Berryville Primary Refuses to Release Student to Intoxicated Parent

Berryville-PrimaryOn Wednesday afternoon officials at Berryville Primary School were forced to contact local police when the parent of a student appeared to be intoxicated on school property.

According to police, 36 years old, Tyson E. Martin of Berryville was attempting to pick up his child when school staff observed that he appeared to be intoxicated. Based on their observations they refused to release the child into his custody. Unable to pick up the child, he left the school property on foot. School officials then contacted the Berryville Police to report the incident.

The responding officer found Mr. Martin walking down W. Main Street and determined that he was intoxicated in public. The Code of Virginia states that for public intoxication, the offender is given the option to be transported to an inebriate center in lieu of arrest. Mr. Martin chose to be transported to the Starting Point Inebriate Center in Winchester.


  1. Common Sense says:

    This is probably the kind of report that does not need to be reported.

    • I disagree. I applaud and appreciate the willingness of the staff to intervene in a touchy situation.

      • Michelle Graham says:

        yes, but imagine the embarassment of the child and family. The staff is to be commended for their actions, but the press should have left out names.

        • Jeane Cromer says:

          Well said Michelle. Some people have “feelings”. And I’m sure that child will have “bad” feelings for quite some time.

  2. Clarke County Caucasian says:

    The social urge to insulate substance abusers from their own actions and choices simply makes it easier for the abuser to continue the behavior. If the parent had placed the child in his car and then caused an accident would you feel the same way about protecting his identity?

    I am glad that the school contacted the police, not only for the sake of the child but also for the sake of our community. Most people today see substance abuse as a treatable problem, not as an embarrassment. Luckily, we’ll all quickly forget this incident but it could easily have resulted in a different outcome.

  3. Lonnie Bishop says:

    Well said, CCC. The fact that the man was arrested for being drunk in public made his name a part of public record. Also, in this day and time, the kid doesn’t necessarily have his last name, so there is some shielding in that.

    The point is that the school staff did the right thing and actually took a stand against someone being drunk in this county.

  4. Concerned says:

    I wish you would think about the child before your write this type of story. It is the responsibility of the school, but the last thing this town needs is a gossip. I pray for the child, mother and other siblings. I pray that they can get past this horrible publicity. You should STOP and think…What if this was you. I am sure you have some hidden issues that you wouldn’t want in the paper…..

    • Jeane Cromer says:

      Well said concerned. Previous comments are troubling to me. The man is probably sick, and I guess the previous commenters would like to rid Clarke County of all sick people( Cancer, Lupus, etc)

      • Lonnie Bishop says:

        Wow…you really are reaching for something that makes sense, and grasping at air, with that one.

        • Jeane Cromer says:

          No, Mr. Bishop, just commenting with the benefit of an education coupled with compassion. But you are correct: I should cease feeding the non dot-connecting trolls.

          • Lonnie Bishop says:

            The only reason nobody attempted to connect the dots you put down is because there is no rhyme or reason to them. Your “guess” was way off the mark, and a rather heavy-handed dismissal.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      If we applied your logic, then NO crime wouold ever go reported, as EVERY criminal has a family who shouldn’t be embarrassed.

      Again, it’s a part of public record as the man was arrested and formally charged with a crime. If that element had not been there, there wouldn’t be a name in the story.

      Every week or so, a public listing is given of grand jury indictments, identifying who did what to whom. A docket is posted daily outside the courthouse doors, identifying who is on trial for what against whom. Every year, delinquent tax payers’ names are posted in the local media. All of that should cease, too?

  5. I for one am glad to see this. Many times my child wants to play or have a “sleep over party” at someone’s house who I don’t know all that well. Perhaps you would think twice about sending your child to play in an environment such as this.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      Easy now. Let’s not paint all of Berryville with the incendiary “”…think twice about sending your child to play in en environment as this.” That’s not necessary.

      On the whole, it’s a great town. Don’t let this one incident even remotely represent the whole town.

      • Right Winger says:

        I don’t think James was talking about Berryville. I think he was referring to the drunk.

  6. Sounds like you guys should just meet up at Jane’s Lunch and continue the platform for gossip. It’s a very sad story that was handled by the staff properly…they are the one’s that should be commended!

  7. I’m new to this forum, but would like to point out that, unless the staff at JWMS are professionally trained to identify an intoxicated person, the presses actions are most in-appropriate. If there is reason to believe a person is intoxicated, by all means, notify the police. Let the professionals be the judge. This man could of had a couple of drinks at one of the publicly funded Apple bloosom festival lunches or in their golf tournament. He could have been so distraught, not being able to pick up his own child, that he had more to drink before the police stopped him.
    The fact remains, we don’t have the full picture. I know this news sight is trying to do what is right. This time, they really blew it! I hope the family can cope.

    • Right Winger says:

      First of all, it was Berryville Primary, not JWMS. Second of all, they DID notify the police when they suspected a problem and did the right thing by not allowing the child to leave until they could be assured of the child’s safety. Thirdly, this event occurred before any of the Apple Blossom events were going on. Lastly, the guy was observed staggering away from the Primary School after he was not allowed to pick up his child. The cops came up on him then, so I don’t think he was able to grab another drink or 12.

    • Lonnie Bishop says:

      First, as you are new, please spell-check your post. Even if you had a cogent thing to offer, it got lost in the myriad typos and errors.

      Second, you got so many basic facts wrong, it almost seems like you didn’t read the article.

      Third, the school staff are required to report (mandated, even) any behavior that is suspicious and potentially detrimental to a student in their care. For that, in this instance, they are to be commended.

  8. Actually the facts seem quite clear since the guy was picked up by the police and placed in a drunk tank.

  9. Tried, judged, convicted. I’m glad you know the facts.

  10. Mom of 4 says:

    Sounds to me as though Bruce has had some experience with being “accused, tried, convicted” as he says. The school system does have a duty, in fact any school personnel have the duty to make sure the children are safe while in their custody.

    I’m sure in this day and age the parent had some personal issues going on but, the middle of the day was not a proper time to drown his sorrows in alcohol. Imagine if he had been picking up his child’s friend for a playdate that afternoon. Imagine if that had been your child getting in a vehicle with a drunken parent.

    The staff did the right thing, the parent didn’t. I’m sure the child has had more embarrassing situations with this parent than not being allowed to leave school.