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Wasilla police investigating use of ‘illegal substances’ at Houston school

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 3:19 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:08 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Wasilla Police Department is investigating the use of “illegal substances” last week at Houston Jr/Sr High School, authorities say, and a substitute teacher has been let go from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District in connection with the incident.

According to a Wasilla police dispatch report, a substitute teacher at the school was escorted off school property on Wednesday, Nov. 3, after an investigation by a school resource officer determined she “had allowed students to use illegal substances in the classroom.”

Medics responded to the school for a report of a possible overdose at 10:15 a.m. that morning, the dispatch stated. Authorities have not released the condition of the person who prompted the call. It is also not clear how many students were involved.

According to the police dispatch report, the 27-year-old substitute teacher was escorted off school property while the school resource officer performed an initial investigation and “ensured the safety of the students involved.” However, the woman was not arrested or taken into custody, according to a spokesperson for the Wasilla Police Department, in part because the investigation is ongoing.

“Part of the reason for this is because once we arrest (Rule 45) starts and we have to get everything (all evidence and charges) prepared for trial within that time frame,” wrote Amanda Graham with the Wasilla Police Department in an email. “The officer wanted to ensure that all possible charges and the investigation were entirely complete before starting that legal clock.”

According to the department’s dispatch report, the investigation is ongoing and “multiple criminal charges” are pending.

Jillian Morrissey, chief information officer for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, confirmed the incident and said via email that the substitute teacher is no longer employed by the school district. She said the investigation is ongoing and the district is fully cooperating with local law enforcement.

“The Houston Jr/Sr High School Resource Officer (SRO) and administration were alerted immediately to the situation last week and worked through the process to address the concern appropriately,” Morrissey wrote.

Correction: This article has been updated to correct the name of the rule regarding the scheduling of criminal trials, which is called Rule 45. The Wasilla Police Department corrected a previous statement regarding the rule.

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