Florida Teacher Given Lifetime Ban for Doing Cocaine During School Hours

By McCarton Ackerman 03/26/15

Kindergarten teacher Judith Offret showed signs of being impaired while teaching a roomful of five-year-olds.

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A Florida kindergarten teacher likely won’t be winning Teacher of the Year anytime soon after receiving a lifetime ban for allegedly using cocaine while on the job.

The state Education Practices Commission voted to revoke the teaching license of Judith Offret, who taught at Hallandale Elementary School in Hallandale Beach. Offret reportedly showed signs of being impaired while teaching, including “being incoherent, slurred speech and lack of balance” during a 2013 evaluation. A later drug test reportedly tested positive for cocaine.

A final order from last month indicated that Offret didn’t contest any of the allegations against her and chose instead to retire upon agreeing to “certain conditions” imposed by the Broward County School District. She will not be given the opportunity to reapply for a teaching license at any point.

Not surprisingly, Offret isn’t the only teacher to have used drugs on the job. Last year, a beloved Washington middle school teacher was arrested on charges of selling heroin and oxycodone during school hours. Brian Bennett denied the allegations, but admitted to leaving campus to conduct drug deals because he needed money while going through a divorce. He also confirmed smoking heroin in his car on breaks. But despite his own admissions, Bennett pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Last May, the Timberwood school district in Texas came under fire after two teachers were arrested on drug charges within 48 hours. First grade teacher Monica Quineto, was arrested on May 7 for dealing drugs out of her apartment with her boyfriend and two other men. Police found numerous drugs after searching the home, in addition to a heroin purification lab and several syringes.

Just two days later, middle school drama teacher Patricia Almond made headlines for an epic mugshot after allegedly driving drunk to school. After smashing her car into a retaining wall, police noted the 48-year-old was “disoriented, swaying from side to side” and reeked of booze.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.