Addled Algebra Teacher Gets Her Math Kicked

By Will Godfrey 09/14/11

A messy math teacher is escorted from a New Mexico high school after slurring her words and "behaving strangely."

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A math teacher at New Mexico's Belen High School may have made a major miscalculation after students and fellow teachers accused her of teaching drunk for more than five hours on Monday morning. Kathleen Jardine allegedly ran her classes under the influence for most of the day, before a delegation of fellow teachers reported to the main office that she was slurring her words and generally "acting pretty strange." Administrative staff, who are trained to recognize signs of impairment, then went to see the evidence for themselves. Soon after, the allegedly smashed teacher was escorted from the school grounds, before submitting voluntarily to an alcohol and drug test. Kathleen Jardine's profile on the Belen High School website states, "I'll do my best to educate students and continually improve my teaching skills." Jardine now faces an internal investigation, and District Superintendent Ron Marquez said he would expect a criminal complaint to be filed if alcohol is found to have been in her system—the cops are eagerly awaiting the results. But with six of her seven school periods devoted to algebra each day—and with a course to teach that includes "in-depth study of linear equations and inequalities; quadratic equations; solving systems of linear and quadratic equations; graphing a constant, linear and quadratic equations; and operation with rational and irrational exponents"—Mrs Jardine may receive sympathy from some quarters. Six hours of quadratic equations a day could drive many of us to drink.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.