PHILADELPHIA, PA -- A viewer tip to a Phialdephia television station resulted in the abrupt termination of Freddie Dean Smith by a Pennsylvania school district after just one day on the job.
Investigative Reporter Wendy Saltzman of WPVI-TV Action News, the local ABC affiliate, was alerted to Smith’s hiring on Monday after a viewer did an online search for “Freddie Dean Smith” and found numerous articles on Smith’s depraved, criminal past on Talk of the Sound.
Robert Cox of Talk of the Sound provided information to Saltzman including police records, photographs and other details on Smith and was interviewed via Skype. Some of that interview is used in the video and in the article on the 6abc.com web site.
Talk of the Sound has been reporting on Smith’s sordid past including numerous numerous criminal convictions including two for sex crimes, others for assault, check fraud and more. He was convicted of a felony in Virginia in 2002, less than six months before he was licensed as an administrator in New York State and went to work in the White Plains School District. His job applications are filled with numerous false claims such as graduating from the elite Phillips Exeter Academy, receiving a non-existent Frederick Douglas fellowship at Clarion University, and working at elementary schools in Prince Georges County that do not exist, among many others.
As a result of Talk of the Sound reporting, Smith was banned as an educator in Maryland and Virginia. He is banned is New York City and New Jersey.
After speaking with Cox, Saltzman went looking for Smith at Chester High School in Chester, PA where Smith was hired as Vice Principal but was unable to locate him. She was unable to track him down.
The next day, Saltzman went back to Chester High School where she confronted Superintendent Dr. Juan Baughn on camera (the full confrontation is linked to her story on 6abc.com)
Dr. Baugh repeatedly referred Saltzman to a written statement provided by the District’s PR firm.
Full statement from Chester Upland School District:
It is our standard procedure to conduct criminal background checks on all new hires before they begin employment with the school district. The check performed on Freddie Dean Smith did not reveal any misconduct related to sexual assault.
Mr. Smith was only with the school district for one day as per diem assistant principal. He took part in training sessions during which he had no unsupervised contact with students.
He is no longer with the district. As always, the safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority.
Read Saltzman’s article here:
Her report was picked up on the AP Wire:
The State of New York Education Department has refused repeated requests from Talk of the Sound and state legislators including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Education Committee member Assemblywoman Amy Paulin to explain how Smith was licensed despite a recent felony conviction and why he retains his license despite the felony conviction, lying about his criminal background to every school district who employed him in New York State and the revocation of his doctorate from the University of Virginia for extensive plagiarism.
Smith has been able to use reciproical licensing agreements with other states to "renew" licenses in Maryland and Virginia. The Pennsylvani Education Department did not respond to requests as to whether Smith had obtained an administrative license from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.