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Ex-school nurse pleads guilty to theft for stealing student meds

Posted at 10:15 AM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 19:28:50-04

MITCHELL — A former Mitchell Community Schools nurse pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft and neglect of a dependent charges as part of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors.

Carol Sanders was charged in March with felony official misconduct, felony neglect of a dependent, and five counts of misdemeanor theft for stealing student's medication and ingesting it herself.

Deputy Prosecutor Bob Cline said Sanders pleaded guilty to five theft charges and one count of neglect of a dependent, and the official misconduct charge was dismissed.

Sanders will be sentenced on November 14 at 9 am.

RTV6 left a message for Sanders’ attorney.

The state Nursing Board voted on Sept. 19 to extend the suspension of Sanders’ nursing license for at least another 90 days, and the board may take additional action once the criminal case is concluded.

A staff member at Burris Elementary launched an investigation after medication belonging to students went missing.

Sanders admitted to stealing amphetamines, Ritalin, Zyrtec and other medications from students at Burris Elementary and Hatfield Elementary.

The school nurse also admitted to replacing some of the students’ medications with baby aspirin.

Sanders said she stole the medications between Febr. 25 and March 7 of 2019, court records show.

“Carol stated she stole the medication because she is an addict,” read the probable cause affidavit. “Carol admitted to needing help with her addiction.”

Carol Sanders also admitted that this is not the first time she’s been terminated from a nursing job for stealing and ingesting medication.

Sanders said she omitted that information to the school district during the hiring process.

Superintendent Dr. Mike Wilcox said the district performed an expanded criminal history check and no prior history was reported.

Wilcox provided the following statement:

The Mitchell Community School Family is deeply concerned about this event. This, or any other, issue that forces us to question the safety of any Mitchell student immediately becomes our top priority. Our outstanding school administrators and school resource officer responded firmly, fairly, and in a timely manner. The parents of our students effected by this event, who were contacted immediately and have shown remarkable support. Mrs. Sanders is no longer employed by Mitchell Community Schools. She has submitted her letter of resignation, The Mitchell team of students, families, community members, and educators will continue to analyze current practices and collaborate on best solutions in regard to all Mitchell students.