A Paulding County, Ga., kindergarten school teacher was arrested Thursday after school officials discovered a loaded handgun in her purse.
To make matters worse, the 39-year-old teacher, Melanie Bullard, was intoxicated at the time.
After smelling alcohol on Bullard around noon, a fellow staff member brought the matter to the attention of school administrators.
A resource officer then tested Bullard for alcohol consumption, which came back positive.
In response, school officials searched Bullard’s purse for any open containers, at which point a loaded handgun was found.
“School officials searched the teacher’s classroom for any open containers of alcohol, but instead, found a loaded semi-automatic pistol in her purse” reported WXIA-TV in Atlanta.
Shockingly, Bullard’s purse was located beneath her desk, raising questions as to whether it was accessible to students.
Although the Paulding County School District declined to address how long Bullard had been employed by the district, a spokesman stressed the safety of their students is of utmost importance.
“The safety of our students is our top priority,” said Suzanne Wooley, a spokesman for the district.
It is unclear if Bullard has been reprimanded in the past for other forms of misconduct.
After the firearm was located, the Paulding County Sheriff’s office took over the investigation.
According to Paulding County Sheriff Sgt. Ashley Henson, Bullard was released from jail Friday on a $3,500 bond.
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