MAYPEARL — A Maypearl Independent School District teacher was arrested by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.

Evan Martin — a Dallas resident and first-year MISD employee — has been charged with possession of marijuana less than or equal to two ounces in a drug-free zone.

An Ellis County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a stop at about 3:40 p.m. on a vehicle for a traffic violation that occurred in the area of Farm-to-Market 66 and Farm-to-Market 157.

“Upon approaching the driver’s side of the vehicle, the Deputy immediately detected the odor of burning marijuana coming from inside of the vehicle. The driver was asked to step from the vehicle and was asked if he had anything in the car; the driver advised the Deputy that he had marijuana in the door of the vehicle,” the ECSO press release stated. “The Deputy conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle and located a smoking pipe and a green leafy substance that field-tested positive for the presence of marijuana.”

Martin was then transported to Wayne McCollum Detention Center, where he was booked in on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana less than two ounces in a drug-free zone. He was booked in at 7:28 p.m. on Tuesday. Martin has since been released on a $2,000 bond.

"Maypearl ISD is aware that math teacher Evan Martin was arrested Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Martin will be placed on administrative leave and remain on leave pending the outcome of discussions that will take place at Maypearl ISD only after we learn more from authorities,” Maypearl ISD Superintendent Ritchie Bowling said in a statement released on the district’s Facebook page. “In the meantime, I would like to make clear that at Maypearl, we have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to illegal drug use by members of our staff. We understand the importance of the example we must hold up for our students as we educate them to be the leaders of tomorrow.”

Bowling said Martin has been employed with the district since August and works as a high school math teacher. He added that no students were involved in connection with his arrest, and Martin was not arrested on campus.

He added that MISD is "following district policy DFAA (Local) that allows the Superintendent to place a probationary employee on Administrative Leave, but requires with pay."

When asked by the Daily Light if Martin had any disciplinary issues or any complaints filed by staff, teachers, parents or students, Bowling stated, “this is confidential information that I am not at liberty to say."

The Maypearl ISD 2016—17 Employee Handbook addresses searches, alcohol and drug testing.

“Non-investigatory searches in the workplace including accessing an employee’s desk, file cabinets, or work area to obtain information needed for usual business purposes may occur when an employee is unavailable. Therefore, employees are hereby notified that they have no legitimate expectation of privacy in those places,” the handbook stated. “In addition, the district reserves the right to conduct searches when there is reasonable cause to believe a search will uncover evidence of work-related misconduct. Such an investigatory search may include drug and alcohol testing if the suspected violation relates to drug or alcohol use. The district may search the employee, the employee’s personal items, and work areas including district-owned computers, lockers, and private vehicles parked on district premises or work sites or used in district business.”

Bowling said Maypearl ISD does conduct random drug screening for employees who are responsible for student transportation.

Under the termination of employment section, the MISD handbook states that “the dismissal of a certified employee must be reported to the Division of Investigations at TEA whenever the termination is based on evidence that the employee was involved in any of the following, which include the possession, transfer, sale or distribution of controlled substance.”

According to Martin’s teacher information page on the Maypearl ISD website, the University of Texas — Dallas graduate obtained a Bachelor's of Arts in Criminology in Dec. 2007. The website lists the courses he teaches as Algebra 2 – non-honors and honors, Algebraic Reasoning and Independent Study in Math.

“I'm happy to be joining the Maypearl ISD family this year! I was born and raised in Duncanville, graduating from Duncanville High School. I studied at the University of Texas - Arlington before earning my Bachelor's of Arts in Criminology at University of Texas – Dallas,” Martin wrote on the web page. “In my free time, I enjoy playing the bass guitar, baseball, and watching films. It is going to be a great year! Go Panthers!”

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