IT Infrastructure & Management

Teacher-Student Cyber Talk Faces New Rules

By Katie Ash — January 29, 2010 1 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Teachers in Louisiana must now think twice before sending a text message or e-mail to a student from a personal electronic device.

A new state law requires all Louisiana districts to implement policies requiring documentation of every electronic interaction between teachers and students through a nonschool-issued device, such as a personal cellphone or e-mail account. Parents also have the option of forbidding any communication between teachers and their child through personal electronic devices.

Similar policies exist in many school districts across the country, and at least one other state has considered such legislation in recent years. But critics question the measures, saying they will likely restrict appropriate communication between teachers and students and discourage the use of new technologies.

See Also

For a more in-depth version of this story, read “Policies Target Teacher-Student Cyber Talk.”

Determining what communications between teachers and students are appropriate, especially in the emerging fields of electronic devices and social-networking Web sites, is an issue that districts nationwide are navigating, with policies ranging from fairly permissive to more restrictive.

“We’re at a point where [policies on this issue] are all over the map,” says Ann Flynn, the director of education technology for the National School Boards Association, based in Alexandria, Va.

Unlike in Louisiana, such policies typically are determined locally, rather than at the state level, although similar legislation has appeared in the Missouri legislature, at least, but not been enacted.

‘Chilling Effect’

Louisiana Rep. Walker Hines, a Democrat, voted against the bill in his state. “I did not believe that this legislation would deter any teacher from having a sexual relationship with a student,” he says. “In fact, I believe this legislation could have a major chilling effect on teachers’ becoming mentors for students.”

Ray Bernard, the child-welfare supervisor for the 15,000-student Lafourche Parish, La., public school system, believes the law provides enough flexibility to both protect students and keep legitimate teacher-student relationships intact.

The policy that his district will implement says that teachers, and all other school employees, must document any interaction through nonschool-issued electronic devices that happens with a student in that district, or any other district in the state, within 24 hours of the exchange.

A version of this article appeared in the February 03, 2010 edition of Digital Directions as Teacher-Student Cyber Talk Faces New Rules

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

IT Infrastructure & Management It's Not Just About AI. Schools Are Facing 5 Other Tech Challenges, Too
In addition to the use of AI in education, schools must pay attention to several big tech challenges.
4 min read
A cybersecurity icon over a computer classroom seen through a screen of binary code.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week via Canva
IT Infrastructure & Management Ed-Tech Companies Are Vulnerable to Cyberattacks. A New Federal Effort Wants to Help
The Education Department is teaming up with a top research university to stem a wave of cyberattacks on schools.
4 min read
Image of lock on binary code background.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
IT Infrastructure & Management Leader To Learn From Through Wars, Tornadoes, and Cyberattacks, He's a Guardian of Student Privacy
Jun Kim, the technology director in Moore, Okla., works to make the most of innovations—without endangering student data.
11 min read
Jun Kim, Director of Technology for Moore Public Schools, center, leads a data privacy review meeting on Dec. 13, 2023 in Moore, Okla.
Jun Kim, director of technology for the Moore public schools in Moore, Okla., leads a data privacy review for staff.
Brett Deering for Education Week
IT Infrastructure & Management One Solution to Maintaining 1-to-1 Devices? Pay Students to Repair Them
Hiring students to help with the repair process is one way school districts are ensuring the sustainability of their 1-to-1 programs.
4 min read
Sawyer Wendt, a student intern for the Altoona school district’s IT department, repairs a Chromebook.
Sawyer Wendt, who's been a student intern for the Altoona district's tech department since junior year, is now studying IT software development in college.
Courtesy of Jevin Stangel, IT technician for the Altoona school district