If you’re a Texas educator, own a mobile device (or use a computer) to text students, you definitely need to read the following. Or, if you’re an administrator wondering where your next headache is coming from, then….

Teachers must refrain from inappropriately communicating with students through the use of social media under the requirements of an updated Educators’ Code of Ethics endorsed by the State Board of Education today…Texas Education Agency staff requested the change to the ethics code because they said they are receiving disciplinary case referrals in which teachers were found to have sent students thousands of text messages.  Sometimes the content of the messages was not inappropriate on their face but the volume of messages and time of day the messages were sent indicated that the educator was “grooming” the student for a future sexual relationship.

A school district employee commits a second-degree felony under Penal Code Section 21.12 if the employee engages in sexual contact with a student who is not their spouse.

Here’s an excerpt, although you can read the whole thing online:

(I) Standard 3.9. The educator shall refrain from inappropriate communication with a student or minor, including, but not limited to, electronic communication such as cell phone, text messaging, email, instant messaging, blogging, or other social network communication

As necessary as it is to protect children from predators that happen to be educators, I’m concerned that some will interpret this code of ethics AS IF it were written in the following way:

All educators will NOT be permitted to use cell phones, text messaging, email, instant messaging, blogging, or other social network communication AT ALL during the school day. In fact, you’re on a watchlist if you DO use these.

What do you think? Will this be interpreted…If you’re a blogger, are you guilty by association with the deranged who molest children?

Update: You may want to read this follow-up article – Forbidden Fruit: Social Media in K-12


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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