BERWYN, Pa. – A Pennsylvania teacher is facing criminal charges after she was allegedly discovered passed out and drunk earlier this month in a classroom during academic hours.
Carol Wittschieben, 42, a chemistry teacher at Conestoga High School in Chester County, was found lying unconscious in a lab prep room Dec. 10 while her students were working in an adjoining lab, according to Philly.com.
The teacher was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, according to the news report. On the way she reportedly told paramedics that she is an alcoholic and had been drinking throughout the school day.
A water bottle in Wittschieben’s purse contained a substance that smelled like alcohol, the news report said. Tests showed she had a blood alcohol level of .32 percent, which is considered very intoxicated by driving standards.
Wittschieben has been charged with endangering the welfare of children, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. She is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 23.
The teacher has been placed on leave from her job, although there is no word on whether she will be terminated. A Michigan school district made news earlier this year when it was learned that its teachers union contract allowed educators to be intoxicated at school several times before disciplinary measures could be taken.
The report did not mention what the union contact in Wittschieben’s district says about dealing with teachers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.