Teacher Indicted on Drug Trafficking

By: Kimberly Burcham Email
By: Kimberly Burcham Email

An eastern Kentucky teacher is suspended accused of selling drugs.

Police had a warrant the teacher's arrest, but the Knox County man turned himself in before officers knocked on his door.

School officials are now trying to handle the situation. Police say the arrest of 29-year-old Jeremy Smith was the result of an undercover buy, where they say Smith sold them Oxycontin.

Smith teaches biology at Knox Central High School.

“Once we learned it was an employee. Then we made contact with the employee. Shared with them they'd been suspended with pay,” Knox County Schools Superintendent Walter Hulett said.

Knox County Superintendent Walter Hulett says Smith will remain on paid suspension until he goes to court.

“I would just let parents know that we take any of these claims serious. We're dealing with it as best we can right now with the information that we have,” Hulett said.

Amanda Helton has two children at the high school and has mixed feelings about the arrest.

“Kind of a negative reaction and kind of a positive. I’m thinking it's a positive because, like I said, he did turn himself in. kind of a negative because he was doing that,” Amanda Helton said.

School officials say this comes just one day after they had a meeting about randomly drug testing students and the possibility of randomly drug testing faculty members as well.

“We are discussing actively going forward with the testing of the staff as well,” Knox County Schools Director of Communications David Cole said.

Parents and school officials say a drug-free environment is first priority when it comes to the classroom.

“Our first interest is our students and the type of role model that teachers are you know for our young people,” Hulett said.

That's why Hulett says until they know all the facts, smith will not be allowed at the school while students are present. We were unable to contact Jeremy Smith Tuesday but we did talk to a family member, who did not want to comment. Smith posted bond before he spent any time in jail.

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  • by Knox co. Citizen on Sep 22, 2008 at 04:10 PM
    I think more people should go down while it's hot. The longer unite waits the more people will get away. I think we will all be shocked to know all that is involved. Its a shame to let our town go down in flames, just because certain people have pull in this screwed up town. Watch and see if some people don't get away just because of there name, and that my friends is a shame. If you do the the crime you must do the time!
  • by fed up Location: knox county on Aug 28, 2008 at 10:03 PM
    DR's are not the blame and neither are pharmacists, These professionals are placed in a situation where they have to choose to give a sick patient med or not cause they may sell them.My mother died of cancer and had to go to a pain clinic to get her pain meds to help her just get through the day without hurting! She went once and refused to go back and be associated with people like that because of the "patients" in the waiting room talking and asking what are you getting how many do you get and so on. There are sick people in the world that are dying of cancer and other diseases and they have to SUFFER because of the losers that take advatage of prescription drugs. They need to drug test ALL TEACHERS and STUDENTS in the school system but also ALL patients to verify they are taking the meds that they are getting.Surprise contacts from the dr or pharmacists saying "bring in your medication for a count with a time restriction would be great,Expecially if 1 strike was all they got!!
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Barbourville on Aug 28, 2008 at 03:07 PM
    I think that it is horrible that the local newspaper published a front page article about this teacher's arrest and then posted a front page sports section article that outlined his life accomplishments beginning at age three(3). All this sends to our children is a mixed message that you can sell drugs and still be revered as a great person if you have personal accomplishments such as sports or other life achievements to make up for your flaws. How horrible! The message that should be sent is "Anyone can be a Drug Dealer" you never know who and we all need to be aware and watch out for those who are in a position of influence on our children.
  • by anonymous Location: Barbourville on Aug 28, 2008 at 02:59 PM
    I don't think that all doctor's should be ridiculed. There are many that are bad and help facilitate this process, but I believe that we need to look into local pharmacists better as well as their known associates. That would crack down on a big trade in Knox County.
  • by William Location: seky on Aug 28, 2008 at 12:45 AM
    First mouse, then the cat,then the dog,then the kids,then the parents,then the house,then the neighborhoods,and then your town, then your state , then your nation, then your life, nothing left but land after all the bad guys has been removed by the good guys , Hey would Good guys really do that? when good people do bad things it takes other good people to look for redeeming quality's bad people seek on the bad news they love it.
  • by dolly Location: whitesburg on Aug 27, 2008 at 08:50 PM
    all school employees need to be drug tested..all school bus drivers in our state are.why are'nt the teachers?? they spend more time with our children..
  • by Knox County Resident on Aug 27, 2008 at 08:30 PM
    So lets start from the begining. Where do you think these drug dealers are getting their meds? THE DOCTORS! The doctors are to blame for everything. You go in, tell them you have a headache and they give you a green piece of paper with a narcotic on it. They are so free handed and thats why there are 1,000 dealers in Knox County. It's so easy, thats why everyone is doing it. Not only Jeremy, theres a lot of teachers at Knox Central that are a joke, I mean wake up people, you know who these people are, and if you don't know them personally, you know of them. Jeremys not the only one, I can't wait to see who all goes next. Suspended without pay, thats a pat on the back, hes just taking a vacation. He'll be able to come back just like everyone else has. Someone needs to clean Knox County up!
  • by had enough! Location: p-burg on Aug 27, 2008 at 06:18 PM
    when are they going to start drug testing teachers? only thing they are doing is teaching them how to snort and sell pills.They need to get rid of all the bad apples and put good apples in!!! And do drug testing emidently.Why do all truck drivers need drug testing and teachers dont? They are more drugs in school than anywhere else ,this is all bull__st_
  • by Second Chances Location: Barbourville on Aug 27, 2008 at 05:17 PM
    It is unfortunate that Jeremy had to go down like this. He comes from a very good family and has been working hard to improve himself and by my understanding has come a long way. I would be concerned if I were a parent of one of his students, but rest assure that he is a very intelligent man that has unfortunately made some really bad choices. Maybe he should lose his job, but everybody deserves a second chance. I don't feel that he should lose his license indefinately, just until he proves himself a better man. Many would be suprised how many big rollers of Barbourville are doing the exact same thing. I guess you get away with a lot more when you have a lot money. And remember, teacher's are sleeping with students, giving alcohol to students and are leaving children on buses...they are still teaching. Sounds like who you know still proves itself true.
  • by not suprised on Aug 27, 2008 at 05:04 PM
    Why are some people so surprised, especially since this is happening at Knox Central where there are other teachers persistently rumored to use drugs, and teachers have inappropriate relationships with students. No wonder their scores our low. They better make an example of this one so the rest will start doing their job.


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