2 Nashville teachers accused of buying heroin - WSMV News 4

2 Nashville teachers accused of buying heroin

Posted: Updated:
Joshua Johnson Joshua Johnson
Michael Clendening Michael Clendening

Two Nashville teachers are facing charges after allegedly buying heroin in a parking lot.

Joshua Taylor Johnson, 30, and Michael Clendening, 46, are both instructors at Dupont Tyler Middle Prep.

Two Operation Safer Streets detectives just happened to be driving by the Burger King on Charlotte Pike when they noticed something suspicious on Saturday night. 

"They saw two vehicles close together, and while that may not mean anything to you or me, to them, it meant the possibility of a drug transaction taking place," said Metro Police Spokesman Don Aaron.

After the deal, officers followed the car and stopped it on 14th Avenue North. Johnson, who was driving the car, and Clendening reportedly admitted to both buying 2 grams of heroin. 

Police found two plastic baggies of heroin, valued at $800, in the air vent of the car.

Johnson is the school’s football and wrestling coach, as well as a physical education teacher. He has been with Metro Schools for six years.

Clendening is an art teacher who has been with Metro Schools for 10 years. He wrote on his MNPS profile that he loves to teach problem solving to kids for real world application.

At a time when it is hard to be surprised by anything, people were surprised. 

"Wow, wow, wow, I don't even know what to say," said Amanda Dennis of Hermitage.

"We talk about children first. Really? Where's the accountability? Teachers? Not pot, not out having a beer with friends ... people, come on, really?" said Don Sturgis of Hermitage.

Metro Schools officials said both teachers have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. They added that school safety is a priority and they will follow the case to determine if further action needs to be taken. 

"Certainly you don't want individuals involved in drugs, heroin in particular, to be in a school setting," Aaron said. "The heroin trade is very dangerous to people on the streets in these public sales. It's also dangerous when being ingested; we've seen a number of overdose cases over the years as a result of heroin."

Johnson and Clendening, both charged with misdemeanor heroin possession, are scheduled to be in court Nov. 6. Police said they were not arrested because they do not have any outstanding warrants or a history of failing to appear in court.

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