Teacher’s ordeal began when cops found two pills in her car

59-year-old Melinda Herrick, an art teacher who had been a Teacher of the Year honoree in the Houston schools, was charged with violating the “drug-free zone” law after cops found two Xanax pills in her car; the drug is often prescribed for panic disorder. Herrick protested that the car had been in the shop for repairs for more than a month before the incident; her daughter also drove the car. Students rallied on her behalf and the charges were finally dropped after she underwent a drug test which indicated that she did not use drugs. [Houston Chronicle via Obscure Store]


  • I bet she would have handled the situation better if she did use the Xanax.

  • I have read a couple of accounts of this. Neither state why and how the police were able to search the car.

  • I read a story on this back when it first happened. The police were searching cars randomly in the school parking lot (the school and state rules allow it). They searched student cars, too. This is part of the whole Zero Tolerance schema. Hopefully, now that it was a teacher who got in trouble, maybe they’ll get some brains and relax the policy

  • I work with the district in Houston, we were told it was drug dogs that signalled the presence.

    In Texas, and under our state law, that’s enough to search and to suspend/fire you for refusal.

    I’m happy that she did get re-instated. It originally started with students calling in tips on teachers. After several arrests, the superintendent decided to do a district wide sweep. The results, fortunately, were less than impressive. So it was decided to pull the plug.

  • Uh, “drug-free zone?” Does this cover a kid with a severe allergy and forbid carrying an EpiPEn? A heart patient with nitroglycerin caps?

  • Chipping away at student’s fourth amendment right.


    I like briefcase8’s indoctrination paragraph at the end.

  • It is better to be safe than safe and secure in your constitutional rights.

  • Zero Tolerance Victim Gets Grudging Vindication…

    A teacher accused of having unauthorized prescription drugs in her car at school has won dismissal of the charges. She had been charged with having Xanax without a prescription. She produced proof that the car had been in the shop……