A high school teacher at Tatum Independent School District has been placed on administrative leave with pay while the school district investigates whether or not she used social media to communicate inappropriately with a student.
According to Tatum ISD Human Resources Director Drenon Fite, Jr., the investigation is not criminal. The district is simply looking to see if policy set forth by the board on social media use was violated.
The school's policy states that certified or licensed employees may use electronic media to communicate directly with currently enrolled students about matters that relate to that employee's professional responsibilities. Electronic media includes all forms of social media, such as text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms and social network sites, among others.
Violation of the policy can lead to disciplinary action, which can include termination.
The following is an excerpt from the school's handbook:
In accordance with administrative regulations, a certified or licensed employee, or any other employee designated in writing by the Superintendent or a campus principal, may use electronic media to communicate with currently enrolled students about matters within the scope of the employee's professional responsibilities. All other employees are prohibited from using electronic media to communicate directly with students who are currently enrolled in the District. The regulations shall address:
1. Exceptions for family and social relationships;
2. The circumstances under which an employee may use text
messaging to communicate with students; and
3. Other matters deemed appropriate by the Superintendent or designee.
Each employee shall comply with the District's requirements for records retention and destruction to the extent those requirements apply to electronic media.
Tuesday, August 26 2014 5:57 AM EDT2014-08-26 09:57:06 GMT
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