If a teacher or coach wants to send an electronic communication to a student, it should be copied to a parent. School districts should review existing employee guidelines and make sure they tightly control social media interaction between school employees and students. That data confirmed the disturbing shift I have witnessed while working in education. To curb these troubling incidents, schools must have targeted policies governing electronic communication. Since then, two things have become popular and had a massive effect on the prevalence of sexual misconduct in schools: Every week has brought news of 15 young people, on average, who were sexually victimized by the educators entrusted with protecting them. In the late s, I was press secretary for the Houston Independent School District, one of the largest districts in the country. It also says electronic contact with students should be done only through district computers and telephones. Here's how schools can stop them.
These instantaneous, omnipresent and discreet connections have created an open gateway for inappropriate behavior. A year-old Florida teacher was charged after police said she allegedly used Facebook to solicit sex from at least four students. That data confirmed the disturbing shift I have witnessed while working in education. In Pennsylvania, a year-old teacher approached a year-old student at a school dance and began flirting with him, police said. He was sentenced to prison for up to 23 months. More states and school districts need to take similar action. And a surge has been reported in Alabama, where the state investigated 31 cases during the year ending July , nearly triple the number it had investigated just four years earlier. Every week has brought news of 15 young people, on average, who were sexually victimized by the educators entrusted with protecting them. School districts should review existing employee guidelines and make sure they tightly control social media interaction between school employees and students. In Texas, home to the largest number of teacher sexual misconduct cases in the country, investigations into alleged inappropriate teacher-student relationships has grown 27 percent over the past three years, to It also says electronic contact with students should be done only through district computers and telephones. In those roles, I would hear about teachers who became sexually involved with students — but at that time, those cases seemed rare. A Pennsylvania math teacher offered a student extra credit if she texted him nude pictures. And a year-old counselor in Texas allegedly started talking to a 12th-grade student on Instagram and then had sex with the student, authorities reported. Here's how schools can stop them. More from The Washington Post: My firm, Drive West Communications, has been tracking news reports of sexual misconduct by educators for more than a year. Classroom sexual predators have been exploiting these new, unsupervised modes of communication to develop improper relationships with students out of sight of parents and principals. In alone, there were reported cases of teachers and other school employees accused or convicted of sexual relationships with students. When my team speaks to educators around the country, they generally are stunned by the size and scope of this problem, and rightfully so. Some states and school districts already have taken strong action in this area. To curb these troubling incidents, schools must have targeted policies governing electronic communication. Social media has provided an open gateway for classroom sexual predators. If a teacher or coach wants to send an electronic communication to a student, it should be copied to a parent. In , I served as chief of staff at the U.
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