Tacoma teacher fired for alleged intoxication

Tacoma School District officials say they terminated a kindergarten teacher for an alcohol-related offense.

TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma School District says it has fired a kindergarten teacher for allegedly being drunk on the job in the classroom.  

The School District said on Feb. 19 a student went into the main office at Larchmont Elementary and said that something was wrong with their teacher. That's when the assistant principal went to the classroom to check things out and make sure everything was okay.  She reportedly found a cup in the classroom, and inside, what looked and smelled like alcohol. 

The District also said the teacher, Klara Bowman, walked into a wall as she was being escorted out of the classroom. 

"It scares me," said Angela Hadway, who has two children that attend Larchmont.  "A kindergartner could've picked up that cup not knowing, and thinking it was a buddy's and drank it, and then they would have alcohol in their system at five years old.  So that scares me, knowing that."

Bowman was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

The school district investigation revealed she was indeed intoxicated while at work, and terminated her last week.  District officials said Bowman had a prior alcohol offense from Feb. 2011 in which she had been subject to a "last chance" agreement.

"I can understand, people make mistakes, but you're dealing with children - small children," said parent Jeni Brown.  "The fact that a kindergartner had to go point out that something was wrong, that's what doesn't sit well with me."

An investigative report on the incident is expected to be released on Tuesday and provide more details on exactly how the school district determined that Bowman was intoxicated on the job.

KING 5 stopped by her house to ask her side of the story, but Bowman did not answer the door.  A neighbor said the allegations against her come as a huge surprise.


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