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Teacher subjects third-graders to lie detector test with bogus smartphone app

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Lie Detector test app 640
Lie Detector test app 640

It's bad enough that a third-grade teacher at a Virginia elementary school forced her kids to submit to a lie detector test when some candy disappeared from the classroom. But the fact that the unnamed educator used a "thumb reader" smartphone app for the test makes the story even more bizarre. That's exactly what happened at Dearington Elementary School, where an entire third-grade class was subjected to the bogus truth-telling exam. Considering the age of the students (and that they had no way of realizing the silliness of the test equipment), parents are in an uproar over the situation.

As you'd imagine, many are calling for the teacher's firing, and she's getting little in the way of support from the local parent-teacher organization. “The phone test isn’t something used in the court of law, but it’s just the fact that the children were subjected,” Kelly Brown-Hampton, head of the PTO, told ABC News. “A lot of them were scared to tell their parents, fearing they would get in trouble.”

And what of the kids? To some, the experienced was almost traumatic. “I was scared because what if it came back and said I did it when I really didn’t,” said third-grader Zimeyia Alexander, speaking to local ABC affiliate WSET. Considering the utterly bogus, randomized nature of these apps, the odds of that scenario playing out were extraordinarily high. Sure enough, reports indicate at least one student "failed" the lie detector test.

Update: WSET reports that the teacher in question says the test was conducted "in good fun" and the idea actually originated from the students in her class. It appears the educator wasn't duped by a gag lie detector app, but parents remain livid they weren't notified beforehand that their kids would be put through the test — however lighthearted in nature it was meant to be. Reactions from some of the students also indicate they weren't clued in on the joke.