Susan Tartagini-Pacelli, known to her students as Mrs. Pacelli, allegedly had alcohol on her breath and could not stop crying February 23, according to letters sent to her by the superintendent of schools.
She was suspended the next day and can request a hearing before her contract is terminated.
"I don't think any teacher should be drinking on the job," said Marcia Marone, waiting to pick up her daughter after school. "They're there to teach our children and to give them values. So how can you be a teacher and do that?"
The letters to Mrs. Pacelli from Superintendent Neil Cavallaro accuse her of placing "your students in a potentially dangerous situation". They also accuse her of refusing to be tested for drugs and alcohol.
There was no answer at her address. There was no call returned from either the superintendent's office or the teachers' union, whose spokesman told the New Haven Register that reaction to a lack of medication could have been responsible for the incident.