Teacher is held on drug charges
A special education teacher at Keaukaha Elementary School on the Big Island has been charged with methamphetamine trafficking and other drug charges.
Lynn Dionise, 51, has been placed on paid leave by the state Department of Education while it investigates the case, said spokeswoman Sandy Goya.
Authorities charged Dionise on Wednesday with first-degree methamphetamine trafficking, second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, third-degree promoting of a detrimental drug and drug paraphernalia.
She was arrested Tuesday after vice officers, executing a search warrant, searched her Keaukaha condominium unit and found 6.8 grams of crystal methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana and $13,245 in cash in a safe.
Dionise was being held in lieu of $20,250 bail.
A phone message left with Keaukaha Elementary Principal Lehua Veincent was not returned yesterday. Valerie Takata, superintendent for the Hilo-Laupahoehoe-Waiakea complex area, was attending a Board of Education meeting yesterday at Kau High & Pahala Elementary School and could not be reached for comment.
Keaukaha, in Hilo, has about 295 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, according to the Education Department.
Dionise's arrest and charge came about a year after a majority of public school teachers approved a new contract that subjects them to random and reasonable-suspicion drug tests beginning next school year. The drug tests were largely proposed in reaction to six drug-related arrests of Education Department employees over a seven-month period, beginning in October 2006, when a Leilehua High School teacher was arrested for dealing crystal meth.