacher Kathleen Jardine allegedly taught her students while drunk for more than five hours of the school day, school officials told Action 7 News.

Superintendent Ron Marquez told KOAT-TV that a number of students came to the office by mid-afternoon Monday complaining that Jardine was acting strange and slurring her speech, and administrative staff reported that Jardine showed signs of intoxication.

The teacher was escorted from school grounds after voluntarily submitting to a drug and alcohol test, Action 7 News said.

Marquez said if alcohol is found in her system, a criminal complaint would be filed, and Belen police told KOAT-TV that a school resource officer informed them of the incident.