Teacher: I helped students cheat because they were ‘dumb as hell’

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ATLANTA — A former fifth-grade teacher was quite frank when asked why she helped students cheat, telling another teacher she offered extra assistance on a test because she thought her kids were “dumb as hell.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution broke the news on the cheating scandal, reporting Atlanta math teacher Shayla Smith was part of a city-wide investigation that has implicated approximately 180 public school teachers.

Smith, who was fired after a tribunal found her guilty of willful neglect and immorality, was overheard explaining to another teacher why she provided her students with an answer key to a test.

“The words were, ‘I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they’re dumb as hell,’” Schajuan Jones, the teacher who heard the conversation, told the newspaper.

Jones wasn’t the only individual to accuse Smith of helping students cheat. One of her former students said the former teacher offered her an answer key to a math test in 2010.

Among the evidence the tribunal cited in Smith’s firing was a series of suspicious erasure marks on her students’ exams that the tribunal said marked a “practically impossible frequency of changes from wrong to right (answers).”

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