TACOMA -- Tacoma Public Schools said it has fired a kindergarten teacher at Larchmont Elementary for drinking on the job.
The school district said Monday that the teacher had alcohol in her classroom, and was seen walking into a walls on Feb. 19. They also say this wasn’t the first time she had an issue with alcohol.
“What example is that setting for our children?” asked Jeni Brown, the parent of two students at Larchmont Elementary School in Tacoma.
She’s outraged after finding out that Klara Bowman was fired for allegedly being intoxicated in her classroom. School district officials confirm Bowman was reported by one of her students on February 19. The assistant principal investigated, and Bowman was escorted off campus.
“The children don't need to be seeing that. They don't need to be around a teacher that is drunk,” said Brown.
“It makes me angry and scared,” added Angela Hadway, who says her daughter was in Bowman’s class several years ago. “It makes me scared that my child can leave one day and they won't even notice.”
Bowman worked for the district since 2008. District officials say she had a prior alcohol offense in February 2011 while she was a teacher at Grant Elementary School, and signed a "last chance" agreement after that.
Last Wednesday, the principal sent a letter home to parents of her students. It read in part: “As most of you know, Ms. Bowman has been away from the classroom for the past week. This letter is to let you know that Ms. Bowman will be out for the remainder of the school year.”
The letter did not explain why Bowman was no longer teaching.
“I think when it comes to this, they should have explained. That's a huge liability,” says Brown.
She also thinks the letter should have gone out to all parents, because other students could have been around Bowman.
“She could be out there supervising recess, she could be doing anything. And they just let the parents of the kindergartners know?”
According to the Associated Press, Bowman plans to appeal her firing.