SAN ANTONIO - They’re accused of drinking alcohol at prom, not students but teachers.
In May, KENS 5 reported that three Smithson Valley High School educators resigned following the launch of investigations into drinking accusations.
The teachers were supposed to watch the students attending the Smithson Valley High School prom at the JW Marriott Resort.
Comal ISD leaders initially sent KENS 5 a brief statement that said the three teachers resigned after an investigation into “possible unprofessional conduct, involving the possession of alcohol, on the part of some teachers who were there to chaperone the prom.”
Since then, KENS 5 has worked with the school district to obtain documents regarding that investigation and discovered more than three teachers are accused of having booze.
There were 28 Smithson Valley High employees at the 2017 prom.
According to documents obtained by KENS 5, 13 of the employees are accused of drinking alcohol at a resort bar before prom started.
Documents reveal that six of those teachers are accused of possessing alcohol at prom.
The three teachers resigned after being notified that their contracts would not be renewed.
KENS 5 reached out to the three former employees: Kristy Abbott, Jonathan Jarrett, and Brett Wandler.
Abbott confirmed over the phone to KENS 5 what she told district investigators.
"I proceeded to the sports bar in which I bought my department a round of drinks," Abbott said.
Abbott also said that once prom was underway, "[Wrestling] Coach [Brett] Wandler brought me two coffee cups with wine in them. I set them under the table and proceeded to check students in."
Abbott insists that she didn’t drink during prom.
Jarrett confirmed to KENS 5 what he told investigators.
"I was asked if I was drinking on duty, the answer is absolutely not," said Jarrett, adding that he didn’t have any alcohol at prom, but was having side effects from multiple medications.
In Jarrett's written reprimand, a Comal ISD official said, "Campus teachers and Comal County Sheriff's Office reported you appeared inebriated, exhibited slurred speech, smelled of alcohol on your person and exhibited unsteady movements."
According to his disciplinary documents, Wandler told investigators, "There was alcohol consumption at prom from educators. Upon seeing other educators with small white coffee cups, I went to buy some for other teachers. I distributed one per teacher to sip on throughout the night. I did not personally see them drink any alcohol. I did have one cup for myself."
The Smithson Valley High School Principal, Michael Wahl, was also written up, accused of not opening an investigation into the alleged misconduct.
A reprimand for Wahl stated, "Specifically it is alleged that you had knowledge of Smithson Valley High School employees drinking before and during the prom."
Another teacher accused of drinking before prom and having alcohol at the event, Michelle Brown, is accused of telling investigators two different stories.
Brown kept her job, but in a written reprimand was told by the district’s director of legal services, “Your submission of conflicting statements is extremely troubling... You cannot change your story about the events without administration concluding that it cannot trust you to provide full, complete and truthful answers during an investigation."
None of the teachers mentioned in this story wanted to talk to KENS 5 on camera.
Comal ISD also declined, stating the district doesn’t comment on personnel issues.
However a spokesperson told KENS 5 in an email, “Going forward, we will ensure that all those who work as chaperones at these types of events are well aware of the expectations of professional conduct that is required of them."
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