LEWISTON — A Freeman Township mother has called on the SAD 58 board of directors to establish a hierarchy of responsibility for students at Kingfield Elementary School, after she witnessed an incident June 11 that she says scared some students.

According to an audiotape of the June 12 board meeting, Chanda Moody reported that when she picked up her daughter at school, “she informed me that someone she trusts at the school was staggering.”

The girl told her mother that she and her friends could smell alcohol on the person’s breath, and that they were scared, Moody said.

Board Chairwoman Diana Thomas of Phillips tried to stop Moody, saying the board would accept comments only about what was on the agenda, but other directors interrupted her, noting that it was routine to accept comments about items not listed on the agenda.

Once she was given the go-ahead, Moody said that after talking with her daughter, she went into the school to report the incident. The principal was not in the building because she was on a field trip with students, so Moody said she asked who was in charge and didn’t get a clear answer.

Then, according to the audiotape, Moody said she saw the teacher her daughter told her about staggering down the hall. The woman dropped a bag of chips and could “barely stand back up” after picking them up, Moody said.

Moody said someone in the office made a call to the superintendent, and told her that the superintendent had been informed of the teacher’s behavior earlier that afternoon.

According to the audio recording, Moody said she went into the teachers’ room to confront the teacher. Moody told directors she asked the teacher, “Are you drunk?” and the teacher, who was slurring her words, said, “’This is clearly not the time to discuss this.’”

Moody told directors Thursday that she is a nurse and she recognized the signs of drunkenness, and continued asking the teacher whether she had been drinking “or whatever you’re doing” in class, the recording revealed.

The teacher then left the elementary school, Moody said.

Moody told directors she was concerned that there was no written policy about who was in charge of the school when the principal was not in the building.

“Whoever is in charge of the school needs to step up to the plate,” she said, and, referring to her daughter’s teacher, said, “Everyone there who knew about this event covered it up because, at the end of the day, she taught her classes staggering drunk,” the recording revealed.

Moody asked directors to consider establishing a policy that sets an administrative hierarchy at district schools, and Thomas shook her head.

“Why are you shaking your head? This isn’t important?” Moody asked.

“No, not at all,” Thomas said. “This is very important,” but she said she felt Moody was admonishing the board for something it wasn’t fully briefed on and asked her to “please get to the point.”

“The point is,” Moody said, “someone in charge of that school did nothing to protect the children in that school” last Wednesday. “You have an unstable person in your school who is drinking … and I know you’re aware of this,” she said.

Thomas thanked Moody for her comments and prepared to move along the agenda, and Moody got angry.

“I’m very disillusioned. I’ve never felt such disrespect,” she said.

Thomas stopped her, saying, “We have a lot on the agenda,” and she felt the board had to get to business.

Director Dan Worcester could be heard on the tape saying, “I’m not sure we have a more serious matter in front of us.” He suggested the board continue the discussion and other directors agreed.

Director Beth Luce of Kingfield, addressing Superintendent Brenda Stevens, said “I’d like Brenda, I’d like for you to give us an explanation …,” but Luce was cut off by the superintendent.

“Let’s go into executive session,” Stevens said, and Luce made a motion to do that. When directors came back to public session, no action was taken.

Stevens told directors, “We have received and accepted a letter of resignation” from a teacher at Kingfield Elementary School.

Stevens said the district would move forward to fill the position.

Multiple calls and emails to Stevens, Thomas and Kingfield Elementary School Principal Andrea Ferrari asking whether the district would take any action on Moody’s request were not returned Tuesday. Calls to 10 SAD 58 directors were not returned.

One director told the Sun Journal that board members had been directed to refer all calls from the media to the superintendent’s office.

Reached at home Tuesday afternoon, Director Rupert Pratt of Strong said, “The board has already dealt with this and I have no comment on it.”

Director Faith Richard of Phillips was reluctant to make any comment, but said the board “does take the matter seriously.” She said she did not know if the board would revisit the issue at its next board meeting in July.

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