Heroin seems to be really catching on among public school teachers in the state of New York.
The Empire State’s latest smack fiend teacher is Danielle Conner-Willowglade, a music instructor at the elementary, middle and high schools in rural Keshequa, N.Y., reports NBC News.
State police arrested Conner-Willowglade, 30, after a traffic stop. She was headed north, toward Rochester. The state trooper noticed a tuba in the back of her car.
Details are sketchy at this point. Apparently, though, the music teacher couldn’t sufficiently explain the presence of the large, low-pitched brass instrument in her vehicle. Somehow, police say, the whole truth then spilled out: Conner-Willowglade was taking musical instruments from school and hocking them at area pawn shops for cash to feed her heroin habit.
The teacher’s boyfriend, Nicholas Bump, 32, was in on the scam. Police say the two junkies would take turns going into the pawn shops with various instruments.
Conner-Willowglade and Bump have each been charged with a single count of grand larceny. Bump has been charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance as well. More charges are likely pending.
The two filched up to 50 instruments, according to a New York State Police press release. There was also at least one computer.
Police have made the rounds to pawn shops in the region and recovered a dozen instruments (and the computer).
Stories about teachers (or school staffers) in New York who are struggling with heroin addiction appears to be a worsening problem these days.
Last month, at Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in Fallsburg, no fewer than six teachers hired attorneys and refused to cooperate in a police investigation surrounding the discovery – twice in three months – of heroin and smack paraphernalia in a faculty bathroom. (RELATED: SIX TEACHERS lawyer up after heroin found in elementary school bathroom)
On Feb. 11, an unidentified staffer had discovered a heroin baggie in a men’s faculty bathroom. Before that, on Dec. 23, someone found heroin and a bunch of heroin needles in the same bathroom.
Investigators subsequently used camera footage to identify half a dozen teachers as well as a teacher’s aide as suspects. All seven staffers also agreed to provide urine samples.
However, the school district’s teachers union advised the six elementary school teachers and the aide to hire attorneys, which they did. To the chagrin of local parents, all the suspects also immediately stopped cooperating with police investigators.