The Tamiami elementary school principal who was arrested on a DUI charge in July was reassigned on Thursday by Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Deborah Darbonne will work at a district administrative office, a non-school site, Miami-Dade schools spokeswoman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego said Friday.
“We don’t usually reassign in cases such as these, but the district can and will take action if a case has the potential to cause a disruption to the learning environment we work so hard to maintain. Our goal is to maintain continuity of education with minimal disruptions,” she said in an email to the Miami Herald.
Darbonne, 46, who has been with the school system for 23 years and served as principal at Wesley Matthews Elementary, 12345 SW 18th Ter., will remain on alternate assignment pending the outcome of a court case.
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Darbonne was arrested on July 21 after she was pulled over around 3 a.m. for driving 64 miles-per-hour in a 40 miles-per-hour zone on U.S. 1 near Southwest 70th Street, NBC6 reported. A breath test was administered and her levels, .140 and .142, were over Florida’s legal limit of .08.
Darbonne reported the misdemeanor to school officials and remained in her role as principal until Thursday’s reassignment. A first-time DUI offense is normally a misdemeanor, unless the person charged has been a repeat offender or the case resulted in an accident with serious bodily injury or death.
Miami-Dade schools released a statement Friday. “Although this is a non-school related incident, the District still holds all employees to a high standard of professionalism. While we await the court’s disposition, the employee has been removed from the regular school setting and administratively reassigned. If the courts conclude that the employee has violated any law, we will take all appropriate disciplinary action.”