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Philadelphia teacher is accused of taking bribes from students for better grades

Amanda Richardson, a teacher at Linc High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is accused of taking money bribes from students in exchange for better grades.
Amanda Richardson, a teacher at Linc High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is accused of taking money bribes from students in exchange for better grades. Image from LINC High School's Website

If students wanted a better grade in Amanda Richardson's class, they may just have needed to give her some money.

The teacher at Linc High School in Philadelphia is under investigation after allegations surfaced that Richardson would grade students more leniently if they paid her off in exchange, according to WPVI.

She has been removed from the school — which houses 200 students — as an investigation by the city's inspector general continues, School District of Philadelphia spokesman Lee Whack told the TV station.

The humanities teacher refused a request for comment from NBC10 because she was seeking approval to do so from the teacher's union. Philadelphia police have also been made aware of the incident.

As noted by NBC10, the exact nature of the bribes is still unknown as officials look into the allegations.

A letter sent home to parents on Tuesday said the bribery "is completely unacceptable" if found to be true, WPTV reported.

"We want to reassure our entire school community this type of matter is taken seriously."

Jeff Spires, a former math teacher in Florida, permanently had his teaching certificate revoked in 2014 after a police investigation alleged that he would allow students to staple money to their quizzes in exchange for a better grade. According to NBC-2, Mike Riley, spokesman for Charlotte County Public Schools, called the incident "disappointing."

One student twice paid Spires $30, police say, and another forked up as much as $140.

Student Michael Bowling told NBC-2 that "even if you're going through a hard time, it's still wrong of you to take money."

"Especially," he added, "from students."

It's far from a new problem. According to The Associated Press in 1996, a teacher at a New York high school got a $2,500 fine and six month prison stint after he was found guilty of requiring a student to pay him $290 to pass a class.

Kenneth Cotton, an economics teacher, wanted to invoke "fear in a student, who allegedly had excessive absences from his night school classes," according to court testimony reviewed by The Associated Press.

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