Feb 242007

I have the greatest respect for educators in general, and believe they are generally under-valued in our society.

BUT, apparently, as in every other field, a few idiots manage to gain entry.

In Murray, KY, a middle school teacher trying to buy pot was arrested after she sent text messages to state trooper instead of a dealer, police said. Trooper Trevor Pervine was at dinner with his wife and parents celebrating a birthday when his phone started buzzing with messages about a marijuana purchase.

At first, Pervine thought the messages were from friends playing a joke, but a couple of phone calls put that idea to rest, and Pervine responded to set up a meeting. Authorities say Ann Greenfield, 34, arrived at the meeting point and found Pervine and other law enforcement officers waiting for her.

Closer to home, a popular Principal at Van Bueren Middle School here in Tampa, was arrested at school Friday after he got an undercover officer, posing as a drug dealer, to delivery crack to his office at school. He was arrested as he escorted the officer to the lobby of the school.

He taught emotionally handicapped children in 1991 at Young Middle School and continued working with special education students at Jefferson High in 1997. Two years later, he was appointed as a coordinator at James Exceptional Center and five years later became site administrator at Dorothy Thomas, where his work earned praise from Hillsborough County Children’s Services.

Giancola also had glowing reviews in his personnel file, saying he is “dedicated … and willing to go the extra mile.” Students affectionately call him Mr. G; students he occasionally fed pizzas, paid for out of his own pocket; the needy students he bought yearbooks for. Of course, there were plenty of children around.

Good as he was it appears, the word is the drug use began when his marriage went bad. And while I would normally more sympathetic, to have it delivered to school, apparently with the intent to smoke it at school (he allegedly told the undercover officer he wanted “to hit it right there”), removes any degree of sympathy I could muster.

The cops couldn’t do it after school, or make the arrest in his office and whisk him out quietly. They have to make a big deal out of it.

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