Dayton elementary school teacher on paid leave amid investigation

DAYTON — A Dayton Public Schools elementary school teacher with more than 20 years with the district has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Kelly Smith, second grade teacher at Cleveland Elementary School, was placed on paid administrative leave Sept. 11, according to records in Smith’s personnel file obtained by News Center 7.

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“Any time a concern about staff conduct is brought forward, the Dayton Public School District does a thorough investigation,” said Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli. “We do not comment on individual personnel situations.”

Smith was told to not be on district property or remove any job-related materials from the premises while on leave, according to personnel file records.

The district declined to release any additional details on their investigation.

In November 2017, Smith was suspended for one day without pay after she “spanked” or “swatted” a second grade student “four times on the bottom,” according to hearing records in her personnel file.

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Afterward she reportedly left the student unsupervised in the hallway to wait for a safety and security officer.

Smith denied spanking the student and leaving them alone in the hallway.

“The Union asserts that Ms. Smith repeatedly tapped a student’s bottom in ‘shoo-ing’ motion while saying ‘scoot,’” according to hearing records.

She was also placed on paid administrative leave in May 1997 pending an investigation after an “alleged altercation” with a student while teaching at Van Cleve Elementary School, according to personnel records.

The student was removed from Smith’s classroom and placed with another teacher.

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Smith has taught at the district for more than 20 years, working mainly as a first and second grade teacher.

Smith has been a teacher for Cleveland Elementary School, Van Cleve Elementary School, Patterson Kennedy Elementary School and World of Wonder Elementary School.