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NFL's Greg Hardy Hits 5th Grade Class ... I'm Not a Monster!

5/13/2016 10:19 AM PDT

NFL's Greg Hardy Hits 5th Grade Class ... I'm Not a Monster!

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The Greg Hardy image makeover tour rolled through a 5th grade class in Mississippi Thursday -- where the embattled NFL star read to kids, signed autographs and of course, posed for pics. 

TMZ Sports has learned ... Hardy hit up the Oxford Intermediate School in Oxford, Mississippi yesterday. Sources tell us he was invited by a teacher who met Hardy at church. 

We reached out to Principal Steve Hurdle who tells us, "[Hardy] spoke to a class about being good students and working hard. He read a book to the class and then he left our campus."

It's unclear if parents were informed about Hardy's appearance before he arrived on campus. 

Hardy is a curious choice as a guest speaker to 5th graders considering his past -- which includes a 2014 domestic violence conviction that was overturned on appeal when the accuser stopped cooperating with prosecutors. 

Hardy's agent has said the NFL star is getting help for his behavioral issues -- including individual and group counseling.

For his part, Hardy said he "had a blast" at the school ... and said the kids were "awesome."

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