COOPER

Serena Cooper

A Station Camp High School teacher has been charged with driving under the influence after authorities say she was so intoxicated in the school parking lot that she was unable to stand on her own. 

Serena Cooper, 35, of Gallatin was charged with DUI, first offense after School Resource Officer Thomas Briggs was called to the parking lot in reference to a teacher who was possibly intoxicated at around 11:15 a.m. on Oct. 30. 

Once Briggs arrived, he made contact with Cooper who was sitting in the driver’s seat of her Nissan Pathfinder, according to an affidavit filed by Briggs in Sumner County General Sessions Court. 

Briggs says that Cooper didn’t respond when he asked if she was okay. He also says that the teacher smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage. When Briggs asked for the teacher’s identification, she began to fumble through papers in her passenger seat. When he asked for her identification a second time, “she looked back at the passenger seat and handed me her entire purse,” Briggs writes. 

He then asked Cooper to step out of her vehicle in order to perform a field sobriety test. Cooper didn’t respond and continued to look through the car. 

“I along with another officer had to remove Mrs. Cooper from the vehicle and help support her as she was not able to stand,” Briggs writes. “I was unable to perform any field sobriety test.”

The teacher was booked into the Sumner County Jail, and posted a $3,000 bond the same day.  

Cooper has taught Algebra I and Algebra II at the school since February of 2016, according to Sumner County Schools Spokesman Jeremy Johnson. 

Johnson said that Cooper was off work the day the incident occurred. He declined to comment further, adding the teacher has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the charge against her. 

She is scheduled to appear in General Sessions Court at 9 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2020. 

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