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Teacher accused of giving students marijuana, alcohol on school trip

Posted at 11:26 AM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 21:14:24-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - An El Centro teacher was arraigned Tuesday after she was accused of providing marijuana and alcohol to students on a school camping trip.

Monique Garcia, 50, faces two felony charges and three misdemeanor charges garnering a maximum sentence of 8 years and 4 months in state prison, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Deputy District Attorney Stephen Marquardt said a 17-year-old student on the trip gave Garcia a ride to a grocery store where she bought alcohol and then drove to a dispensary where she bought cannabis, including edibles.

Marquardt said students were intoxicated and became sick after consuming the alcohol and/or cannabis.

According to the Southwest High School website, Garcia was head of the math department.

The Central Union High School District sent a statement to 10News reading in full: "In order to protect the integrity of the judicial process, Central Union High School District does not comment on ongoing or pending proceedings. Monique Garcia is no longer employed by the District. Due to the sensitive nature of the allegations the District will continue to respect the privacy of all those involved."

Southwest High School's Outdoor Adventure Club went on a three-day camping trip in February of 2019, according to the Imperial Valley Press.

IVP named Garcia as the head adviser of the club and stated she was on that trip with 29 students.

The trip took place, according to IVP, at the Laguna Campground from Feb. 15-18.

This is the first criminal case resulting from the newly formed Student Safety in School Systems Task Force, under the San Diego County District Attorney.

Garcia will be in court for a preliminary hearing June 18.

A restraining order was filed, to keep Garcia from contacting 18 individuals, whom Marquardt said she texted before and after the trip.

A LinkedIn profile with the same name lists Garcia as a teacher at Southwest High School from August 2008 - present and at Gompers Charter Middle School from August of 2006 - June of 2007.

The San Diego Unified School District confirmed Garcia worked at Crawford High School from Sept. 28, 2007 to June 30, 2008.