A Lynchburg, Virginia teacher is in hot water after subjecting her third grade students to a lie detector test. The incident happened on Valentine’s Day. Students were celebrating the holiday, and candy had been brought into the classroom. However, things went sour when some candy went missing.
The teacher, who has not been named to media sources, apparently pulled out her smartphone and looked for a lie detecting app. Then, each student was asked to participate by placing their thumbs on the phone’s screen while they were asked whether or not they had taken the missing candy. Allegedly, one student did not pass the test, although it has not been revealed whether or not that student was the actual candy culprit.
A parent whose child attends the third grade class at Dearington Elementary School spoke with the teacher after the incident. The teacher insisted that the lie detector test was administered in the spirit of fun and that some of the students had actually suggested the use of the app when the missing candy was discovered.
The fun quickly evaporated, with many kids being afraid to tell their parents about the incident and some even admitting to being nervous about the accuracy of the test itself.
“I was scared because what if it came back and said I did it when I really didn’t,” third grader Zimeyia Alexander is quoted as saying by media outlets.
Parents and guardians are more angry than scared. One parent noted that a lie detector is something “that belongs at a jail,” while another argued that the teacher should have notified parents before administering the test.
Disciplinary action against the teacher has not yet been decided upon, but some parents, including the PTO president, insist that the teacher should be terminated.
A brief review of several lie detector apps suggest that they are intended only for entertainment and do not actually perform the function of detecting lies. It seems advisable to take such caveats at face value and to not place too much faith in a smartphone as a lie detecting gadget.