Fake teacher found at Ohio Web school

Sept. 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Students an an Internet school based in Ohio were taught by a former fast food worker with no academic credentials, education officials said.

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow fired teacher Marilyn Hiestand, who had hired a former student to conduct some of her lessons. The student, a former Burger King and hospital laundry worker, was without credentials and accessed the school's online system for teachers after Hiestand gave the assistant, who has not been identified, her username and password.

The Ohio State Board of Education said it will revoke Hiestand's license and the school fired her last week, StateImpact Ohio, a collaboration among NPR and public radio stations in Ohio, reported.

"She had in essence outsourced parts of her job to a former ECOT student and that's clearly against our policy," ECOT spokesman Nick Wilson said.

Hiestand told the school she hired the former student as an assistant at a rate of $10 an hour and was unaware it violated school or state rules. The assistant had been grading students' work, giving out assignments and answering questions -- all while students thought they were interacting with Hiestand.

The school does not use biometric devices such as fingerprint or retina scan technology to verify a teacher's identity, but Wilson said they have the ability to watch webcam interactions and phone conversations.

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