Forest Area School Teacher Defends Herself After Being Arrested for Being Drunk at Open House

“I didn’t come into school intoxicated. I didn’t come into school like I wasn’t drunk when I came into school.”

That was a teacher’s response after getting arrested during her school’s open house.

Police say in August, they found fourth grade Forest Area School teacher Sara Schwarz drunk.

Parents say she made inappropriate comments in front of their kids.

We were told parents went to the principal and superintendent saying they thought Schwarz was either drunk or on drugs.

They said she was not only stumbling and slurring her words, but making inappropriate comments in front of who would be her new students.

“When they asked the teacher what sort of school supplies they needed to bring in when school started the teacher replied ‘oh you know glue sticks and sh**,’” Forest Area Schools Attorney said.

At a school board meeting Monday night Sarah Schwarz said those comments were a result of a traumatic brain injury she received earlier this year.

She also admitted to drinking a glass of wine before the open house.

“Until I came to that open house and I came a couple hours early I didn’t realize that I was unable to perform the very simple tasks I normally could perform,” Schwarz said.

The school’s attorney said she became disorderly and defiant when they removed her from the classroom.

“We went from sleeping on a couch falling asleep in the office to actually vomiting and getting sick in the office and the police ended up coming,” the attorney said.

Their investigation found two containers of wine in her purse, that police say she left the open house to buy.

One empty, the other half full. Schwarz claims she dumped them out.

At Monday night’s meeting the school board approved tenure charges for Schwarz.

“Essentially anytime we have a question as far as staff behavior the board has the right to approve proceeding with tenure charges this will now move into the Michigan Tenure Commission and they’ll look at the case and determine if dismissal is necessary or there’s another course of action,” Forest Area Schools superintendent Josh Rothwell said.

Monday night Schwarz repeatedly said she was not herself that day in August, when police took her away in handcuffs.

She’s been on leave ever since.

Stay with Northern Michigan’s News Leader as we continue to follow this investigation.

Schwarz will be back in court soon.

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