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Can a teacher be friends with a non-student who is a minor?

Can a teacher be...

Can a teacher be friends with a non-student who is a minor? There doesn't seem to be any sexual aspect to it.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is the teacher in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Texas

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps has the teacher taken so far?

They were texting and I have read the texts, and they are just saying normal small talk. There is no sexual things at all. I have the texts on screen shot.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No just that

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/20/2018
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sure thing.

Yes but its a slippery slope here.I advise teachers to avoid any such texts because of perception here in Texas.Anything that gets beyond student teacher can be misconstrued later on.Even though it s legal its not a good idea.The teacher has their career on the line.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Right, I get that. I don't want to ruin this teachers life just make them think about that. If I were to threaten to take them to court, could I actually do it if they didn't back off?

The Texas Penal Code Section 21.12 provides the definition for “improper relationship with a student.” It is defined as any sexual contact or sexual intercourse between a public or private school employee with a person who is enrolled in the public or private school in which the employee works.

Texas Penal Code Section 33.021 addresses on-line solicitation of a student. On-line solicitation specifically includes communicating in a sexually explicit manner with a student or distributing sexually explicit material to a student by email, text message, or other electronic message service for the sexual gratification of any person.

TEA also recognizes that because of the rash of news reports alleging improper relationships with students, changes were recently made to the Educators’ Code of Ethics. The changes include provisions which confront head-on inappropriate communications between an educator and a student by electronic means (including social media sites) which often are an early indicator of inappropriate relationships or “grooming.”

What is Grooming?
What might have once been considered being nice to a student might now be considered grooming. Grooming, as defined by TEA, means that an educator engages in increasingly inappropriate boundary violations in an effort to gain the trust of a student and prepare him/her for a future sexual relationship. For example, giving a student a ride home could be considered grooming. Inviting a student to your home or to a party could be considered grooming. Giving a student a gift could be considered grooming. Treating one student differently from others can be looked upon as grooming. The sex of the student or the teacher does not matter.

The Process

The administration must investigate any and all charges made against an employee by either a student or parent. It does not matter if the charge is right or wrong or fair. Sometimes Child Protective Services and the police even get involved in investigations. Sometimes the charges even make the newspaper or other media.

In most cases employees believe that their district will be standing behind them, ready to support them in their hour of need. They are taken aback when they find that the district not only has little power to help, but in almost every case refuses to offer any type of support at all. In many cases, the teacher is helpless to do anything while the investigation is in progress.

If you are told that a student or parent is making a charge against you, please do the following:

  • School employees have the right to representation in the context of an investigatory interview when the employee reasonably believes the interview may result in disciplinary action. An employee has to ask for the representation.
  • Get help from your association or an attorney before answering too many questions or placing anything in writing.
  • If the charge is of a criminal nature, or if police are involved, ask that your attorney be present during the questioning.
  • Do not discuss the situation with anyone other than your representative or attorney. Do not discuss the situation in the teachers’ lounge.

Here if you don't report this the District might terminate you if you are an employee for failure to report.I personally would report it and let the District deal with it.Honestly it sounds like it falls under grooming to me.All teachers know better than to do this.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you very much I will make sure this is taken care of.

My spouse is an educator all teachers have been warned against this.I think you consider reporting this.It seems harmless but all grooming sounds like that.It is probably more or will be more at some point.If you are an employee too you would have duty to report this.

I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Its your call here.

If you can positive rate 5 stars it is much appreciated.

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