Teacher Arrested After Teen ODs

On Thursday, March 7, Atlanta teacher Emily Smith, 37, was arrested after an 18-year-old student had a drug overdose which led to her unfortunate death. Smith is charged with facilitating the sale of the powerful opiate methadone and the tranquilizer Xanax (source).

How this overdose situation happened

Controlled-substances-are-dangerous-for=teensAllegedly, Smith was the facilitator of the illegal transaction. Phone records from February 13 point to her a day before the student died. A toxicology report shows that the student had a high level of controlled substances in her system at the time of her death, but an exact cause hasn’t been released.

Smith, a middle school teacher, has been fired by the Barrow County School System in Atlanta, Georgia.

Wrong on so many levels

Obviously we weren’t there and this is all alleged, but it speaks to several issues when it comes to drug and alcohol screening. Here are a few thoughts:

  • This story shows the importance of parents talking to their teens. Parents MUST be involved in students’ lives. Know about the teachers. Know what students are taking. Be involved.
  • The story brings awareness to the fact many drug problems are with controlled substances – not just illegal drugs like marijuana. Pills prescribed by physicians sitting in mom & dad’s medicine cabinet can be trouble in the hands of the wrong teen … or teacher.
  • Background screening and drug testing measures are critical to many employers – schools included. Before you hire anyone to work in the educational system, make sure you perform a thorough background check and drug testing. Random drug testing for employees may be in order, if the state laws allow.

This story saddens us, but may it serve as an example and “heads up” for many parents and teachers out there.

May the importance of drug screening and involved parents be louder than ever before.

In the Kansas City area? Need help with testing your teen? Please contact us at any of our three Test Smartly Labs of Kansas City locations.

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