"The allegation that she went to school drunk is untrue and absurd. She is guilty of being late and that is all," Mike McKnight said. "To say otherwise is patently false, ridiculous and slanderous."
McNight's attorney, James Harker, who was also present at Tuesday's meeting, said his client did not deserve to be disciplined for being tardy due to a stressful family situation.
"There was no unprofessional conduct here," Harker told the Coastline Pilot. "The proper employer response should have been to follow the law by acknowledging its employee's family illness and allocating the hours she missed to family illness or personal necessity leave. Instead, the administration elected to treat the lost work time as a disciplinary matter, thereby failing to follow the district's own rules."
Mike McNight said his wife was under a lot of personal stress and overslept that morning. He said he suggested she call in sick, but she said she was eager to attend a meeting she had scheduled with Principal Don Austin regarding an anti-bullying program she was interested in pursuing at the school.
When McNight reported to school, a campus official claimed she smelled alcohol on McNight's breath, and she was sent home for "unprofessional conduct" while the administration conducted an investigation, Harker said.
Spanish teacher Rod Ortiz, who was privy to the events of Dec. 10, told the board McNight did not smell of alcohol that day and saw no evidence that an investigation was conducted on the incident.
"She told me she was being accused of being intoxicated, but I did not smell alcohol on her breath whatsoever," he said.