First grade teacher Valerie Lee Prince was arrested on Friday, after trying to get an “8-ball” of meth delivered to the school where she taught.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office posted an official statement to Facebook regarding the Duval County Public School teacher’s arrest. The 43-year-old first grade teacher attempted to solicit delivery of meth to the school where she teaches, inadvertently engaging with a police informant.
“You call me, I can just say I have to use the phone real quick– I could step out and come right back in,” Prince said on the recorded call. After school hours, an undercover officer brought her the requested methamphetamine and subsequently arrested her. According to the police statement:
During this operation Prince agreed to buy an eight ball of methamphetamine for $85 and originally attempted to have the transaction happen at her school, Jacksonville Heights Elementary, while she was at work. Prince bought the methamphetamine from an undercover CCSO narcotics detective after school in Clay County, and she was detained for further investigation.
“The situation is disturbing,” Lt. Domenic Paniccia said during the press conference. “This is someone that was in charge of kids, first-grade kids, and it’s something that was a priority to us.” Clay County Sherriff Darryl Daniels said “I hope that she’s stripped of her credentials and never allowed to be in contact with kids again.”
A spokesperson for the Duval County Public School system sent a statement to First Coast News, saying that “the school district’s office of professional standards will conduct an independent investigation,” and remove Prince from the school in the meantime. If at any point she is “able” to return, they will put her in a position in which she does not have contact with students.
It is always disappointing and disturbing whenever an educator is implicated in this type of activity. As a district, we have very high standards for teachers and all employees, and every day thousands of teachers are going beyond the call of duty to serve children and families. The alleged behavior falls well short of our standards. We will conduct our investigation, and take action as appropriate based on the conclusion of that investigation.
As of the time of this writing, Prince remains in custody. Her arraignment reportedly scheduled for March.