Community Reacting in Shock After Campbell County Teacher Arrested on Meth Charges

By: Jim Freeman Email
By: Jim Freeman Email

Campbell County (WVLT) - The Claiborne County Sheriff says it's the largest meth bust in the state this year.

Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman has the latest.

Four people are facing charges for manufacturing meth, including Charlisa Monday, Sharon Owen, and Jody Phillips.

But possibly the most shocking of the suspects is the last one; Stephen Pebley.

That's because he's made a career out of teaching generations of students at Campbell County High School.

If you live in Campbell County, chances are you already know Pebley.

The popular teacher, coach, and radio personality now faces charges that could put his whole career of helping others in jeopardy.

Steve Pebley was arrested and charged with manufacturing meth at his home in Claiborne County, just across the county line.

It has many in Campbell County, the community where he grew up and taught school, in shock and it's left his mother in tears.

"I've not been able to sleep. And I've just got a lump in my throat. The food won't even go down. I can't eat," said Yvonne Pebley, Stephen Pebley's mother.

Pebley's mom is not by herself, those who worked with Stephen are also in shock.

"It's a very unfortunate situation. We're very saddened by it," said Mark A. Wells, chairman of the Campbell County Board of Education.

"It was a shock. It caught all of us off guard and totally by surprise," said Bill Waddell, owner and manager of WLAF Radio and Cable TV in LaFollette.

In addition to teaching at Campbell County High School for 35 years, many of those spent in freshman english, the man many call "Peeb" was also a local radio personality as well as sportscaster for the local cable tv station.

"He was extremely popular. Nobody ever complained about him or his work. Just a great guy," says Bill Waddell.

And Bill Waddell adds that he had no clue.

"You would see no evidence from looking, listening or talking to him that he was involved in anything," said Waddell.

Stephen Pebley had been on the air for nearly 20 years.

For now, he's out of the classroom and off the air, but he's still in his mother's heart and in her prayers.

"And I just pray that all of this is going to come out good for him and he can get on with his life. That's my prayer," said Yvonne Pebley.

The attorney for Campbell County Schools, Dail Cantrell, says Steve Pebley did not report for work on Monday.

He says school board policy is that any employee that is arrested, for any purpose, is placed on automatic suspension with pay until the investigation is completed.

Pebley is scheduled to appear in Claiborne County court November 29th.


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