Teacher accused of smoking marijuana with students sentenced to jail

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. The Associated Press
    12/2/03 6:31 PM

    WYOMING, Mich. (AP) -- A middle school teacher accused of smoking marijuana with students at her home has been sentenced to jail, house arrest and probation.

    After her sentencing Monday in Wyoming District Court, Kristina Speidel was taken to the Kent County Jail to begin serving her 60-day jail sentence.

    When the 35-year-old science and language arts teacher is released, she will spend another 30 days under house arrest, monitored by electronic tether.

    Speidel, who teaches at Jackson Park Middle School, also will serve one year of probation, during which time she must have no contact with people age 16 and younger.

    A jury convicted her in September on a misdemeanor charge of contributing to the delinquency of minors, which carries a maximum possible jail sentence of 90 days.

    "From our perspective, we don't see the punishment fitting the crime," Speidel's lawyer, Fillipe Iorio, told The Grand Rapids Press.

    Iorio said a pre-sentence investigation by court workers resulted in a recommended sentence of probation, community service and drug testing. The investigation took into account Speidel's previously clean criminal record and her reputation as a good teacher.

    Students testified at Speidel's trial that they smoked marijuana in her home last winter. Police investigators testified she admitted having the illegal drug in her house but denied smoking it in front of any students.

    Judge Scott Bowen told Speidel on Monday that her actions amounted to "a breach of trust, the trust parents and administrators put into a teacher."

    School administrators in the Grand Rapids suburb of Wyoming suspended Speidel, with pay, immediately after her conviction. She has appealed the district's decision to fire her from her $61,084-per-year job.

    Her appeal hearing is set for Jan. 22 in Wyoming before the State Teacher Tenure Commission.

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