Jacksonville, FL – A Florida first-grade teacher who tried to buy methamphetamine in the middle of the school day is facing a felony drug charge.
Authorities said that Valerie Lee Prince was working as a teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary School when she was recorded in the middle of the school day trying to buy drugs, WJW reported.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office said Prince told an undercover officer that she wanted to buy an “eight ball,” which is an eighth of an ounce of methamphetamine.
She told the undercover officer that he could deliver the drugs to her at the elementary school before the students arrived at 8:30 a.m. or during her lunch break at 11 a.m., WJW reported.
“It was a pretty nonchalant request and the indication was it was no big deal to the suspect,” Clay County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Vincent Hall said.
Clay County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Domenic Paniccia said Prince had planned to leave the classroom of first graders to buy the drugs, use some then, and save the rest for her boyfriend, according to WJW.
However, the undercover police officer refused to deliver drugs to the elementary school and made Prince go to him after school instead, according to WLOX.
The sheriff’s department said Prince ultimately bought 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from the undercover officer.
Prince was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, WJW reported.
“In a case like this, for a teacher to be willing to leave the classroom, leave those children and to have the intent to go consume any degree of narcotics and then to return to the classroom setting where she has care of children is unacceptable,” Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels told WJW.
After she was arrested, Prince told police that she had used methamphetamine 10 times within the last six months.
The teacher was being held at the Clay County jail, WLOX reported.
Investigators said that school officials had taken back Prince’s keys and access to the school.
She has also been stripped of her teaching credentials, WLOX reported.