Marie Johnson had planned on spending her birthday having sushi with her husband and two children.
Instead, the math teacher spent her 41st birthday Saturday alone inside a jail cell.
Her meal? Grits, bread and a sausage that didn't taste like meat, Johnson said Sunday in a jailhouse interview with Livermore Patch during visiting hours.
"We also get a potato-type thing that you're glad to get because it's warm," she added.
Johnson, who was arrested Wednesday is being held at Dublin's Santa Rita Jail in lieu of $1.85 million bail.
in Dept. 701 of the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton.
Johnson refused to comment on the case but discussed her life over these past few days, saying she's receiving death threats and is worried about her family.
"Jail life is really hard, and it's definitely a punishment," she said. "The criminal justice system says you're innocent until proven guilty, but everyone has already decided I'm guilty."
She said she's heard of death threats and been screamed at while being transported in and out jail.
"These are people I've never met," she said.
Johnson said she is considered a "high-profile" inmate and is on a suicide watch, meaning she isn't allowed a spoon during meals and is not given any socks. However, she was able to borrow a book — The Clan of the Cavebear — and got a pair of slippers.
"I've never been in trouble before. I try to live a good life," she said. "I want to do the right thing. I really do."
Johnson's day usually starts at 3:30 a.m. — that is if a screaming inmate who kicks doors and other stuff doesn't wake her up first. High-profile inmates are given an hour each day outside their cells in what is called "common time," she said.
"Most of the (corrections) officers have been respectful and kind," she said.
But for the most part, Johnson is kept alone in a small cell with a toilet.
"Sit in a bathroom. See how long you can sit there. See how long you can go without talking to anyone," she said.
When asked if she had a message for her students, , Johnson said there is so much she would like to say but decided against it.
"Being a teacher is so important to me," she said.
Johnson earned her teaching credential in 1999 from then California State University, Hayward. She started her teaching career at Granada High 13 years ago.
She credits her family for supporting her in her career.
And it's her family that she is now thinking and worrying about most.
"My husband is having to hold everything together all by himself," she said, beginning to cry. "Right now I'm relying on the village to take care of my children."