The Superintendent of the Waco Independent School District (WISD) in Waco, Texas was arrested Wednesday night on a misdemeanor marijuana charge. Marcus Nelson, the district’s Superintendent, was driving north on U.S. 190 Wednesday evening when he got pulled over by a trooper from the Department of Public Safety. The trooper was working a routine patrol when he observed that Nelson’s 2007 GMC Yukon was in the left lane and not passing.
Upon pulling Nelson over, the trooper smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. He searched the vehicle and found marijuana, seizing it before taking Nelson into custody. Soon before 11 P.M. Wednesday, Nelson was booked into the Robertson County Jail. He was charged with possession of marijuana under two ounces.
Nelson was not present at work the next day. According to a district spokesman, he took a personal day on Friday.
According to board President Pat Atkins, the Waco School Board will hold a special meeting on March 19 with Nelson in order to hear directly from him.
Atkins stated that “Dr. Nelson is a dynamic leader who has done great things in really unifying this community and bringing unprecedented levels of volunteerism and support for the Waco public schools. So when you hear your superintendent has been arrested on these sorts of allegations you know, it’s always shocking if they turn out to be true, it’s disappointing.”
Atkins continued to say that the school board “will not rush to any judgment” regarding Nelson’s charge.
The Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics, which all school district employees must follow, states that educators “shall refrain from the illegal use or distribution of controlled substances and/or abuse of prescription drugs and toxic inhalants.”
Nelson was previously the Superintendent for the Laredo Independent School District in Laredo, Texas. In 2014, he was named Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards.
He was selected as the WISD Superintendent in Spring of 2017. He was one of six candidates to be interviewed for the position.
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