Valerie Prince had been a teacher at Jacksonville Heights Elementary School since the 2018-2019 school season, as a first-grade teacher. However, she has since been removed from duty, pending an internal investigation within the Duval County Public School System.
Authorities say that Prince attempted to set up a drug deal to have an “eight ball,” or one-eighth of an ounce (about 3.5 grams) of meth delivered to the school where she taught. However, when she made the phone call to allegedly arrange the deal, she didn’t talk to a meth dealer. Instead, she spoke to an undercover narcotics agent in the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Specifically, Prince allegedly concocted a scheme to get her hands on the drugs before she started teaching for the day, under the pretense of having to take an emergency phone call. Failing that, she seemed to indicate that she’d have been willing to wait until lunch, but was in a hurry.
“I was going to say, I could go out and meet you but I can’t- I would just have to go out and run back in. Just call me… I work on 103rd, you call me and I can just say I have to use the phone real quick. I can step out and come right back in. Or just come at 11 on my lunch break. But I would prefer it before then,” she allegedly said.
The undercover officer then confirmed that Prince was allegedly trying to get the drug delivered to the school, getting her to confirm the name of the school and its location.
“It’s Jacksonville Heights Elementary, it’s on 103rd. Now I don’t get my kids until 8:30, so I’m in my room by myself from 8 to 8:30,” Prince allegedly said.
Sgt. Vincent Hall was clear that officers did not, in fact, ever deliver any methamphetamine to the school. Instead, they waited until school was over and arranged a spot to meet Prince for the sale. She allegedly purchased 3.5 grams of methamphetamine from the undercover officer and was arrested on the spot.
She would later allegedly tell officers that she had done meth 10 times within the last six months, although it’s unclear, as of this writing, if she had ever done any of that meth at school.
Back at the school where Prince had taught, parents were concerned about the fact that their children might have been in the presence of someone using drugs.
“I feel bad for her family, but angry for mine because you’re supposed to be able to trust your child’s teacher,” said Brandy Frazier, the parent of a child who had been in Prince’s class.