By Kelly Mayo
October 16, 2013
MAXTON — A Robeson County teacher has been suspended from her job at Townsend Middle School after she allegedly went to school while she was intoxicated from having consumed alcohol.
According to a sheriff’s report, Robin Barnhill, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at the Maxton school, had a blood-alcohol content of .34. That is more than four times the legal limit of .08 to drive in North Carolina and, according to mulitple information sites about blood-alcohol content, put Barnhill at risk of dying from alcohol poisoning.
Barnhill, who lives on Braswell Street in Chadbourn, was charged Monday with two counts of the possession or consumption of fortified wine, liquor or mixed beverages on unauthorized premises, according to Capt. Kathy Torre of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. Barnhill was arrested at school and placed in the county jail under a $1,000 secured bond.
Tasha Oxendine, a spokesperson for the Public Schools of Robeson County, said Wednesday that Barnhill has been “suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.”
The school system did not want to comment further because it’s a personnel matter, but did say that Barnhill has been employed with the system since 2001.
Torre said Brock Chavis, a school resource officer, and Maxton police Officer Kionna Watkins received a tip that Barnhill had been drinking.
“They received a phone call that there was a teacher on campus who had been drinking,” Torre said. “When [Chavis] started his investigation he found her under the influence.”
According to the sheriff’s report, Barnhill possessed a plastic bottle of Minute Maid orange juice and a glass bottle of Absolut vodka.
Barnhill’s first appearance in Robeson County District Court will be on Nov. 1. Both her charges are misdemeanors.