SYRACUSE — A third-grade teacher at a Syracuse elementary school was arrested Thursday, accused of having heroin in her car and residue amounts in her purse inside the school.
Claudia Reaney was arrested after police received a tip, according to Syracuse Police Lt. Tracy Jensen. He would not say where the tip came from.
Police went to Buffalo Point Elementary School with a drug-sniffing dog that allegedly detected the presence of heroin in a car belonging to Reaney parked in front of the school, Jensen said. Police also allegedly found contraband inside the car that tested positive for heroin.
After the school day ended, police searched Reaney's classroom, where the dog "hit" on the teacher's purse, Jensen said. Police allegedly found several foils and straws there, parapharnalia used to take heroin. Reaney's students "probably had no knowledge their teacher was doing drugs," Jensen said
Reaney was arrested on one second-degree count of felony possession of a controlled substance and a class A charge of possession of paraphrenalia. Charges filed could be enhanced because the drugs were allegedly found on school property.
"This is a tragedy because this teacher got addicted to prescription pain killers and had been on them a very long time," Jensen said. "It's what got her here," he said, explaining that with time prescription pain killers become less effective and those in pain begin looking for something else. "Heroin is cheaper and more powerful than prescription drugs,"Jensen said.
Police believe Reaney was using heroin three to four times a day, based on the contraband found in the car.
Reaney was placed on administrative leave.She posted $5,000 bail and was released from jail.
She has been a teacher at the school since 2008 and has been employed by the Davis School District since 2007.
Parents of her students were sent an email stating Reaney had been placed on leave, but it did not give the reason.