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HERMITAGE Teacher admits failure to give student pills

Published: Tue, November 6, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Police said a special-needs teacher at Hickory High School admitted throwing away medication needed for a student in her charge.
Marganie "Gayne" Bortz, 53, of Rexford Drive, was arraigned Friday before District Justice Henry Russo Friday on two counts each of theft, recklessly endangering another person, endangering the welfare of a child in her charge and acquisition of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.
Police said she is accused of getting Ativan, a prescription tranquilizer, from the school nurse to administer the drug to a 17-year-old severely handicapped student in her classroom, but failing to give it to the student on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3.
School officials notified police of their suspicions Oct. 4.
Forgot it: Police said Bortz told them she forgot to give the medication to the student Oct. 3 as a result of her taking too much of her own Ativan, some family problems and the fact that she was distracted by a number of seizures students had that day. Reports don't indicate what happened Oct. 2.
She is free on her own recognizance.
Schools Superintendent Karen Ionta wouldn't say whether Bortz was suspended.

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