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Updated: March 14, 2017

Substitute teacher hid box of wine in purse, police say

Substitute Teacher Hid Box Of Wine In Purse

By Brianna Chambers

Cox Media Group National Content Desk


A substitute teacher at a South Carolina high school was transported to a local medical center on Friday morning after she was discovered to be so intoxicated that she could not even stand up, WIS-TV reported.

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Judith Elizabeth Richards-Gartee, 52, was taken to Lexington Medical Center after she threw up on the floor of a classroom, according to an incident report. An administrator at the school called a resource officer, and Richards-Gartee was transported to the nurse's office in a wheelchair before paramedics arrived to take her to the hospital, according to WIS-TV.

Authorities said the woman had a box of wine concealed in her purse. 

"She had a box of wine in her bag that was opened, and students said she was consuming the wine during class," the Lexington County Sheriff's Department wrote in a report.

Richards-Gartee was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

The Lexington School District released a statement on the incident Monday morning. 

"On Friday, March 10, 2017, it was reported to the Administration of Brookland-Cayce School that a substitute teacher was behaving erratically and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. This substitute is not an employee of the District, but works for Kelly Services. Kelly contracts with the District to provide substitute teachers.

"The Administration responded immediately, removing the substitute from the classroom and sending her to the School Resource Officer. The District has been advised that law enforcement has filed criminal charges against the Kelly employee."

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