TN teacher accused of getting drunk while chaperoning kids on Gatlinburg trip

2:33 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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By Cheri Reeves | Gannett Tennessee

A Springfield High agriculture teacher is on unpaid leave while school administrators investigate a report that he was drunk and disruptive while chaperoning a school trip to Gatlinburg.

A Gatlinburg Police Department report says two chaperones from the Springfield High School's Future Farmers of America chapter, one of them teacher Jared Phy, prompted multiple phone calls from the Glenstone Lodge asking for police to evict them.

"The chaperones appeared to be highly intoxicated," the report says. "Phy tested poorly, had blood shot watery eyes, slurred speech and had a strong odor associated with an alcoholic beverage, and was unsteady on his feet and was highly intoxicated."

The report states that the other chaperone showed the same symptoms and that "both individuals were drinking alcoholic beverages during the course of [the officer's] contact."

When officers tried to evict the two, it says, Phy informed them that they could not leave because they were the chaperones for 10 students from the Springfield High School FFA group.

The Springfield FFA website identifies Phy as the advisor for the group and shows 10 students were part of the final attendee list for the convention. The convention ran from March 24-27, according to the state FFA website.

No criminal charges were filed against Phy or the other chaperone in the incident, according to Carrie Hurst, Gatlinburg Police Department records clerk.

"Neither of them could drive, so, normally, unless they could have gotten rides, they would have been arrested for public intoxication," Hurst said. "But due to the situation, there were students there. The parents and the principal of the school were notified."

Phy will be dealt with administratively when the investigation is concluded, Robertson County Schools spokesman Jim Bellis said.

The other chaperone is not an employee of the school system and will not be allowed to be a chaperone for school events in the future, Bellis said.

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