After some candy mysteriously vanished from a candy jar on Valentine’s Day, a third-grade teacher in Lynchburg, Va. was determined to get to the bottom of it.
The unnamed teacher may have taken things too far, though, when she allegedly made every student submit to a lie-detector test — which she downloaded as an app on her smartphone.
The mystery unfolded at Dearington Elementary School, reports WDBJ, the local CBS affiliate.
“It was an app where you put your thumb on the screen and a question appears, then the app tells you whether you’re telling the truth or not,” explained Kelly Brown-Hampton, the president of the Dearington Elementary’s parent-teacher organization, according to ABC News.
Brown-Hampton, who was two grandchildren at the school, told ABC News that one student didn’t pass the lie-detector test. It’s not clear if that student was, in fact, the candy bandit, or if the teacher believed that student to be guilty based on the results from the smartphone app.
The PTO president does not believe the teacher acted appropriately.
“The phone test isn’t something used in the court of law, but it’s just the fact that the children were subjected,” she told ABC. “A lot of them were scared to tell their parents, fearing they would get in trouble.”
The local ABS affiliate, WSET, interviewed some kids, and they concurred.
“I was scared because what if it came back and said I did it when I really didn’t,” said third-grader Zimeyia Alexander.
Parents were pretty steamed, too.
Nakida Henry, who has a child at Dearington Elementary, suggested that lie-detector tests don’t belong in a classroom setting.
“My kids are not in jail. They are at a school,” Henry told WSET. “They’re here to be educated, not to be considered criminals where they have to take a lie detector test about candy.”
School officials have declined requests by several media outlets for comment. They only say it’s a personnel issue, notes local NBC-affiliate WWBT.
There are a number of smartphone apps that profess to be lie detector tests.
Lie Detector by Ape Apps, for example, is “meant for entertainment purposes only,” according to the app’s description page.
The description page for Radioactive Lie Detector HD by Droid App Solutions says, “This is a fake app for fun, it really can not detect lies” [sic].