Private High School Principal Arrested On Drug Charges

A principal is supposed to be your "pal" in the old spelling mnemonic, but not a member of your partying posse. Someone should have told 54-year-old Thomas Woodrow "Woody" Price, who just lost his job and his freedom from the court system after police allegedly found him in a hotel room on the day after his birthday with a drug stash and an unconscious 21-year-old woman, Brittney Hall, according to the Marin Independent Journal.

Price was booked on October 3 on suspicion of drug possession for sale after police found what they suspected was cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin. He was the principal of the Branson School, a "prestigious Marin County high school" with 320 students in grades 9 through 12, according to KPIX-TV. The school's alumni include Olympic gold medalist Jonny Moseley, Julia Child, and Edie Sedgwick, according to KGO-TV.

Police had been alerted to Price's presence at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Rancho Cordova, California by a man who identified himself as Hall's boyfriend, as KPIX reported.

"Officers in our contract city of Rancho Cordova went to a local motel room. This was in response to a guy who called our communications center and was concerned about a girl he referred to as his girlfriend," said [Sacramento County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Jason ] Ramos. "He basically told us that she was in the company of an older guy and he was concerned that this guy was either giving her drugs or doing drugs with her and he didn't think it was a good situation for her to be in."

Police knocked on the hotel door, which was opened by Price a minute after they began to knock. Officers reported that there were drugs and paraphernalia in the room and the unconscious Hall on the bed. Price, who is a married father, according to the Daily Mail, reportedly described the relationship between the two as a "casual hookup." Once they were able to bring Hall around, police arrested the pair.

Although Price is out of custody, Hall remains at the Sacramento County Main Jail on multiple felony charges with bail set at $75,000, as an online arrest record at the sheriff's website revealed. Both Price and Hall have their next court date on October 14.

According to the Independent Journal, the Branson School released a statement Monday night:

We have recently been made aware that our head of school, Thomas W. Price, has allegedly been arrested. We have not been able to confirm that report. The alleged incident did not occur on campus and did not involve any students at our school. As of this afternoon, Dr. Price is not on campus and has tendered his resignation.

We are deeply troubled by these developments. We want you to be assured that our school leadership team and our board of trustees are fully committed to the health and well-being of your children. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Once we have more information, we will be communicating with the school community.

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