Bell County teacher arrested while at school

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

He was hauled from the classroom to the county jail! Now a Bell County High School teacher is suspended.

The alleged incident happened Tuesday morning, when Kentucky State Police got a tip that a teacher didn't have it all together.

What was a routine morning for faculty and staff, didn't add up for math teacher Thomas Baker.

"When his health is good, he's one of the best that you'll find," said George Thompson, Bell County Schools Superintendent.

On Tuesday, police charged Baker with public intoxication. Police were tipped off that the teacher was in the classroom and under the influence.

Troopers made it to the scene and started their investigation.

"That pretty much ruled the day," said Thompson.

Arrest records show authorities observed Baker "drooling from the corners of his mouth."

He also failed field sobriety tests. At that point, he was arrested and taken to the county jail. He was later released.

Mountain News stopped by Baker's home in Claiborne County, TN. Neither he nor his brother wanted to talk to us on camera, but he did say this is a misunderstanding and the details will soon come out.

Baker told police he was prescribed Percocets but had not taken any since midnight.

School officials said their next step depends on what happens with the criminal charges.

"There's everything from reprimand to suspension to actual dismissal," said Thompson.

The school system is conducting its own investigation of the matter and consulting with the board's attorney.

Baker will be in court June 7th.

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