Watch CBS News

California elementary teacher arrested after allegedly driving to school, teaching class drunk

NorCal elementary teacher faces several charges after allegedly showing up to class drunk
NorCal elementary teacher faces several charges after allegedly showing up to class drunk 02:36

LIVE OAK – A second-grade teacher in Northern California has been arrested on allegations that she drove to work and was teaching class drunk.

The Sutter County Sheriff's Office says, Monday morning, they got a report that a staff member at Nuestro Elementary School in Live Oak appeared to be under the influence.

Deputies soon showed up at the school and encountered 57-year-old Wendy Munson, who was in the middle of teaching her second-grade class. Deputies noted signs and symptoms of Munson-Swartz being under the influence.

"I thought it was crazy. I think she should've called out of work," said Kaitlynn Conley while picking up a former student of Munson. "I know people have fun weekends, but that was definitely not OK as an educator."

Video footage revealed that Munson-Swartz had driven to school; she failed a sobriety test, deputies say.

Munson has been arrested on suspicion of DUI and faces specific charges of drunk driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, drunk driving with alcohol and/or drugs, and child abuse with the possibility of great bodily injury.

Wendy Munson-Swartz's booking photo.  Sutter County Sheriff's Office

A letter about the incident has been sent to Nuestro Elementary families.

"While we are limited in what we can share as this is both a personnel matter and a matter being investigated by law enforcement, what we can confirm is that a long-term substitute will be in the classroom until further notice," wrote Superintendent Dr. Baljinder Dhillon.

Irate parents took their questions and concerns directly to the school.

"The principal did tell me that she was five years sober," Travis Reed said. "Whether that's true or not, I don't know, but I also heard there was a recent DUI arrest."

Authorities did confirm to CBS13 that Munson had prior alcohol arrests but could not currently provide details. 

The sheriff's office says, two hours after deputies first contacted her, they found the teacher's blood-alcohol level was still over twice the legal limit.

"I think that as a teacher, I trust my kids when they go to school to be within those teachers and they should do that, as a teacher trusts me, I'm out on streets, protecting and serving," said Undersheriff Scott Smallwood.

Live Oak is a community in Sutter County about 50 miles north of Sacramento. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.