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PRAIRIE GROVE -- In a special meeting last week, Prairie Grove School Board unanimously voted to terminate a high school teacher arrested by Siloam Springs Police Department in connection with driving under the influence, according to board President Shawn Shrum.

Shrum on Thursday said the board's vote was based on a recommendation by Superintendent Allen Williams.

The board fired Jamie Lannom-Montgomery, a social studies teacher at Prairie Grove High School, at its special meeting April 4. According to Shrum, Lannom-Montgomery had taught for the school district for more than 22 years.

"It's tough," Shrum said. "You never want to terminate anyone, no matter what the circumstances. But sometimes that's part of it. It's definitely not easy."

Williams suspended Lannom-Montgomery from her contractual duties with the school in a Feb. 28 letter. His letter said she was suspended "because there is just and reasonable cause why your employment contract with the Prairie Grove School District should be terminated."

His letter states that he will recommend her employment be terminated because of her arrest by Siloam Springs Police Department and because she admitted to him that either late on Feb. 23 or in the early morning hours of Feb. 24 she was arrested on an alcohol-related charge.

Williams writes the arrest is in violation of the district's Drug Free Workplace policy, which states in part that any employee charged with violating state or federal laws dealing with illegal drugs, other controlled substances, alcohol or drug paraphernalia is required to notify the school within five days of being charged and any employee so charged is subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

According to the Siloam Springs police report, Jamie Lannom-Montgomery, 52, of Gentry, was charged in connection with violating the Omnibus DWI Act following a stop around midnight Feb. 24. The report shows that Lannom-Montgomery's occupation is as a teacher with Prairie Grove School District.

The police report says someone called in about observing a reckless driver. Officers dispatched to the area saw a white Acura four-door vehicle stopped in the entrance parking lot to an Arvest ATM. After observing the vehicle, the officer says he approached the vehicle to talk to the driver.

His report says the driver's speech was slurred and lethargic and he could smell a faint odor of intoxicant coming from the vehicle.

Lannom-Montgomery was subsequently placed under arrest for DWI and taken to the police department for further testing. The report states she registered .230 on a breathalyzer test at 1:30 a.m. at the police department. She was later transported to the Benton County Jail without further incident.

State law allowed Montgomery to request a hearing before the School Board on Williams' recommendation for termination but Williams said she did not submit a written request for a hearing.

Williams said Montgomery's personnel record did not have any previous issues with the school district.

"I think it's an unfortunate event," Williams said. "She's been a good employee the time that I've been here. When you work in education, there's a pretty high standard of conduct. It's just an unfortunate event."

General News on 04/11/2018

Print Headline: School Board Terminates Teacher Following Alcohol-Related Arrest

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