Local News

Teacher's husband comments on field trip incident

Maria Caya was drunk while supervising students last week, officials say

JANESVILLE, Wis. - The husband of Maria Caya, the teacher who police said was drunk on a school field trip last week, has released a statement.

Caya, a fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School, was drunk while supervising students on a field trip last week, according to a report from the Janesville Police Department.

The report states that Caya, 50, was taken to Mercy Hospital by her husband after vomiting and passing out on a field trip to a bowling alley.

Caya's husband, Steve Caya, says they are focusing on her recovery and do not feel an interview would be helpful in that process, but he did issue a statement.

"As you might imagine, this have been a very difficult time for Maria and our family," said Steve Caya. "Maria regrets beyond words what occurred and is looking forward to getting the help she needs in order to regain the trust of her students, their parents and her co-workers, and the Janesville School District."

Caya said his wife is deeply sorry for the incident.

The police report stated Caya had a blood alcohol level of 0.27 percent at noon on June 6.

According to Chris Jones, the owner of Rivers Edge Bowl in Janesville where the incident occurred, the bowling alley does not serve alcohol during school functions to people participating in the function or customers not associated with the school.

"An incident like this has never happened before and hopefully never will again," said Jones in an email. "We will continue to offer a safe environment for all of our customers.

Police said she admitted to hospital staff she was drinking at 6 a.m. before supervising on the field trip.

"There's nothing to indicate that she caused any type of disturbance or anything like that that would raise it to disorderly conduct or anything like that," Chief Deputy John Olsen said in a press conference Monday.

In the report, school district officials stated Caya was one of eight district employees on the field trip, along with several parents. The reports states that it initially appears none of the other chaperones were aware of Caya's situation. Police said they plan to contact the chaperones for questioning.

No criminal charges have been filed against Caya. The police report was sent to district officials and Child Protective Services.

"Child neglect would be really the only possible criminal statute that would apply, and at this point, we have nothing to indicate that the children were ever at risk or ever in danger," Olsen said.

Dr. Karen Schulte, the superintendent for the Janesville School District, said the human resources department will look into the incident and prior offenses to determine if Caya should be disciplined.

"We have not started our investigation," Schulte said. "The police investigation would be first. Once they are completed, then HR would start its investigation."

Schulte said violating the drug and alcohol policies can result in a wide range of disciplinary measures.

"It could be anything, such as suspension all of the way through termination," Schulte said.

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