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Charges filed against teachers

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More details were released by officials about two Wabash Valley teachers arrested for drunk driving Sunday as the Clay County Prosecutor's Office filed formal charges Thursday.

According to formal charging information provided by Clay Superior Court, White River Valley science teacher Melinda Ellis was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content over 0.08 (all class A misdemeanors, that, if convicted, are each punishable with up to one year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine) and operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person (a class C misdemeanor, that, if convicted, is punishable with up to 60 days imprisonment and a $500 fine).

North Clay Middle School physical education teacher Anita Miller was charged with public intoxication (a class B misdemeanor, that, if convicted, is punishable with up to 180 days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine) and public nudity (a class B misdemeanor, that, if convicted, is punishable with up to 60 days imprisonment and a $1,000 fine).

According to officials, shortly before 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Clay County Sheriff's Deputies Jason Frazier and Josh Krause responded to a deer/vehicle accident report involving Ellis, 35, Bloomfield, Ind., in a rural area near the intersection of County Roads 700 North and 200 West.

Uninjured in the accident that caused her 2003 Jeep Liberty to almost stand upright in a ditch, Ellis smelled of alcohol and was allegedly intoxicated when officers approached her for questioning.

Ellis told officers she had contacted help, and Miller, 43, Reelsville, Ind., was on the way.

During the conversation with officers, Ellis was found to be in possession of a wooden box used to ingest the amount of marijuana on her person.

Miller displayed outrageous behavior when she arrived on the scene, including dropping her pants to her ankles at least twice in an attempt to urinate in front of the officers.

Both women failed field sobriety tests, with Ellis having a BAC of 0.12 and Miller a BAC of 0.17.

They were booked into the Clay County Justice Center, where surveillance footage caught Miller's continued rowdy behavior during the booking process.

Both Miller and Ellis bonded out Monday and are expected to appear in court Feb. 11.

Both teachers have also been released from their teaching positions according to officials at their respective school corporations.

Staff reporter Jason Jacobs contributed to this report.

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Time to FIRE them!!!

-- Posted by OntheRight08 on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, at 9:05 PM

That actually sums up my thoughts perfectly!

-- Posted by OntheRight08 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 3:08 AM

I sure hope they are not getting paid anymore our tax dollars pay for enough stuff without paying for them to set on there duff's and get drunk or high with our money. They don't need to be a role models for children of any ages anymore.

-- Posted by mamawof 16 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 7:27 AM

Last time I heard, they were Suspended with pay.

-- Posted by Hoosier_Reader on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 8:57 AM

They have to be given what their contracts state. If they were suspended without pay I would think that could come back to bite the school board. I think they are just being cautious

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 9:05 AM

Paid until they investigate... investigate what? it's been investigated... did our police department not do a good enough job on the investigation? Stop paying her. These are my tax ollars I gave the school system and I want her fired now

-- Posted by proudmomof2 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 11:08 AM

I'm confused, the article states at the bottom that they have both been released from their positions.....does this mean that they have now been fired (which I feel is appropriate). My heart does go out to Millers daughter...my child goes to school with her and came home yesterday saying the other kids are really giving her a hard time. So sad that the mothers actions would cause the child heartache. I hope it all comes to a fairly quick conclusion for the kids' sakes.

-- Posted by asil on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 11:49 AM

Although I agree the actions of these teachers were not what one would hope/expect from role models, I truly believe in their rights. Our country lives by "innocent until proven guilty," and I believe this applies to all people.....even teachers! For those of you unaware of procedures, the school corporation must follow the law or risk spending more of "our" tax dollars by being involved in a lawsuit, or worse yet, losing and having to pay because one's rights were violated. I am not agreeing with the actions of these teachers, but I do believe any person (yes, even a teacher) is innocent until proven guilty.

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 8:28 PM

I had Mrs.Miller in 8th grade she was

awesome! Although I believe she made some bad

decisions... shes still a great person! Just

like us we all make mistakes, there are many

many people in Brazil that have done far

worse but you dont see them on the front page

of newspapers displaying their wrong doing.

She was a good role model for us, she

actually made gym fun! Not many teachers can

do that. Who knows what she might had been

going through at the time being that made her

want to do that you dont!

Anyways Mrs. Miller was awesome I support


Dont diss her till you know her.

-- Posted by NorthviewGirl on Sun, Jan 20, 2008, at 12:33 PM

not dissen her Northview girl, but how would you feel about her if she killed your best friend or family member the night she decided to drive under the influence?

-- Posted by shanbilly on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 5:37 PM

this Mistake as most call it, is unforgivable. These teachers are looked up to by the students they teach. In this case what did the children learn. drugs, DWI, peaing in public. what? Teachers are to be held accountable for their actions , the same as public officials , cops, firefighters. these two teachers are a disgrace to other teachers.I feel they should not only lose their jobs. Leave WITH pay . That 's is what I want to pay for as a taxpayer. Charges should be filed. Teachers should follow the rules, They make children follow them. Throw the book at them!

-- Posted by Sand mann on Wed, Jan 23, 2008, at 3:21 PM

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