Teacher arrested in drug sting

Published 6:21 am Monday, October 12, 2009

By By Kerry Whipple Bean

A Brewton Elementary School fourth-grade teacher was arrested and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance Thursday after she bought pills from an undercover officer, Police Chief Monte McGougin said.
Kelley Ball, 46, 1417 Escambia Ave., remained in jail pending a bond hearing Friday. She has been teaching at Brewton Elementary School for 19 years.
Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith said he had not spoken to Ball yet so had not made any change in her employment status yet.
McGougin said the arrest occurred off Wilson Avenue after an undercover officer contacted Ball and she agreed to meet him and purchased 30 Xanax pills. Xanax is a prescription drug used to treat anxiety.
Ball is the second Brewton City Schools teacher to be charged in a drug case in the past year. In May, Brewton Middle School teacher and T.R. Miller assistant coach Daniel Wilson was charged with possession of marijuana, distribution of a controlled substance, and distribution of drug paraphernalia after a Brewton Police sting operation in which Wilson went to a room at the Days Inn and allegedly sold drugs to an undercover officer.
And in February, W.S. Neal High School special education teacher Larry Tindell was arrested by Escambia County sheriff’s deputies and charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance and illegal distribution of a controlled substance after an undercover operation in which Tindell allegedly gave a 20-year-old man a Lortab pill.
McGougin said police are not targeting school officials, but he said he hopes the arrest of Ball shows that no one is above the law.
Smith said he had met with other fourth-grade teachers Friday morning and talked to them about how to respond to students’ questions.
Smith said Brewton City Schools do not drug test teachers, only “safety sensitive positions,” which in the school system’s case are school bus drivers.
There is no drug testing program for teachers in Alabama, and Smith said schools have been reluctant to try it based on legal advice.