Report: Texas leads nation in inappropriate teacher-student relationships

Reported by: Henry Ramos
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Updated: 4/04/2013 3:34 am

A new report ranks Texas number one in inappropriate student-teacher relationships. The report partly blames social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

According to the report authored by Terry Abbott former head of the U.S. Department of Education, Texas leads the nation in inappropriate relationships between teachers and students.

In fact, Abbott has counted 26 inappropriate teacher-student relationships so far this year in Texas. Abbott claims these relationships often start with social media.

Will Truby with Lubbock-Cooper School District said, "We can't tell anyone who they can't be friends with on Facebook or follow on Twitter."

Truby said the district discourages online communication between a teacher and student.

"We discourage any Facebook friends with any current student," he said. "Be it a student you have daily contact with, or just a student at a different campus at all."

Truby said policy written in black and white can only go so far.

"The blame or the responsibility is incumbent upon the employee to make the wise decision."

Dr. Kelly Trlica with Lubbock ISD said communication is changing.

"I hate to even say if a student and a teacher were going to have an inappropriate relationship ten years ago
there wasn't the social media to start it that there is today," she said.

However, Trlica said LISD staff is constantly updated with the do's and dont's.

"So we have really changed our policy not to prohibit all communication between teachers and students, but to say all of that communication must be school or work related."

Both school districts say this hasn't been a problem. Abbott's report also encourages parents to stay updated on their childs's online posts.

Last week, a 28-year-old teacher in Houston's Spring Branch ISD was arrested. She is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

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