Superintendent knowingly hired substitute teacher with criminal background

Florence School District One Superintendent Dr. Allie Brooks says the district was well aware a substitute teacher at Wilson High School had a criminal background when they hired him in February.

Nearly two weeks ago, Florence County deputies arrested Adrian Smith, 38, for assaulting a student at the school.

An incident report says he grabbed the student by the throat and shoved him into a wall down the hallway.

We requested a background check on Smith through the State Law Enforcement Division.

The report says he's been convicted of crimes dating back to the year 2000.

He's been arrested six times since 2000 and convicted of Criminal Domestic Violence, Possession of Marijuana, Trespassing and Petit Larceny.

Dr. Brooks says Smith was doing some work with Wilson High's athletic department and was doing a good job.

He says they did a background check through SLED, but went ahead and hired Smith as a substitute because he hadn't been arrested in the past seven years.

"If you note on the report, until the incident that occurred in May his last offense occurred in the year of 2006. And so, up until this coming or this past May he had not any documented offenses on the SLED report. And this particular incident, this young man up until this latest incident had not had any negative experiences at all involving employees or students," said Brooks.

He says they wanted to him give a second chance.

"People make mistakes," Brooks explained. "And we know that a mistake in the past doesn't necessarily mean that that person's service is in some way compromising to a situation involving future employment."

Some parents of students at Wilson High School are upset the district ignored Smith's criminal background.

They believe he should have never been allowed in a classroom.

"If your record is not proper, then you shouldn't even be considered as being hired. Especially if you have something like a CDV or any kind of criminal background," said Dimitri Johnson.

"I think that's the worst part," Inescha Horne said. "Like you know that he has a criminal background and still you allow him in to the school system. I mean it's crazy."

Smith's arrest has caused Dr. Brooks and the district to reassess matters. He says from now on they will look at the total criminal background in terms of offenses for a person looking to work, volunteer or mentor at the district.

We called Adrian Smith and were told by someone speaking on his behalf that he didn't want to comment.