Teacher-student texts investigated

January 24, 2009 3:08:55 AM PST
A Goose Creek Independent School District teacher is on paid leave after a complaint about text messages he sent to some students.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The school district confirms that a teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave. The Baytown Police Department tells us that teacher is being investigated after allegations that the teacher was sending text messages to at least one student.

Police say the allegation was brought to their attention within the last few weeks by someone claiming text messages were sent inappropriately by a teacher at Cedar Bayou Junior School to one or more students. Police say the person who made the complaint is concerned not about the content of the text messages. They are worried simply about an adult teacher communicating by text with a student after school hours.

Police say at this time, the text messages sent have not appeared sexual in nature. Parents aren't sure what to think.

"I wouldn't think a teacher would ever contact a student, they would contact a parent," said Mary Beth Moak, the grandparent of a Cedar Bayou student.

"If they're pertinent to the subject matter that they teach and something that they're working on, I guess it could be appropriate," said parent Lisa Guy. "It could (also) be inappropriate."

The case brings up a gray area in school policy, which we've found makes no mention of text messages.

Goose Creek ISD spokesperson Kathy Clausen said, "We don't particularly have a policy on that. It's not spelled out."

Current policy does, however, state specifically that "employees shall not form romantic or other inappropriate social relationships with students."

The district says it's too soon to say if there needs to be a change in policy to specifically address text messaging among teachers and students.

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