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Former teacher, coach pleads not guilty

Courtney Astolfi • Oct 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Tracey Hiss, a coach and middle school teacher, was charged Sept. 6 with possession of a dangerous drug, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The charges originated from incidents last May, when Hiss allegedly distributed Lidoderm patches to a handful of children, according to a Perkins police report.

When the school’s athletic director initially approached Hiss with the allegations, she told him the students stole the patches from her office, the report said. Prosecutors contend the students did not steal the pain patches.

Hiss was suspended in mid-May pending the outcome of her criminal investigation, but in June her position was eliminated amid district-wide staff reductions. She could be recalled to the position based on her seniority after her trial concludes, but in the meantime another teacher has assumed her position temporarily.

“We can’t legally recall (the substitute) to the position until we know Tracey’s legal status,” district superintendent Jim Gunner previously told the Register.

On Thursday the waiting period was extended longer than previously planned. Prosecutors originally believed Hiss would enter a plea of no contest, but instead she pleaded not guilty.

Her next court appearance is Dec. 12.

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