April 12th , 2013 17:38 pm 23 Comments

Hampton Elementary teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with student

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Police say a 30-year-old teacher at Hampton Elementary School sent more than 400 sexually explicit messages and photographs in one month to one of his 13-year-old students.

Photo by Brandon HicksHampton High School teacher Kelly Smith is escorted into the Carter County Jail by Sheriff's Department officers. He was charged Friday with solicitation of a person under 18 years of age and solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Hampton Elementary School teacher Kelly Smith is escorted into the Carter County Jail by Sheriff’s Department officers. He was charged Friday with solicitation of a person under 18 years of age and solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct.

Kelly Andrae Smith was charged Friday with solicitation of a person under 18 years of age and solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct after investigators said they discovered text and Facebook messages sent to the young girl he first met in his classroom.

“This is one of the most disturbing cases of this type that I have seen,” Carter County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Lt. Mike Little said, noting that Smith sent messages to the victim as late as Thursday, before he was located by officers and interviewed.

Sheriff Chris Mathes said the victim’s mother discovered the explicit messages on her daughter’s phone and immediately reported them to police.

“It was a case of good parenting,” he said. “I encourage all parents to look at their kids’ cellphones. In this case, the parent checking the phone is what brought this to light. If she hadn’t been doing that, who knows what would have happened or where it may have led?”

Before this arrest, Smith was on unpaid suspension from his job teaching sixth-grade social studies stemming from an unrelated arrest by city police in February on second offense DUI charges.

That case is still pending in Carter County General Sessions Court.

Smith was booked on the charges Friday and later released on a $10,000 bond.

He is scheduled to appear in Court on the new felony charges on June 3.

For complete details, read Sunday’s edition of the STAR.

Comments

23 Responses to Hampton Elementary teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with student

  1. Darlene Young says:

    It will be interesting to see what happens to this teacher. When a similar incident happened at Hampton High School, that teacher was promoted to the Central Office.

  2. WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO????? YOU HAVE TO BE AFRAID TO SEND YOUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL. I AM VERY DISTURBED ABOUT THIS ISSUE AS A PARENT AND GRANDPARENT OF TWO GIRLS. BUT IT DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN TO GIRLS THESE DAYS…. MAYBE IF PRAYERS AND GOD HAD NEVER BEEN REMOVED FROM SCHOOLS THERE WOULD BE LESS OF AN ISSUE. WE ALL NEED TO PRAY FOR OUR CHILDREN THAT THEY CAN ATTEND SCHOOL AND NOT BE MISTREATED AND MISGUIDED BY PEOPLE WE ARE TO BE ABLE TO TRUST…..

    • Non-stamp Collector says:

      Don’t excuse his behavior because we apparently have taken god out of the school system. There is organized prayer at this school.

      Clearly if we had prayer and worship all the time, this wouldn’t have happened. Well, should we take this discussion to the church itself? How about we talk to the thousands of children raped by men of the cloth. If anything, that would be sanctioned by god as it has happened in his house.

      Wake up and realize there are sick people in this world and no amount of prayer or god-talk will make it go away.

      • Brad Woods says:

        Thank you Non-stamp collector. Someone who actually has a true objective opinion on the matter. I really get tired of people who say that if we just would have prayed it would not have happened. I mean they dont really believe that do they?! It has to be some sort of subjective-internal mechanism that makes them feel better about the situation, kind of like having family and friends around when you’ve lost someone important.

    • Jesus Jones says:

      This guy went to church…he considered himself a christian. Is praying in schools going to help this? No. God is not going to look down and say, “uh oh Mr. Smith is sending inappropriate messages to a former student, someone better pray.” What this guy did is horrible, and your God let it happen.

    • Mikki Dugger says:

      By no means am I going to be hateful to you Ms Michelle, but I must agree with these other people. Just because prayers have been taken out of schools, or however, it still means nothing. People of the cloth, as the others have stated are just as bad. The Catholic Church has many charges against them, and I can name off quite a few “Preachers” that have been in trouble as well. We are not as “PROTECTED BY PRAYER AND CHURCH” as you may believe. God is in our hearts and in our souls. Regardless of where we are. It doesn’t matter if we are in a building or not. If you have it in your mind that you are going to hurt someone, you are going to. So please… Before you lay blame, Think about where you point your finger.

  3. he was my 6th grade teacher and is currently my little sisters 6th grade teacher wounder how many other students there were probably tons!

  4. deanboy says:

    Castrate him; then jail him with Big Bubba as his cellmate.

  5. jpm125@yahoo.com says:

    u think he will just get a hundred dollar fine also

  6. disqus_J23tKhP3mz says:

    ELIZABETHTON � A Hampton High School student who said she was sexually harassed last year by an elementary school teacher has filed a federal lawsuit against the Carter County Board of Education and the former teacher, Mark McClain.

    In the suit, Mary Frances Reams seeks $300,000 from the school board in compensatory damages; $300,000 in compensatory damages from McClain and $300,000 in punitive damages from McClain.
    The suit was filed on behalf of the juvenile by her mother, Barbara Cole.

    Reams and Cole said shortly after the beginning of the 2006-07 academic year McClain �began a course of inappropriate conduct of romantic and sexual nature directed towards Miss Reams.�

    Reams said that she received as many as 50 text messages a day from McClain, professing his love for her and telling her his relationship with his wife was not good.

