SANDUSKY - A school board fired a longtime teacher after an investigation concluded she slept in class and repeatedly arrived late.
The Perkins Local Schools board in northwest Ohio voted Wednesday to fire Carol Smith, 72, after a referee in the matter said students had reported that the class was "unruly" while waiting for her to arrive and that students played computer games while she slept.
The report last month by referee Harry Taich said Ms. Smith's conduct was "totally unprofessional" and threatened the safety of her middle and high school students, the Sandusky Register reported.
"Leaving middle school and high school children unattended without adult supervision is an accident waiting to happen," Mr. Taich wrote.
The board's vote to fire the 34-year veteran teacher came after lengthy deliberations, board vice president Steve Schuster said.
Ms. Smith had been suspended without pay since April, after allegations arose that she discussed pornographic magazines with her freshman history class. Several students told administrators during the investigation that Ms. Smith often arrived late and slept during a study hall period.
Mr. Taich concluded that the discussion of the magazines as examples of sensationalism was an "honest mistake" but said he found evidence for the other allegations.
Ms. Smith testified she arrived late for her fifth-period history class a handful of times last year but did not fall asleep.
Ms. Smith has said she has health problems, including a sensitivity to light that requires her to rest her eyes, the newspaper reported.
Ms. Smith taught history and business classes this year at Perkins High School, said schools Superintendent Jim Gunner, who declined comment on the firing.
There was no answer to calls to Ms. Smith's home Thursday.
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