Accused Pot-Growing Teacher’s Employment To Be Decided Soon

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Springdale School District administrators expect to make a decision this month on a teacher accused of growing marijuana at his home.

The school district put Michael Perez-Guerra on paid administrative leave in September pending an internal review process and legal proceedings, a district spokesperson said.

Administrators will continue to review all the facts of the case, he added.

Perez-Guerra has a court date set for Oct. 17. The next Springdale School Board meeting is Oct. 9.

Perez-Guerra will remain on paid leave until the legal system has moved the case further along. Administrators must practice restraint while waiting for due process, the spokesperson said.

Perez-Guerra, 30, was arrested Sept. 18 on suspicion of manufacturing marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. He was released the next day on $2,500 bond from the Washington County Detention Center.

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 released on bond from the jail on the same day as Perez-Guerra.

A substitute teacher has taken over Perez-Guerra’s classes indefinitely, according to the Springdale School District.