School Board: Teacher who fell asleep twice in class has license suspended

School Board: Teacher who fell asleep twice in class has license suspended
Rudolph C. Smith (Source: Al Cannon Detention Center)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Board of Education says they have suspended a teacher’s license after he was suspended for falling asleep in class and possessing narcotics away from school grounds.

The school board says Rudolph C. Smith has had his South Carolina professional educator certificate suspended for two years.

An order of suspension from the SCBE says Smith was found asleep on the carpet in his classroom while a student remained unattended on both Oct. 14, 2019 and Oct. 24, 2019.

The school board says Smith was employed by the Charleston County School District as a Resource K-3 teacher, at North Charleston Elementary School.

Smith was placed on administrative leave Oct. 25, but the school board says he also took Family Medical Leave Act leave on Oct. 28 for recovery of a shoulder injury and pain medication that was causing him to fall asleep in class.

Although Smith was scheduled to return to work on Jan. 9, 2020, the school board say he was arrested for possession of narcotics Nov. 13, 2019.

The school board says Smith extended his FMLA on Feb. 3 due to being a victim of domestic violence, prompting Smith’s scheduled return to work on March 19. Smith’s return was only providing that his physician stated that he was fit to work, the school board says.

Smith was then placed on administrative leave again on March 19 which the school board say was a result of the investigation into his Nov. 13, 2019 arrest. Finally, following a subsequent arrest for possession of narcotics July 28, the school board says Smith was recommended for termination in a letter dated Sept. 11.

The school board says they voted to accept Smith’s suspension for a period of two years, commencing on Dec. 8 and ending on Dec. 7, 2022.

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