Pasco teacher investigated for allowing teens to drink

New Port Richey, Florida -- A Pasco County teacher and her former co-worker are being investigated after witnesses say they allowed minors to have alcohol.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is handling an investigation surrounding 52-year-old Lynn Worker, a former school secretary at J.W. Mitchell High School. Detectives say an after party was held at her home along Laird Drive in New Port Richey after this year's school prom.

According to an incident report from the sheriff's office, witnesses told detectives that there were 30-40 students gathered at Worker's home to chug away on a keg of beer set up on her patio. According to the report, there was also liquor.

Bruce didn't want to give his last name, but says he has a daughter attending J.W. Mitchell High School.

"I'm really, really baffled by the whole thing. Why would someone ever even think about doing that?"

Detectives say current J.W. Mitchell High School teacher Samantha Murchie was also there. Teens say the science teacher allowed many of them to sleep over at her home after the alleged party at Worker's home. They say Murchie let them to grab cold beer from her refrigerator while she prepared food for them since some of the teens threw up and suffered hangovers.

Investigators interviewed 14 teens after the gathering came to light and say Worker and Murchie allowed their own sons who are underage to also attend. They also say Worker asked the teens to give her their keys.

"When she took keys away from kids that made it okay for the kids to drink? Which is absurd," Bruce says.

Robby Thompson is a senior at J.W. Mitchell High School.

"There are plenty of parents that are seen as cool that let their kids do that - and in some ways it's seen as safe because they're taking keys, but still, you shouldn't be giving alcohol to minors."

At this time, the two mothers aren't facing any criminal charges, but the Pasco County Sheriff's Office says the final decision about whether they will be charged will be up to the state attorney's office.

Samantha Murchie is on paid administrative leave from the high school. School district officials say Worker resigned earlier this year during an investigation into her behavior at a football game.

Murchie has four disciplinary letters in her personal file. In one of the letters, she's warned that students and parents believed she was drunk and smelled of alcohol at an away football game at Springstead High School on October 25, 2013. Murchie denied drinking before the game.


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