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 August 24, 2023

3rd grade teacher arrested after being drunk on the first day of school

On the first day of elementary school, an Oklahoma third-grade teacher was apprehended for allegedly being under the influence while teaching.

Teaching is considered one of the most honorable professions, a calling that holds the future of our children. However, even this noble profession is not immune to human struggles. In a recent incident that took place in Oklahoma, Kimberly Coates, a 53-year-old teacher, found herself at the center of a serious allegation, WSB-TV reported.

Coates was confronted in her classroom by school resource officer Shane Dean and Perkins-Tryon School Superintendent Doug Ogle, around 3:20 p.m. on Aug. 17. Their concern? She might be teaching her third-grade students while intoxicated.

The suspicions didn't come out of nowhere. An empty blue plastic cup was found among Coates' belongings, which had a lingering smell of alcohol. Upon further investigation, another cup in her classroom had a red liquid. When questioned, Coates tried to brush it off, deflecting the police questioning.

Unfolding of the incident

What solidified the concerns was a piece of evidence from the Fox News Digital. They obtained officer-worn bodycam footage from the Perkins Police Department. This footage painted a more detailed picture of Coates' interaction with the school officials and local law enforcement on that day.

During the interaction, Coates confessed to consuming alcohol late into the night before, even mentioning she drank on her way to work that morning. She admitted to having half a box of wine and claimed she was drinking until 3 a.m. the previous night.

To determine the level of her intoxication, Coates agreed to undergo a breath test. The results were shocking. She blew a blood alcohol concentration of .24. This number is notably three times the legal limit of .08 in Oklahoma. Perkins Police Sgt. Spencer Gedon weighed in on the results, mentioning, "

Further complications arise

Coates also touched upon another significant concern. She said she had taken some anxiety medication the night before, although she couldn't recall the name of the medication. Combining alcohol with certain medications can be lethal, not to mention its potential effect on one's ability to function, especially in a role as responsible as teaching.

After her refusal to call someone to pick her up, law enforcement deemed it necessary to arrest Coates and remove her from the premises. Consequently, she was taken to the Payne County Jail and is expected to face charges for public intoxication.

Following the incident, the Perkins-Tyron Public School District made a public statement. They stressed their commitment to ensuring a safe learning environment for students and maintaining open collaboration with law enforcement.

Lessons to learn from this tragedy

  • Schools must have regular mental health check-ins for their staff: Ensure they have the resources and support needed.
  • Parents should maintain open communication with educators: Understand their challenges, and offer support when possible.
  • Communities should advocate for better mental health resources and addiction programs: Ensure that those in need have easy access.
  • It's crucial to remember that everyone can have challenges and struggles: Irrespective of their profession. Kindness, understanding, and support can make all the difference.

What the community feels

This incident, while isolated, throws light on the broader issue of addiction and mental health among professionals. It's a reminder that no profession is immune to the struggles of life and that teachers, despite their crucial roles, are humans first.

For parents and guardians, it's a wakeup call. It emphasizes the importance of open channels of communication with schools, regular monitoring of their child's classroom environment, and understanding the life and struggles of those responsible for their child's education.

The community feels that while Kimberly's actions can't be justified, they highlight the pressing need for providing better mental health resources and support systems for educators and other professionals.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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