Former LBJ HS teacher faces felony charges for giving student "morning after pill"



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Posted on February 8, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 9 at 10:48 AM

AUSTIN -- Many of her former students and players describe Tracy Steinberg as an amazing woman and wonderful coach, but some say Steinberg took her loyalty to her students too far last month.

"Originally found out from the parent, that the allegation was that one of our teachers at LBJ High School had provided the morning after pill to a student," said Austin Independent School District Police Captain Eric Mendez.

According to a police affidavit, Steinberg noticed a 16-year-old student crying in her class. The student explained that she had unprotected sex with her boyfriend and was scared she might be pregnant.

The affidavit shows that Steinberg went to Planned Parenthood office at 183 and Burnet Road and purchased an emergency contraceptive that she gave to the girl.

According to police, the student said after taking two pills, she felt nauseated and lightheaded and was having back pain and became frightened. The girl ultimately told her mother who called police.

"It was a very unique case when it came to us," Mendez said. "We had to make sure that we looked at every angle and possibility in the case to make sure we understood what the pill was and how it worked."

Investigators said the girl was given the "morning after pill" or Plan B. Pharmacists say it works like a glorified birth control pill.

"It works much like a birth control pill, but it's about eight to 10 times stronger. It is used to prevent the implantation of a fertile egg," explained Apothecary Shop pharmacist Tom Schnorr, R.Ph.

The "morning after pill" does not terminate a pregnancy, and Schnorr says it has no serious short term effects. It is, however, intended for women 17 years or older, and by law anyone under 17, like the LBJ student, needs a prescription to get it.

"A teacher is in essence, I guess, believes she is helping the student and in reality, it's a parental decision," Mendez said.

Steinberg says she can't comment on the charges. She did say she's getting support from former students.

One student wrote, "If your teacher is not concerned...shouldn't that be a problem? Don't prosecute her for simply doing her job."

Steinberg was hired by AISD in August 2010. She is currently out on $15,000 bond. If she is found guilty of delivery of a dangerous drug, she could face up to two years in a state jail facility.

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