back to article Corduroy cuffed, banged up for teaching while drunk

A teacher in Southern California has been arrested and jailed for being drunk in charge of a class of schoolchildren. The Desert Sun reports that unfortunate corduroy Tonya Neff, 47, was arrested "on suspicion of felony child endangerment" and transported to the Riverside County jail in Indio, after administrators at Toro …


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  1. John Lilburne

    Wouldn't have been a problem ...

    ... if she had taken her frustration out by shooting up beer bottles out in the playground.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It depends what you mean by "shooting up".

  2. disgruntled yank

    Another blow to tradition

    On the one hand, I don't remember any teachers showing up drunk till I got to HS, on the other hand I might well not have recognized the symptoms before that.

  3. Peter Galbavy


    ... was arrested "on suspicion of felony child endangerment" ... “There was never any threat to the students," said Coachella Valley school superintendent Ricardo Medina.

    That's a good defense argument if ever I've seen one. "You were endangering children!" "No, the superintendent said that could never happen!"

    1. Eddy Ito

      felony made easy

      It's all in that "suspicion of" bit; proving that you don't actually need to commit a crime to be treated like a criminal. That way they can make the charges look like it was worse (or better) than it really was. In the long run they get what they want, to wit ditch and publicly disgrace the teacher without actually giving parents a reason to really make a stink about the schools lackadaisical attitude toward the care of the chitterlings. Oh, the teacher will probably wind up with a minor conviction of public drunkenness or some such.

      1. JP Sistenich

        "Minor conviction"

        That would bar her from teaching again?

      2. Number6

        Plea Bargain

        Here we have the good old plea bargain thing, where admitting to public drunkenness means a minor blot, but trying to get acquitted means dodgy the large book that will inevitably get thrown.

      3. Poor Coco

        There are better examples

        of non-criminal activity resulting in criminal or quasi-criminal sanctions. Take domestic violence: basically all a woman* has to do is say she's afraid of her husband, and in many jurisdictions he's as good as convicted. Except he won't have the benefit of a trial, or any other legal protections that bona fide criminals get.

        * If a man, on the other hand, is abused by his wife, then HE will take the fall. It happened to me, and to countless other legions of innocent men. That's because "everyone knows that never ever happens", and no amount of research or statistics seems likely to change that. Situations like this and other examples of blatant sexism may have something to do with the reason male suicide rates vary from 2x to over an order of magnitude greater than female suicide rates.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...I was going to comment on that, but you beat me to it. WTF indeed. "Well... he COULD have been endangering them!"

  4. Charlie Oscar

    Oh come on

    Hell I dont think I had a sober art teacher, ever, or if he wasn't drunk he was high

  5. Dances With Sheep

    Madness I tell ya

    All together now....

    # All the teachers in the pub

    # Passing round the ready-rub

    # Trying not think of when

    # The lunch-time bell will ring again

    1. Anonymous Coward

      .That takes me back.

      When I was 13 my math teacher was always pissed

      He had a bright red nose to prove it too.

      We used to sing that in his class and he used to throw the board duster at us,

      It was fortunate that he was so pissed or his aim might have been better.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Ha, so was mine...

        He always carried around a coffee cup, and once when he didn't, a friend took a sip and it was at least 150 proof. All the more hilarious considering it was a very uptight Lutheran school.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          That would be my Uncle Ralph, who taught Math. It was vodka.

        2. LateNightLarry
          Paris Hilton

          Ha, so was mine

          My son had an Algebra teacher in his junior year of high school who had his coffee cup at all times... awfully weak coffee though.. so weak it was clear... Had a good buzz by lunchtime. Guess he was just trying to find some way to accept that he couldn't teach the subject... He "taught" (if you could call it that) five classes of Algebra... out of all five classes, the only kids who passed the class were those whose parents could afford to hire a private tutor... everyone else got a big "F"... The guy couldn't even explain how to get the answer with the textbook in his hand.

          Paris, because even she could have taught the class better, and besides the boys would have been paying attention, at least to her.

  6. IR

    Friday afternoons were the usual

    Friday afternoons were the usual times we had to put up with drunk teachers, just after they got back from the pub. It wouldn't have been so bad if they were a happy drunk rather than a shouty drunk.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      Shouty drunk

      If you had to deal with the average classroom of little scrotes, you'd probably be a bit shouty too.

  7. Cazzo Enorme

    Takes me back ...

    This reminds me of my comprehensive school, where the deputy head mistress was permanently sozzled. She didn't even go out of her way to hide it, as the bin in her office was usually full of empty gin bottles. I felt sorry for her, as she was a well meaning sort who just seemed to be losing it at the tail end of her career. That was probably the opinion of her colleagues as well, as she was allowed to see out her last couple of years until retirement without any bother.

  8. lglethal Silver badge

    evolution perhaps...

    suspicion of felony child endangerment?

    Ahh maybe she was about to teach evolution or something equally evil and child endangering...

    1. Pablo

      Hey now

      This was in California, not Texas.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds reasonable to me

    Anyone who has seen a classroom of modern Western children will immediately understand why the teacher felt the need to be drunk *and* medicated before venturing into it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      what's the problem... the old days, so long as the kids went to a different pub at lunchtime, all was ok...

    2. Maty

      totally agreed

      Though I never had a drink in the class ... afterward, well afterward, the whole staff would head determinedly for the nearest booze. I couple of times I recall that we got legless without leaving the staffroom.

      Don't preach until you teach ...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Not just a thing of the past...

        Fairly sure I won't be walking a straight line on the way out of school tomorrow...

        AC for obvious reasons, even though the booze is strictly for after hours...

