TEA pushing Legislature for ineffective feel-goodism

Robert Pratt photo Copyright Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt

The headline was: 900 cases in 5 years: Texas Education Agency to ask lawmakers to help curb teacher/student sex. The San Antonio Express-News story began with: “In five years, 893 investigations into inappropriate relationships between educators and students were opened in Texas. Those alleged relationships have been bolstered by social media interactions, a vessel the Texas Education Agency wants state lawmakers to tighten and regulate in the 85th Legislature next year.

“No statewide policy exists establishing strict electronic media guidelines for educators, DeEtta Culbertson, spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said Friday. District policies could exist, but there is no blanket system in place for the state. And, with a record number of 207 investigations opened in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the agency needs a statewide policy, she said.

It strikes me a bit like gun control…

What statute or barrier prevents districts from implementing their own policies covering “electronic media”? Answer: None.

What evidence is there that restrictive social media guidelines for school faculty reduce wrong doing? None has been presented. It strikes me a bit like gun control as the idea is that someone willing to lose their job, any future teaching job, and go to prison for having sexual relationships with students is suddenly not going to do so because of a policy on paper.

… but the idea that schools, or TEA, could effectively enforce such is ludicrous.

Certainly enforced “electronic media” policies on school faculty could frustrate some of the victim recruitment but the idea that schools, or TEA, could effectively enforce such is ludicrous.

The Legislature doesn’t need to give TEA more power. We’ve increased criminal penalties for inappropriate relationships and pretty much anything else is engaging in ineffective feel-goodism.

What do you think?...

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