A Mississippi community has been rocked with the news of two teachers indicted for buying prescription pills from a student. We have so many questions, and so far, we only have few answers. Here’s everything we currently know about this case.
What Went Down in Water Valley
Yesterday, two teachers in the town of Water Valley, Mississippi, found themselves up a creek.
Sources say that the teachers indicted for buying prescription pills from a student are Jill Todd and Alana Harris. Authorities arrested the pair for allegedly buying drugs from a 16-year-old student in the school district. Harris and Todd teach in the district’s elementary school and middle school, respectively.
An investigation indicated that Harris and Todd tried to purchase prescription drugs from a student at Water Valley High School. The prescription drugs reportedly included Adderall and Lortab—a narcotic.
The investigation involved a warranted search of the teachers’ cell phones. The search revealed incriminating text messages. According to reports, the Office of the Assistant District Attorney is also attempting to obtain SnapChat messages that the indicted have sent and received.
An Abuse of Power
While it may be tempting to focus solely on the teachers indicted for buying prescription pills from a student, we can’t forget the other party involved.
What about the 16-year-old student?
The student’s name and other identifiers have not been released due to age. The student will not face any legal repercussions. In fact, the District Attorney apparently views them as a victim in this situation—because that’s exactly what they are.
Harris and Todd, without a doubt, abused their implicit position of authority over this minor.
“Teachers have massive power over students,” said ADA Steven Jubera. “Nothing in the student’s past or record indicates that the student was a drug dealer before this incident.”
Although at this time it’s unclear whether or not Todd and Harris have or will lose their jobs, ADA Jubera assures that the Water Valley school district has “taken the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the students.”
Final Hit: Teachers Indicted for Buying Prescription Pills from a Student
Can we see a broader implication of teachers indicted for buying prescription pills from a student?
The United States is in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic. The state of Mississippi is no different. According to the state’s Department of Health, Mississippi has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the nation.
Given this, it might be tempting to think that Alana Harris and Jill Todd may have substance abuse issues of their own. While we certainly cannot speak for either woman’s health or health issues, it could be one possible explanation as to why they thought it was a good idea to try to buy prescription drugs from a 16-year-old. However, this is an ongoing investigation, and as such, certain details have yet to be released to the public.
While we don’t have a motive for their alleged crime, we can only hope that the student who was involved has a good support system.