    3. Ian 31

      Slightly Off Topic.

      My A level maths teacher was a tall thin scottish nun who always made me, Mark, Robin and John sit at the back during double maths on a Friday afternoon. We finally asked her why she did this on a week long retreat at a monastery called Kintbury in the South of England. Her answer was, 'If you're all sat at the back I can't smell your breath so i don't have to raise your drinking as a disciplinary issue'.

      Always had a lot of respect for Sister *** after that, especially when she demonstrated she could drink us all under the table while we were at the retreat.

      God bless you Sister, wherever you are now.

  10. HaplessPoet


    I hate the word beverage!

    1. Anonymous Coward


      I almost always read the word beverage as cleavage, that more than likely says something about my state of mind actually...I'll get me wotnot too....

  11. Jemma


    No one has bothered to mention that she might not have been drunk at all - it could very well have been an uncontrolled hypo from diabetes or something like that - which wouldnt surprise me in the least since those can seem like someone is drunk - theres been more than one situation where someone has subsequently died because of retarded cops who think they are dealing with someone who is drunk - despite the fact that the person concerned has no history of drinking - and even in one case where all the persons friends flat out told the police what was happening and where ignored.

    If thats the case then I hope she goes for it and pisses all over their parade and then takes the school to court for all the compensation etc she can get her hands on. I have seen friends with them & been in the situation of having a hypo myself - so if thats the case, I hope she rips them a new one...

  12. Martin Usher

    Its the Inland Empire...

    ...Southern California's Heartland, home to myriad Meth labs. You expect to get that sort of thing over there. Being drunk at work -- especially in a school -- is unacceptable; dragging the micreant away in handcuffs is also unacceptable.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh god....

    Now we can expect the Labour gestapo to introdiuce a new law "drunk in charge of a child" ,lol.

    I dont know which Country is more ridiculous, USA or Labour Police State ?.

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Drunk teachers...

    .... tell the best stories in class. Bonus points if they are the village priest trying to sheperd the innocent young minds into the folds of Mother Catholic Church (maybe not in California)

    In this day and age, it will also protect them from getting headaches from "WiFi emissions".

  15. Nexox Enigma

    Coulda been worse...

    A teacher at my High School got drunk (off alcohol apparently confiscated from a student... cheap bastard) and then sexually assaulted a few students.

    Must have been a lightweight : -)

  16. Neoc


    I've re-read the article three times, and I *still* don't know if the Teacher in question was male or female. The name doesn't help, although the "corduroy" bit would make it lean toward male.

    Not that the gender of the drunk matters, ultimately, but it was just interesting to see a whole article written without once using a gender pronoun.

  17. Pat
    IT Angle

    Pardon me?

    I've read through all the comments expecting at least one person to wonder what "corduroy" meant with no luck. Google also fails me in this regard. Please enlighten me!

  18. Equitas
    Paris Hilton

    Some teachers don't even need to be drunk ....

    LateNightLarry wrote "The guy couldn't even explain how to get the answer with the textbook in his hand." No doubt that's just how it was. However our maths teacher, sober, even though the son of a licensed grocer, managed to get into a bit of a fandangle with a class of 16-year-olds. In particular with one pupil who wasn't really getting anywhere with solid geometry. In utter exasperation, he lost the rag: "Really, Catherine, I fail to see your problem; all you need for solid geometry and a good figure." The class took due cognizance of his comment and assessed the situation rapidly. Catherine had neither of the attributes required, and quite apart from any failures in draughtsmanship on paper she had failed totally to develop any Buglarian air bags whatsoever. Great hilarity all round with the exception of three persons:

    1. Teacher -- who didn't understand the reason for the hilarity -- he'd never made a class laugh before in several decades of teaching

    2. Teacher's daughter -- who was one of the class, who was herself equipped with large Bulgarian air bags and who, we're reliably informed, explained to him at home the reason for the hilarity.

    3. The said Catherine -- who wasn't in the least embarrassed by her lack of a clear head but was no doubt somewhat mortified by the fact that her front was parallel to her back.

    Paris, because she's like the said Catherine in her head even if not with regard to parallelism of back and front.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wacky americans at it again

    Having the teacher be cuffed in front of the kids then declaring they never were in any real danger. Branding it as ``appropriate'' too, of course. Comparable to havin a 12 y/o girl cuffed for easily cleanable ``graffitti'' on her desk. I'd call that blatant abuse of power and say I just lost all respect possible for school principals like that.

    Except that I stopped caring what the powersick breakaway colonists come up with now. No boobies, drink is baaad if you're under 21, but exploding heads are perfectly fine, as is driving over grandma in a SUV with 16. Minor infractions or even not-infractions-at-all get blown up to felonies, if they haven't been ``upgraded'' by law already to ``fight crime''. Just because they can. So let them. They're not that important and they certainly don't have jurisdiction here. We should remember that and ignore them more. Especially the EU should.

    But instead our politicritters follow their every lead. With ever more draconian laws. Well, let's take a leaf out of that book then. ``Yer honor, 'e needed killin' '' stands up in a Texan court, at least.

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Some people *cannot* dry swallow pills

    Although using the nearest convenient bottle of booze* to wash them down with was perhaps not the smartest decision miss has ever made.

    It was very naughty of her and it's not really funny at all. Alright it was a little bit funny, but not right.

    *Why there *was* a handy bottle of booze available is a whole other matter.

    BTW I think this is the charge that Nicholas Cage would would get if he were arrested in "Kick Ass." Supplying loaded pistols to your 13 year old daughter is likely to be frowned upon even in an open carry state.

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