Seattle high school choir teacher fired for allegedly drinking on field trip

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Garfield High School.

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools on Friday fired a Garfield High School choir teacher for allegedly drinking on a field trip to New Orleans during which two teenage girls allegedly were groped by a male classmate.

Superintendent Larry Nyland “found that numerous district policies, protocols and field trip guidelines were violated” during the March field trip.

“Such violations included the consumption of alcohol by staff, allowing chaperones to consume alcohol, allowing boys and girls inside each other’s hotel rooms, ignoring curfew, and no random room checks conducted after curfew,” the district said in a news release.

“During this field trip a male student is alleged to have groped two female students at night in a New Orleans hotel room and on a bus, students observed their teacher and chaperones drinking alcohol, a teacher and chaperones drank alcohol at night on other occasions, a chaperone was visibly incapacitated and had to be helped back to their hotel room one night, and a chaperone was alleged to have engaged in inappropriate contact with a student while under the influence of alcohol,” the release said.

The choir teacher, Carol Burton, who has been at Garfield for 14  years, told the Seattle Times that she heard the news from her attorney, who reportedly was told by a school district lawyer that Burton would receive a termination letter Friday.