Middle school teacher accused in drug deal before teen's death

by: Tom Regan Updated:

Parents driving their children home on Thursday were surprised by the arrest of someone they described as a dedicated, popular and effective educator.

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. - A Barrow County middle school teacher is accused of arranging a drug deal for a teen who died the day after the purchase, authorities said.

Emily Smith, 37, teaches sixth-grade math at Winder Barrow Middle School in Winder. The victim was 18.

"Miss Smith conspired with the victim by cellphone in reference to obtaining a controlled substance prior to her death," said Barrow County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Faye Spaulding.

Spaulding told Channel 2's Tom Regan that cellphone calls and text messages show the teacher facilitated the sale of Methadone, a synthetic opiate, and Xanax, an anti-anxiety medication.

Investigators said the teen, described as a friend of the teacher, died the day after obtaining the drugs Feb. 14.

"The toxicology report determined there were high levels of a controlled substance in her system. The cause of death has not yet been determined," said Spaulding.

Parents driving their children home on Thursday were surprised by the arrest of someone they described as a dedicated, popular and effective educator.

"I'm truly shocked. I didn't know that," said parent Kim Arrow.

A representative with Barrow County Schools told Regan that the director of human resources has opened an investigation into the teacher's arrest.

Authorities said Smith had posted bond and was released from jail.

They said their investigation continues and that there could be additional arrests.

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