Conestoga High Teacher Due in Court Wednesday

Tredyffrin Township Police charge an AP Chemistry teacher after she leaves students alone and collapses in an adjacent room.

A Conestoga High School science teacher is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday morning for a hearing on charges stemming from a Decembe incident in her science lab and an adjoining lab prep room.

Tredyffrin Township Police have charged a 42-year-old Conestoga High School Chemistry teacher with one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children after she collapsed in an adjacent lab prep room while her AP Chemistry students took a test in a classroom. The incident happened at noon on December 10 inside the high school.

According to court documents filed in the case, Carol Wittschieben was found on the floor of a lab prep room next to a chemistry classroom. According to allegations made in court documents she was "mostly unresponsive" when EMS and police first arrived.

In a criminal complaint filed by Tredyffrin Police in the case, Wittschieben is accused of having a blood alcohol level of ".32%" when she was taken to Paoli Hospital.

The case is a little unusual because the students who were left unattended in the classroom were older high school students who were taking a test at the time of the alleged incident.

As TE Patch reported in December, in the charging document filed with the District Court in Devon police allege that "given her level of intoxication, Wittschieben did knowingly endanger the welfare of her students who were under the age of 18 by violating her duty of care, protection and support.

More about the case and what led to the decision to file these charge may be brought to light when Wittschieben is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. before Magesterial Judge Thomas Tartaglio in Devon.

Joy Marks January 23, 2013 at 01:21 PM
.30% Stupor - Likely to pass out involuntarily (as opposed to lower BAC's where you may decide to stop drinking and go to sleep); if pass out, may be difficult for others to wake you; possible to die from alcohol poisoning or choking on vomit at this level and higher .35% Equivalent to general anesthesia, breathing may stop. .40% Coma likely, breathing and heartbeat slowed to dangerous levels due to slowdown in nerve activity
Alice Riley January 23, 2013 at 03:08 PM
This a totally bizarre. Was her blood alcohol % caused by drinking before her classes or form overindulging the night before? These were HS kids, not middle or elementary, so the charge of endangerment is a stretch. Violating her employment behavior codes is not. She should be fired, not face criminal charges. That is enough punishment.
MD2013 January 23, 2013 at 07:06 PM
The option to fire her will most likely fall to the state licensing board, as alcoholism is protected under ADA. This isn't problem drinking, this is alcoholism, a disease. Earlier when Patch provided this information, we heard from her students who complimented what a wonderful teacher she is. And these kids were not alone and unattended in a building. They were in a classroom in a building with 2,000 people. Hardly endangered. If the police dropped child endangerment charges when Ms. Pratowski was driving with her elementary aged children in the car, I would be more than horrified if there is no compassion for this woman. The rules are in place to address her professional conduct. Let the police protect the helpless.
anna May 07, 2013 at 04:20 AM
This is such sad news. This teacher is one of the BEST teachers and most lovely person you could meet. Students love her very much. Little we all knew her happy and cheerful behavior was hiding a devastating disease.


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