Preventing sexual misconduct and abuse in public schools

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The state board of education just released new guidelines, on how teachers and students should interact, online Including sites like facebook. It's all an effort to prevent sexual misconduct and abuse.

Craig Linnon - the former Hanover shop teacher allegedly texted sexual fantasies to a student. In Manassas, teacher Kevin Ricks was accused of using his my-space page to lure teenage boys into sex. It's the kind of crime the Virginia Department of Education wants to protect students from.

"We've had more than 100 cases in the last few years where teachers have lost their licenses because of misconduct with students," said, Charles Pyle of the Virginia Department of Education.

The new guidelines focus on preventing sexual misconduct and abuse overall - but emphasize the use of electronic communication like texting and social networking sites. They're to help schools set policies.

"Technology doesn't cause misconduct but certainly it can facilitate a conversation that leads to improper behavior," said Pyle.

The guideline includes: making sure any electronic or online communication between students and teachers are transparent and easily accessible to supervisors and parents.

It also advises for policies on the appropriate subject matter, purpose, timing, and frequency of the communication.

Richmond mom, Kineka Berry see's her son texting every day.

"I think it's very important that they do something about it," said Berry.

She's in tune with her son's activities.

"The lines of communication are open I'm on facebook as well just so I can see what's going on," she said.

Kiante' says if he wanted to, it's easy to contact someone through sites like facebook, but in school...

"The student teacher relationship should just stay professional because we're both there to do a job," said high school student, Kiante Emanuel.

The link to the guideline is located to right of the story.

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