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A 35-year-old teacher in Indiana was arrested this week after she was allegedly caught bringing meth to an event at the school, hiding the drug in her hair scrunchie during “Family Fun Night.”
Sarah Jayne Duncan was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, court documents reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the incident took place on Sept. 12 at the Helfrich Park Stem Academy where the school was hosting a family night for students. The event, which lasted from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. was attended by Duncan, an eighth grade teacher, and her juvenile daughter, who was a student at the school.
As the event was coming to a close, Duncan allegedly took a picture with two students in a photo booth put in place for the event.
“Both juveniles stated that Duncan let her hair down for the photo,” the affidavit states. “After the photo, the juveniles cleaned up the area and located a blueish colored velvet-type scrunchie with a white zipper on the table. They noticed the scrunchie was heavier than a typical scrunchie, they opened the zipper pouch and observed a glass vial that contained a white powder substance that the two believed to be drugs along with a cut straw with white powder.”
The students brought the scrunchie to another teacher who notified the principal and vice principal. Two janitors who were working that evening told the principals that they had seen Duncan “frantically searching for some kind of hair tie” near the gym doors after the event had ended.
Police were called and took custody of the scrunchie and glass vial. A field test conducted on the white powder came back positive for methamphetamine, police wrote in the affidavit. There was less than one gram of the substance in the vial.
Two days later, Duncan was brought in for a drug test by officers with the Evansville Police Department. In her first two attempts, police said neither urine sample “produced enough nor reached the temperature for testing.”
“While conducting the third test, [an officer] observed an unauthorized collection container fall from Duncan’s shorts,” the affidavit states. “The test was terminated and documented as a failure for the attempt to alter the test.”
Based on the investigation and alleged attempt to alter her drug test, Duncan was fired from her position at the school and placed under arrest.
In an interview with police, Duncan said she had taken her daughter to Family Fun Night and did remove a scrunchie from her hair for a photograph, but claimed it was a different scrunchie, one without a zipper pocket. She also claimed that the hair tie she was looking for at the end of the night belonged to her daughter, but she later found it in the car.
As far as the urine screening, Duncan allegedly claimed that she didn’t know why her first two urine samples were unusably cold and said she was “not aware of the pouch/container in her shorts until after she was providing her second sample,” per the affidavit. Police said she further stated that she didn’t know how or when the pouch or container got into her shorts.
“Duncan stated that there may be another one of them at her residence but that they were not purchased by her, but by someone she knows who probably uses them to pass drug screens,” the affidavit states.
Surveillance footage from the Family Fun Night event showed Duncan wearing a scrunchie that appeared to match the one found containing the meth, police said.
Duncan was released on $1,000 cash bond and is scheduled to make her initial appearance in court on Sept. 26, records show. No attorney for Duncan was listed in the court docket as of Friday afternoon.
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