North Carolina Teacher Gets An A-Plus in Painkillers
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North Carolina Teacher Gets An A-Plus in Painkillers


Look, it’s hard to be a public school teacher. I taught for six years. The job is tough and even though you’re well educated, you don’t make a ton of money. But every now and then, an opportunity arises to escape this mundane reality: to play Scrabble with other teachers, to tutor, to fraudulently fill fake prescriptions in order to obtain thousands of painkillers.

Unconventional Teaching Style

Okay, that last one is not so common, but apparently transpired in China County, North Carolina this past November. Last week, a grand jury indicted five people in the case, including the ringleader, 44-year-old second grade teacher Abby Walker and her doctor-husband, 48-year-old Orrin Walker. Apparently, the Walkers convinced co-workers (aka, teachers) and friends to let them use their names on 200 prescriptions—an extracurricular project that resulted in 25,000 doses of hydrocodone. While the Walkers get an A-plus for creativity and extra credit for sweet-talking, it’s pretty terrifying that a bunch of eight-year olds were having their brains shaped by someone on, well, more opiates than I’ve ever heard of someone taking. I don’t know about you but I can’t even imagine my second grade teacher saying a curse word, much less filling her trunk with illegal meds.

The other people who got busted were, it sounds like, innocent victims of the scam; none of them, People reports, knew anyone else was involved and “some thought they were helping friends by allowing the Walkers to use their names on the prescriptions.”

Party, Puke, Rally, Repeat on Loop

Since the drugs weren’t ever sold but simply dropped off at the Walkers, this means that the Walker household ingested all 25,000 of those doses, which you have to admit would make for a relaxing Spring Break and allows me to feel pretty good in comparison. I mean, I may have overdone it on occasion, but I’ve never taken 25,000 anything. So I consider this a feel-good story to some degree.

You could say that it was bad luck that led to the Walker bust: A teacher was either buying or selling a car in the school parking lot, which looked like a drug deal to someone who reported it to the police. There was no wrongdoing at the time, but when a detective’s questions reached an informant, it led to the information that several teachers and staff members had been involved in the scheme.

Par for the Opiate Course

Locals and neighbors were rightfully shocked; the county is considered a safe place and the school has a solid reputation. Still, drug deaths from opiates have skyrocketed across North Carolina (just like everywhere else). Oxycontin, says the Charlotte Observer, is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the state while hydrocodone ranks fourth. Another Observer story notes that several flaws have been found “with the way North Carolina monitors and tries to prevent” situations of this sort from happening. Still, Walker is hardly the first teacher to be involved in a drug scandal.

Abby Walker resigned from her teaching job in the spring, Orrin Walker has surrendered his license and both were charged with trafficking opiates by possession; I have to imagine they’ll get more than detention.

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About Author

Laura House is a sober writer and comedian. She was born in Grand Prairie, Texas, educated at the University of Texas at Austin, and lives and works in Los Angeles. She's written on the sketch show Blue Collar TV, and half-hour sit-coms including The George Lopez Show, Mad Love, Loosely Exactly Nicole, as well as the Emmy-winning shows Samantha Who and Mom. In addition she has developed four original pilots with ABC, FX and Nickelodeon. She currently works as a producer on the BAFTA-winning BBC series, The Secret Life of Boys. She performs at recovery shows all over the country. She recently performed at the NA world convention in Orlando. Her album Mouth Punch is available on all platforms.