    Cole said she discovered the communications on Oct. 31, 2006, and also learned that on two occasions McClain had placed sexually explicit Rrated movies in her lunch box.

    The next day Cole went to McClain�s principal at Hampton Elementary School to complain. She said the principal declined to review the text mes- sages she had copied. After contacting the school system administration, the principal said McClain would be reprimanded and instructed to have no further contact with Reams.

    Cole said McClain ignored the no-contact directive and she said she saw McClain in close proximity to her daughter. She said she brought these observations to the principal and administrators.

    During this time, McClain�s brother, Danny McClain, was the principal of Reams� high school and McClain�s father, Bobby McClain, was chairman of the Carter County Board of Education.

    The lawsuit alleges that the �deliberate indifference to the harassment� constituted discrimination on the basis of gender and a violation of Reams� constitutional rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

    In an effort to publicize her concerns, Cole picketed the central office for several weeks last year. Her protests ended when the school board suspended McClain. He later submitted his letter of resignation.

    Last summer McClain pleaded no contest in Carter County Sessions Court on charges stemming from the distribution of the R-rated movies. Judge John Walton found McClain guilty of sale, loan or exhibition of materials to minors. He fined McClain $100 and court costs, placed him on supervised probation and ordered him to have no contact with Reams.

  7. disqus_J23tKhP3mz says:

    Why was this forgotten guess money worth more than the safety of our children

  8. Former student of Smith says:

    Yes, what Mr. Smith did was wrong but he is a human and people make mistakes. I know the true side of Mr. Smith and he is a fantastic teacher and an outstanding person. He’s a genuinely nice man and I loved talking to him in-between classes. We discussed music, History, and other things. We even had our own handshake that only him and I had. I hope and pray to God he gets his job back, just like the other one who did the same thing at HHS did. But I guess it all depends on who your daddy is in Carter County.

    • Jesus Jones says:

      You really think he deserves his job back?! He sent an underage former student pictures of himself. Do you really want him around your children?

    • Non-stamp Collector says:

      How you can attribute this to nothing more than simple human indiscretion is appalling. This is not a mistake, sending messages and pictures to a young girl is calculating. He is nothing more then a manipulative pervert doing what he does best. My only hope is that our broken justice system can pull itself together without regard to the good-ol-boy system Carter Co. is so notorious for having.

  9. YES I UNDERSTAND THAT GOD AND PRAYER IN SCHOOLS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT THIS MAN HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF. I WAS JUST ACTUALLY TRYING TO BE NICE. THE ISSUE THAT I REALLY HAVE IS THAT YOU HAVE TO BE AFRAID TO SEND YOUR CHILDREN AROUND ANYONE YOU DONT PERSONALLY KNOW AND THEN SOMETIMES YOU CANT EVEN SEND THEM AROUND PEOPLE YOU DO KNOW. BUT ALSO HE HAD ALREADY BEEN SUSPENDED FOR ANOTHER CHARGE NOT RELATED. I HAVE NO USE FOR PEOPLE THAT WANT TO PREY ON CHILDREN NONE AT ALL ESPECIALLY IN OUR SCHOOL SYSTEMS. I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT I KNOW WHAT I FEEL AND THAT IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME AND I AM NOT TRYING TO OFFEND ANYONE,I WAS JUST SO APPAULED BY THIS NEWS AS I AM SURE ALOT OF PEOPLE ARE.

  10. I AM NOT BLAMING ANYONE. I JUST KNOW FOR A FACT YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL WHO YOUR CHILDREN ARE AROUND AND YES IT DOES HAPPEN EVERYWHERE. I PERSONALLY TRUST NO ONE BUT I HAVE TO SEND MY CHILDREN TO SCHOOL; SO I PRAY FOR THEM DAILY AND THEY ALSO PRAY EVERY MORNING BEFORE SCHOOL AND THAT IS WHAT THEY WISH TO DO AND THAT IS THE WAY WE DO .I REALLY CANT EXPRESS WHAT I REALLY NEED TO SAY NOR DO I HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO WASTE . I DONT HAVE TO ANSWER FOR HIS ACTIONS AS I SAID BEFORE .

  11. Redditor says:

    1. Please, turn off your CAPS LOCK key. Capitalizing everything in a message is the online equivalent of yelling, and frankly, hard to read.

    2. While I agree with everyone here that the actions in question are reprehensible, and deserving of high punishment, everyone seems to labor under the assumption that this man is guilty. He has been arrested on charges. No evidence, either for or again the case, has been presented. Neither the accused or alleged victim has had a say, and no jury has been presented with any fact/circumstance/conjecture. Please, do try to remember that a man is innocent until proven guilty. We do not live in an age of lynch mobs…or at least we should not. The call to storm jails to hang untried men is ignorant, incendiary, and illegal. Wait until you actually know the facts of a situation before you make judgement. This is a man’s future you are condemning…at least wait until you know more than gossip.

    And no, this is not coming from someone with no interest in this case. I come from a family where sexual molestation occurred, and Mr. Smith is my nieces’ teacher.

    And for those who say PRAYER IN SCHOOL IF WE ALL LIVED GODLY LIVES THIS WOULD NOT HAPPEN, then judge not, lest ye be judged.

  12. Dean Glover says:

    $10,000 bond what a joke. He should be held without bond; and have the hell stomped out of him until he is crammed up under the jail!!!

  13. [...] Hampton Elementary teacher accused of inappropriate relationship with student [...]

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