Area school administrator accused of showing up drunk to school during alcohol awareness week, arrested
PIERRE PART – As students were arriving at school for the annual alcohol awareness week, a campus administrator drove to work drunk and was arrested, WBRZ learned Wednesday.
Rachel Turley, the assistant principal at Pierre Part Primary, was detained at the school and later arrested. Authorities said her blood alcohol content was .224 – almost three-times the legal limit of .08.
A sheriff’s deputy followed Turley, 49, to school after reports of a dangerous driver driving along Highway 70 in Assumption Parish. The deputy found Turley when she arrived at the school, WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto was told.
Turley was not at school Wednesday and someone who answered the phone there said she would return next week. The school system did not respond to requests for information.
Authorities said they realized Turley was drunk after she was detained at the school and taken to sheriff’s office substation where it was determined she was intoxicated. Turley was charged with DWI and careless operation.
"There was no notification made to any parents," Niki Lacoste, a concerned grandparent, said. "...My main concern was [my grandson’s] safety."
Lacoste demanded answers from administrators in her TV interview on the 6 o’clock news Wednesday. She said she is bothered over what appeared to be a lack of transparency. She said there are strict policies for students who are caught drinking or have alcohol. But, wondered about a gray area in policies for administrators.
"He or she will be offered a substance abuse program," Lacoste said. "I'm sorry. I totally disagree with that."
"That is the only positive that came out of this....she did not injure or kill anyone else," Lacoste said. "The fact that she chose to do this on the Monday of Red Ribbon week is a slap in the face."
Court records show Turley has been released from jail. Records online show she became the assistant principal at Pierre Part Primary in 2016.