Leslie Carlson (Provided by Thornton police)

Thornton teacher arrested, accused of providing students alcohol, edibles

A teacher at Pinnacle Charter School in Thornton has been arrested on suspicion of providing alcohol and marijuana edibles to students, police said Friday.

The woman is accused of giving three students, ranging in age from 14-18, alcohol at “various places in the city of Thornton, but not at the high school,” police said.

Police said later Friday that they are also investigating allegations she gave students marijuana edibles.

Leslie Carlson, 28, is being held in connection with the accusations. She has been fired from her high school teaching job.

“The time frame of the allegations has yet to be determined,” Sgt. Matt Kandt said in a statement.

Police began investigating Carlson on Friday after the high school alerted them to the allegations. Officials say she is accused of contributing to the delinquency of minors.

“I know why I became a teacher,” Carlson posted on Facebook last May. “These kids are amazing. I’m lucky to work with them, not the other way around. I hope they know that.”

Police say Carlson has been placed into custody during the course of their investigation.

“We substantiated that the relationships she was having with students was inappropriate and we terminated her,” William Wiener, the charter school’s executive director, told The Denver Post.

Wiener declined to comment at length on the allegations, but said the teacher broke policies including ones barring educators from having students at their homes and being friends with them on social media.

“At this school we do believe in teacher-student relationships on a positive basis,” Wiener said.

Wiener said the school put Carlson on administrative leave 30 minutes after learning of the allegations on Monday. The school launched an internal investigation before terminating Carlson and handing the case off to police.

Wiener alerted staff to the allegations in an e-mail on Friday, writing: “It’s during times of stress that we really come together as a community. The events of this week have been one of those times.”

This story was first published on DenverPost.com