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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Teacher on Crystal Meth Did NOT Strip Naked in Class, Bite 2 Students

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 06 Dec 2018 11:55:25 Z)

Did a 37-year old Olympia, Washington teacher named Laura James strip naked in class and bite two students all while under the influence of meth? No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on December 5, 2018 titled "Teacher on crystal meth strips naked in class and bites 2 students" (archived here) which opened:

Olympia, Washington | An elementary school teacher was arrested this morning after a drug "bad trip" caused her to strip naked in class and physically assault her 4th-grade students, severely biting two of them and injuring six others.

According to the Olympia police department, 37-year old Laura James was "visibly intoxicated and behaving erratically" when she showed up for work this morning.

Due to a lack of replacement teachers, she was still allowed to teach her class but rapidly went out of control.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/teacher-on-crystal-meth-strips-naked-in-class-and-bites-2-students/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so it would have looked like a real news story to them:

Teacher on crystal meth strips naked in class and bites 2 students

Olympia, Washington | An elementary school teacher was arrested this morning after a drug "bad trip" caused her to strip naked in class and physically assault her 4th-grade students, severely biting two of them and injuring six others. According to the Olympia police department, 37-year old Laura J

The woman in the picture used to illustrate the story is an actual meth addict, but she is not a teacher from Olympia in Washington and she is not 37:

Police: Mundelein woman faces drug, theft charges after meth arrest in Crystal Lake

CRYSTAL LAKE - A 39-year-old Mundelein woman faces drug charges after police said she was caught with methamphetamine and more than a quarter-pound of marijuana. Crystal Lake police arrested Sara M. Hadsell, of the 21000 block of West Vernon Ridge Drive, Mundelein, on Monday afternoon, according to court documents.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:

A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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