Surely there aren’t as many student/teacher relationships as suggested in this article. If it is anywhere near as bad as that, it is a terrible indictment on our profession:
Critics suggest that as many as one in 10 U.S. public school students — or about 4.5 million children — are involved in some kind of inappropriate teacher-student relationship.
But it’s not easy to identify — accusations involve everything from physical contact to inappropriate comments or looks — and can have a crippling effect not only on those involved but on the student body and their parents and educators.
“It’s devastating to the rest of our students,” said Dan Unger, president of the Northwest Local School District Board of Education. Two of the three teachers from his district have already been convicted and this year imprisoned. The third case is pending.
“When (the other students) think about the accomplishments of the class of 2014, they’ll think about that. This is what they will remember,” Unger said.
It’s become easier in a digital world where smart phones can dominate conversation, for teachers and students to communicate. That’s good when it’s used to discuss school work. But sometimes it can turn criminal.
“The biggest reason this occurs now is social media,” Abbott said.
A text, Facebook post, Instagram or Snapchat message can give teachers and students greater access to each other than ever before. All three of the Northwest Local School educators relied heavily on Snapchat, Facebook and text messages to communicate with the victimized students.
“It seems to be when the conversation goes private like that, the teacher says and does outrageous and outlandish things they’d never say in person,” Abbott said.
Those private contacts allow predatory educators to exploit students, enhancing the control teachers have over their students. Students want to be liked by or get attention from the educator.
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