Two Northshore elementary principals on leave after alleged cocaine use
Jun 2, 2023, 12:48 PM | Updated: 3:34 pm
(Photo from KIRO 7)
High on cocaine with a loaded gun – that’s what Redmond police say they saw when they confronted a local elementary school principal at a QFC.
The incident has now led to two elementary school principals in the Northshore School District – husband and wife, Michael and Meghan Griffin – to be placed on administrative leave.
Michael Griffin is the principal at Sunrise Elementary, while Meghan Griffin is the principal at Moorlands Elementary.
“It gives me goosebumps to kind of think that this stuff is happening,” said Aaron Gazes, a parent of a seven-year-old at Moorlands. “You have people looking up to you, it hurts bad. Because we’re down here and we’re trusting you. But the trust is just shot,” he said.
The district’s action is in response to the QFC incident that happened on April 30th.
Police documents say Mr. Griffin was “in a paranoid state likely under the influence of cocaine”. A responding corporal said Griffin had “dilated pupils”, and “visible white powder on his lips”, and was making “delusional statements.”
Griffin also “took his pistol to QFC chambered and unsecured in his front sweatshirt pocket”.
Documents say his eyes were darting around the parking lot, that Griffin at one point yelled at a stranger before his wife intervened, pointed to “uninvolved people,” and “believed his wife was in danger possibly being trafficked.” The police narrative also said Griffin had two bags filled with valuables and documents from his home that he tried to give to the Corporal to hold.
Police say Griffin was involuntarily taken to the hospital.
The district says it put Griffin on leave on May 9 after learning about the incident.
Then on May 30, the district also placed his wife, Meghan Griffin, on leave. The principal at Moorlands Elementary sent out a letter to families, saying it did so because the district “became aware of statements made by Principal Meghan Griffin in a police report.”
The district doesn’t specify the content, but KIRO7 obtained the handwritten statement Meghan Griffin gave to Redmond police.
She wrote in her opening line, “Our recreational drug use began about a year ago while on vacation. It increased recently.” She went on to detail her husband’s worsening paranoia.
“Michael and I went to see our primary care doctor on March 22, 2023. The doctor told us we needed to stop the use of cocaine and that at the next check-up, the doctor would do a full workup to check for anything else that could be causing the delusions,” Meghan Griffin wrote.
Gazes says as a parent, he hopes the Northshore School District will learn from the experience.
“I leave my kid, and I trust he’s safe for the whole day. Right now I don’t,” Gazes said. “One school is enough. Two schools? I don’t want to believe something is broken within the district. I want to think it’s a one-off and someone just made a mistake and they will do whatever it takes to make right,” he said.
He’s appalled that students were under the Griffins’ leadership, while trouble – apparently involving drugs and firearms – was unfolding behind the scenes.
“If you have a problem, get help. That’s it. Until then, you cannot be around kids,” Gazes said.
Redmond police said no criminal charges were filed, but officers did apply for an Extreme Risk Protection Order, and now Griffin’s firearms are in police custody.
“The Redmond Police Department fears that Griffin’s paranoia will only continue to increase and could cause him to end up in an altercation with an uninvolved party.
Moreover, ‘Griffin’s mental state and access to firearms are made even more concerning as he is the principal at a local elementary school,” court documents said.
The school district said it can’t comment further on the incident because it’s a personnel matter, but said it will “continue investigating and take appropriate action.”