School board member’s husband a teacher, with prior drug arrest

Posted at 7:33 PM, Jul 24, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Members of the Richmond School Board are speaking out after the husband of one of their most vocal members was arrested on drug charges Tuesday night.

Richmond police said they received a tip that Demetrius Muhammed, the husband of board member ShondaHarris-Muhammed, was growing a marijuana plant on the back porch of the couple's North Side home.

And CBS 6 News’ Jon Burkett reports discovered this was not Muhammed’s first run-in with the law. In fact, court records show Muhammed was arrested and charged in February for possession of marijuana. Police tacked on a felony charge of manufacturing marijuana after police plucked a pot plant off his back porch Tuesday night.

Richmond Public Schools is now dealing with more drama.

"This is a very serious situation,” Jeff Bourne, chair of the RPS board, said. “It's our hope and belief that Ms. Harris-Muhammed will spend some time tending to her family’s needs during this difficult time,"

Shonda Harris-Muhammed was not charged with a crime, but does sit on a committee that vets potential teacher applicants and also is involved in disciplinary issues with students.

|| CBS 6 spoke with a legal analyst about why Shonda wasn't charged in the incident. Mark Holmberg explains, just click on the video below ||

Bourne said the board is considering whether the arrest poses a threat to her credibility.

"We are less than 24 hours into this, so we are trying to figure out what the appropriate course of action may be,” said Bourne. “We want to move forward and take appropriate action."

The board also issued a statement that reads in part, “that Mrs. Harris-Muhammed should devote all of her time and energy to the needs of her family during this difficult period." [BONUS: Click here to read the school board's complete statement]

As far as disciplinary actions, Bourne said the school board has been working on a code of conduct for members, but stressed that it is not yet finished and that incidents taking place now cannot be grandfathered in.

Additionally, Surry County confirms Demetrius Muhammed is a health and physical education teacher at a high school in the county. CBS 6 News is still waiting to hear back from Surry County officials about what the arrest could mean for his employment status.

Stay with CBS 6 News and for the latest updates on this developing story. 


|| SIDEBAR: CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone weighs in on what arrest of board member's husband. Click video for info. ||