Loudoun teacher accused of public intoxication

A Loudoun County public school teacher was charged with being drunk in public after school personnel contacted authorities Wednesday, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies who responded to Pinebrook Elementary School in Aldie shortly before 10 a.m. found that second-grade teacher Michael J. Corbett, 28, of Leesburg, was under the influence of alcohol, authorities said.

Wayde Byard, spokesperson for Loudoun County public schools, said that no students were exposed to inappropriate behavior or danger as a result of the incident.

“Student safety is our number one priority, and the staff in this case acted absolutely properly. . . . They reported their suspicions to the administration, and the administration called the sheriff’s office immediately,” he said. “No students were aware of the problem — we handled this as discreetly as possible.”

Byard said he wanted to urge the public to refrain from particularly harsh or hasty judgment.

“Please remember that there is a person behind the mug shot, and he may be in distress,” Byard said. “You don’t know the situation. You only know the outcome, but not the back story behind it.”

Byard said the school administration is particularly sensitive to cases involving public arrests.

“We had a former teacher who was in this situation commit suicide about two years ago now,” he said. “I’d ask people to look beyond the mug shot, look beyond the headline and have a little empathy here.”

Corbett, who joined the Loudoun school system in August 2012, has been placed on administrative leave, Byard said.

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Caitlin Gibson is a local news and features writer for The Washington Post.
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