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BREAKING NEWS: Teacher submits resignation

Friday, January 18, 2008

Times Staff Report

It was reported Friday afternoon by The Brazil Times' sister paper, The Greene County Daily World, that first-year White River Valley school teacher Melinda Ellis, Bloomfield, submitted her resignation to WRC School District Supt. Layton Wall Wednesday.

The Clay County Prosecutor's office announced charges against Ellis, 35, and Anita Miller, 43, Reelsville, Thursday morning stemming from an arrest Sunday, Jan. 12.

Miller is a physical education teacher at North Clay Middle School.

Ellis teaches science and Project Lead the Way at WRV. According to the Greene County Daily World, her resignation was effective Friday and will be acted on by the WRV school board at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday.

According to information provided by Clay Superior Court, 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).

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, Clay County Sheriff's Dept. Deputies Jason Frazier and Josh Krause responded to a deer/vehicle accident report involving Ellis shortly before 7:30 p.m., Jan. 12, 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, officials reported Ellis smelled of alcohol and was allegedly intoxicated when officers approached her for questioning.

According to officials, Ellis told the officers she had contacted help, and Miller was on the way.

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

Officials stated 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, according to officials, failed field sobriety tests.

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

Both Miller and Ellis bonded out Jan. 13 and are expected to appear in court Feb. 11.

The Clay Community School Board conducted a special meeting regarding Miller's employee status Thursday. The board voted 6-0 to continue suspension with pay. Board member Len Fischer was not at Thursday's meeting.

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I am glad to see she took the high road and quit. She saved the taxpayers and her school board a lot of embarassment.

-- Posted by madmom61 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 2:10 PM

I think you people are way to judgemental, everyone makes mistakes and until you walk in the other persons shoes you have no right to judge others because you arent perfect either. Whats embarrassing are people like you and the news who won't let this go:)

-- Posted by mom of3 on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 4:37 PM

In regards to mom of 3's comment - these are teachers that we want our children to look up to. they preach to our kids about these kinds of things and then do them theirselves. I think Miller ought to do the right thing and resign herself. As far as your comment about

everyone making mistakes, you don't drop your pants not once but twice, and call it a misktake. I've been drunk several times in my life and I can honestly say I've never done anything like this, maybe because I choose to stay home and drink, what a thought. Its done and they'll pay the price like everyone else in this situation does.

-- Posted by dbltrbl on Fri, Jan 18, 2008, at 5:07 PM

This resignation is the first thing either of these women has done right in this entire saga. Hopefully Miller's resignation will quickly follow.

-- Posted by snow on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 3:30 AM

mom of 3

are you on here posting and judging???

-- Posted by madmom61 on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 6:40 AM

mom of3 wrote I think you people are way to judgemental, everyone makes mistakes and until you walk in the other persons shoes you have no right to judge others because you arent perfect either. Whats embarrassing are people like you and the news who won't let this go:)

If you are embarrassed becoz people like me won't let it go - thats your problem. My thought is both of these women are an EMBARRASSEMENT to the school system.

-- Posted by dbltrbl on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 8:08 AM

I have 6 children in Clay County schools and i think these women should be on a billboard " what not to be when i grow up". Resign,go to AA and give someone who wants to teach our children the job.

-- Posted by shanbilly on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 9:06 AM

As a retired teacher I do believe that people make mistakes. It is the type of mistake that these ladies made that concerns me. As a teacher it was my responsibility to conduct myself in such a way that showed my students that I was a person of integrity, had morale values, and their best interests at heart. There is a quote I heard many years ago that children don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. My question is does a teacher that willingly breaks the law by drinking, drugs and driving intoxicated care about the example they are presenting to children. I am sure everyone knows of a teacher that students were very much aware of their outside activities and had little or no respect for that individual. It is hard to give your attention to someone when you have no respect for that individual. Just a retired teachers thoughts on the matter.

-- Posted by retired teacher on Sat, Jan 19, 2008, at 7:20 PM

I"m glad she has resigned, but I think there is still one in this circle to either get fired or resign, why doesn't she just resign? It's better than getting fired soon, hopefully.

-- Posted by OntheRight08 on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 12:41 AM

Sounds like they had a lot going for them. Who knows what they would have been in the news for if they didn't get caught for this one.

-- Posted by JustinH on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 5:28 AM

lucky for us and our children that one of these women did not kill an innocent person or one of thier students while driving under the influence.

-- Posted by shanbilly on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 8:19 AM

As a parent,with children that attend North Clay this kind of conduct from teachers raises concerns.

From a personal side of things I feel some of the teachers don't like the students there anyways,maybe this was her way of coping with the stress of her job.Not meaning she don't like some of the students.I'm just saying if the teachers don't like the students they need to find another job.

Now that we know where our tax dollars are going,we need to have all teachers drug tested.If we take student drug activity serious,then we need to be sure teacher use won't be a factor.

-- Posted by fiven7 on Mon, Jan 21, 2008, at 6:21 PM

I am a graduate of Northview High School and currently reside in Indianapolis. How embarrasing to see my former volleyball coach's mug shot on the WTHR news station! People often hold teacher's to higher standards than the rest of the community. Mrs. Miller will probably never gain the respect of her students, parents and colleagues again. The school board will lose community respect if she is not terminated. Ouch! Adults must make better decision!

-- Posted by twilks on Thu, Jan 24, 2008, at 4:01 PM

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