Former high school teacher accused of giving students drugs

By Tanya Mitchell | Feb 08, 2013
Courtesy of: Belfast Police Department Sarah Lawler-Stoddard

Belfast — A former teacher for the Jobs for Maine Graduates program at Belfast Area High School was arrested Friday, Feb. 8, on eight counts of aggravated furnishing schedule Z drugs after several past and present students admitted to obtaining marijuana from the woman and using the drug with her.

According to an affidavit from Belfast Area High School Resource Officer Greg Stearns that was filed at Fifth District Court, 32-year-old Sara Lawler-Stoddard of Belfast was arrested Friday on a warrant following an investigation that involved Stearns and the state Jobs for Maine Graduates office.

In his affidavit, Stearns said the state Jobs for Maine Graduates office received a call from the parent of a student who stated that Lawler-Stoddard was using marijuana with some of her students, as well as supplying the drug to them.

Wednesday, Jan. 31, Stearns said Jobs for Maine Graduates staff came to the high school to address the matter, and immediately reported their findings to Stearns and Belfast Area High School administrators.

“They did a very good job of getting right on it,” said Stearns of the Jobs for Maine Graduates program when contacted about the matter Friday afternoon, Feb. 8.

From there, Stearns stated, he met with several past and present high school students who confirmed that Lawler-Stoddard was engaging in those activities. Some of the students, said Stearns, reported overhearing their classmates bragging about partying with Lawler-Stoddard, but some told the officer they thought those students were lying “just to sound cool.”

After speaking with the youths further, Stearns learned that the drug use was taking place at the residence of a former student and that student’s parent.

One youth reported that Lawler-Stoddard had regularly picked her up in her personal vehicle on the way to school and would smoke marijuana with the youth before dropping the student off at the high school and starting her work day, Stearns stated. The students additionally told Stearns that Lawler-Stoddard was the one supplying the drugs, and each student described the glass pipe Lawler-Stoddard regularly used to smoke the marijuana.

When asked if Lawler-Stoddard was still employed at the high school, Stearns stated, “Ms. Lawler-Stoddard is no longer in the building.”

Lawler-Stoddard may face additional charges in connection with the matter, which Stearns said remains under investigation.

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