Teacher accused of coming to class intoxicated

An Orchard Mesa Middle School art teacher may lose her job for allegedly being under the influence of alcohol at work.

School District 51 Superintendent Steve Schultz said during a school board meeting Tuesday he investigated the allegation after the district placed teacher Laura Bond on paid administrative leave Feb. 8. The results of the investigation led Schultz to recommend Bond be dismissed.

Teachers can be dismissed for a physical or mental disability, incompetency, neglect of duty, immorality, unsatisfactory performance, insubordination, a felony conviction or acceptance of a guilty or “no contest” plea or deferred sentence for a felony, or other good and just cause, according to Colorado Revised Statutes.

Schultz told the board he is recommending Bond’s dismissal based on neglect of duty, immorality and other just causes.

For now, Bond remains on administrative leave. The decision to fire her will be up to a vote of District 51 School Board members. Discussion of her potential dismissal could take place behind closed doors in accordance with Colorado law unless Bond requests the meeting be open. The vote to decide her fate would be public.

Attempts to reach Bond were unsuccessful Thursday. She is a member of the local teacher-representation group Mesa Valley Education Association, according to MVEA President Jim Smyth. Smyth said the group’s protocol is to have Colorado Education Association Legal Services explore a member’s case and prepare to defend a teacher member who is at risk of losing his or her job. A CEA representative confirmed Thursday a member of the legal services team has taken Bond’s case.


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