Arkansas teacher charged with huffing appears in court

CORNING, AR (KAIT) – A Region 8 teacher has entered rehab and had her court case continued after being charged with breathing or inhaling intoxicating substances and endangering the welfare of a minor.

According to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office, Tara C. Kegley of Corning had her court case indefinitely continued until she completes her stint in rehab. Once completed the prosecutor's office said her case would then be under review.

According to the Corning Police Department, Kegley, a Corning High School teacher, was arrested after students turned her into school officials and the school's student resource officer for allegedly huffing in the classroom. Police say Kegley was arrested after an investigation and charged with breathing or inhaling intoxicating substances and endangering the welfare of a minor.

According to Resource Officer Luke Lane, he was notified of the huffing when he received up to seven text messages from students about her alleged substance abuse during one class period. He says he found three cans of vandalism remover aerosol cans and a plastic bag with residue in it in her classroom after she was questioned by school officials and authorities. Those items are confiscated.

Superintendent J.M. Edington said the school has put Kegley on suspension with pay while they conduct an internal investigation, but declined to comment any further.

In a separate incident, Kegley was arrested by the Pocahontas Police Department on December 8, 2010 following a vehicle accident on the intersection of US Hwy 67 and US Hwy 62, according to the police.

Officers said Kegley had rear-ended another vehicle at the traffic light. According to police on scene, Kegley denied being intoxicated when asked and told them she had just left Black River Technical College Campus where she had been teaching a class. Officers said they then administrated a field sobriety test, which she failed.

Officers then said they asked her to give a breath test—the result being a .249.

Kegley was cited for DWI and careless and inattentive driving.

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