An Indiana-based middle school teacher found herself in hot water last week when she was apprehended for allegedly concealing methamphetamine in her hair accessory during a school event. The 35-year-old teacher, Sarah Duncan, was reportedly at Helfrich Park STEM Academy’s “Family Fun Night” on September 12 when two students noticed something unusual about her hair scrunchie in a photo booth picture.
According to the students, Duncan had let her hair down for the photo. After the picture was taken, the students found a blue velvet scrunchie with a white zipper on the table while cleaning up. The scrunchie, which was heavier than usual, contained a glass vial with a white powder substance and a cut straw with white powder, leading the students to suspect it was drugs.
The students promptly informed another teacher about their discovery. The teacher instructed them to dispose of it, but later secured the scrunchie in her classroom and alerted the school’s principal and assistant principal.
Following the event, which concluded around 6 p.m., Duncan was observed by two janitors as she appeared to be anxiously looking for a hair tie. Security camera footage from the school during the event showed Duncan, an eighth-grade teacher, wearing the suspicious scrunchie earlier in the evening.
A subsequent field test on the scrunchie confirmed the presence of methamphetamine. In the days that followed, the school’s deputy chief of staff and Evansville Police Chief Tim Alford accompanied Duncan to a nearby clinic for a drug test.
Duncan’s initial two urine samples were insufficient and did not meet the temperature requirements for testing. During her third attempt, officers reportedly saw an unauthorized collection container fall from her shorts.
Duncan was taken into custody at Vanderburgh County Jail last Wednesday. She claimed ignorance about the pouch/container in her shorts and suggested that it might have been placed there by someone she knows who uses them to pass drug tests.
Duncan was charged with one count of criminal possession and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released on a $1,000 bond. According to WFIE, Duncan was dismissed from her teaching position on the same day as her arrest.