Teacher somehow wins $75K settlement after showing up to field trip drunk off her ass
Considering how criminally underpaid teachers are in this country, it’s fairly common to hear about teachers striking for better working conditions only to have their requests overlooked. So there’s something both mildly terrifying and refreshing about the teacher who won a $75K settlement after reportedly showing up to a field trip drunk and losing her job as a result.
The Wisconsin-based former elementary school teacher, Maria Caya, was responsible (alongside eight other teachers) for chaperoning a fourth grade field trip to the local bowling alley back in June 2013, when she reportedly decided to knock back some drinks and transform into her day-drunk carefree alter ego. Unsurprisingly, after her drunken state was discovered by coworkers and school officials, the teacher was quickly terminated from her position. But that’s not the final chapter in this bizarre story of boozy conviction and large amounts of cash.
According to a report from The Washington Post, city officials said that while the students were bowling, Caya kept trying to order more drinks from the bar (it’s worth noting that extended time with fourth graders would lead anyone to throw back a few). At one point, she mysteriously disappeared from the group, and was reportedly found passed out in the bathroom. Another staff member from the school drove her to a nearby hospital, where doctors said her blood alcohol level was 0.27, which is triple the legal driving limit in Wisconsin.
In a more predictable case, the story would end here: with the teacher discovered drunk in the bowling alley bathroom quickly delivered to the hospital, where her lush status is confirmed and she’s swiftly fired. But not for this teacher; she was determined to get her money.
After her blood alcohol level was shared with the school, Caya resigned from working for the school district and was given $18,000, because actually firing her would have resulted in legal fees exceeding $18,000, according to district officials.
Clearly not satisfied with her payout, Caya filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against the city last year, claiming that police breached confidentiality when they publicly released her blood alcohol test results. On Monday night, the Janesville City Council voted 5-1 in favor of awarding the teacher her $75k settlement, according to a report from WKOW. Apparently the city attorney, Wald Klimczyk, sent a memo to the council advising them to pay her a settlement in order to avoid the cost of defense.
It looks like Caya will now be flush with cash to get drunk in all the bowling alleys her heart desires.