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Teacher-student behavior lines raise questions

March 6, 2009

BY Evergreen,

On Tuesday The Oregonian did a great article on state lawmakers trying to improve laws protecting students from sex-abuse by their teachers.  The article showed examples from Salem-Keizer School District on what is accepted and what is not.  It is a excellent and well thought out list except….for two points that raise questions (see bold below).
List from S-K schools:
• Maintain appropriate personal space.
• Talk to students about their learning and growth in conversations that focus on students.
• Keep student relationships centered on academics, school events and activities.
• Maintain clear gender boundaries when involved in extracurricular activities.
• Pats on the back, shoulder or arm are fine when appropriate.
• Use Internet, e-mail and electronic communications only for educational purposes or school-sponsored events.

• Invade personal space or engage in close physical contact.
• Make comments that are personal or physical, such as flirting or causing embarrassment.
• Spend time in or out of school alone with students beyond educational conferences.
• Cover for or provide excuses for favored students, such as writing passes to cover tardiness or absence.
• Use Internet, e-mail, texting or social networking sites to discuss personal issues with students.

“Keep students relationships centered on academic  school events and activities” — that seems to discriminate against a teacher talking about their ethnic, religious or common heritage in class.   If it is not a school subject is it illegal?

“Don’t spend time alone” — This one will really help stop a lot of abuse, but does this hinder teachers spending extra time to help a student who is having problems in a unrelated school issue.    Maybe the teacher is a expert chess palyer and is teaching the student some moves to play against his friends?

Maybe I am exaggerating these issues, maybe not.  Please give me your feedback.

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A mom March 6, 2009

How about: DO kick the bums out of the educational system if they are found having had inappropriate conduct with kids.
Too often the interest of the teacher is protected above the safety of the students and these criminals are simply moved to another school district…or even advanced to administration.

ananswer March 7, 2009

How about do something.

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