Springdale Teacher Accused Of Growing Pot Suspended With Pay
A Springdale teacher accused of growing marijuana at his home has been put on administrative leave by the school district.
Michael Perez-Guerra, 30, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of manufacturing marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. He was released Wednesday night on $2,500 bond from the Washington County Detention Center.
Perez-Guerra, a second-year math teacher at Springdale’s Alternative Learning Environment, was placed on indefinite administrative leave with pay, said Rick Schaeffer, the district’s communications director.
A teacher’s pay cannot be suspended without due process, Schaeffer said.
Administrators will decide how to proceed after reviewing all the facts of the case, he added.
The Alternative Learning Environment is a specialized school geared toward students who need extra help to graduate from high school.
The Elkins Police Department received a complaint about Perez-Guerra possibly having marijuana in his backyard.
When officers arrived at the Elkins home, police could see a three-foot marijuana plant with buds growing in the yard, according to a preliminary arrest report.
Officers executed a search warrant and found more than 21 grams of marijuana in the home. They also found a closet in a hallway that had been converted into a small grow room. The closet held two potted marijuana plants and grow lights, the report states.
Perez-Guerra and Karen Willard, the other person living at the home, were arrested at the scene.
Willard faces the same charges and bond amount as Perez-Guerra. She was also released on bond from the jail Wednesday.
A substitute teacher has taken over Perez-Guerra’s classes indefinitely, according to the Springdale School District.