Purpose The session will focus on interactions between

Purpose The session will focus on interactions between

Purpose The session will focus on interactions between educators and students, with a special emphasis on the utilization of social/electronic media. 2

Stimulating Thinking How does social media influence my work with students? How do interactions with students influence laws and policies?

3 Positive Impact of Social Media Enhancing Learning Outcomes 4

Social Media Boundary Crossings What begins with an innocent string of social media communications (intentional or not) can soon lead to a strong emotional connection with a student.

5 An Inappropriate Relationship Begins Voluntary statement given to law enforcement: I began playing Words With Friends with several students before the end of the school year, including Gabriella. I often chatted with students about the

game. My conversations began innocently, but after school let out in June my conversations with Gabriella became more intense. (Name has been changed.) 6 An Inappropriate Relationship Ends

Voluntary statement given to law enforcement: I told my wife that I had an emotional relationship with Gabriella and it moved beyond an appropriate boundary between a teacher and student. My wife was angry and demanded that I terminate contact with Gabriella entirely. I then emailed Gabriella and asked her to not try and contact me or my wife and I apologized for any emotional

harm I had caused her. (Name has been changed.) 7 Outcome of This Case The teacher voluntarily surrendered his teaching certificate.

8 Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison Photo Source: Sterkel, M. (2016, February). Burns rejects plea deal [digital image]. Odessa American Online. Retrieved from http://www.oaoa.com/news/crime_justice/courts/article_f56a1608-d7db-11e5-b352-43f5acd290c0.html

9 15 times EVERY week in this country 10

The Impact of Social Media In Texas, social media and text messaging continue to be the driving factors in the number of sexual misconduct cases investigated. 11

Technology Tools and Platforms . 12 Social media leaves a digital

footprint. 13 Video Scenario 14

Sobering Statistics 15 Cases Opened on Inappropriate Relationships with a Student / Minor

Cases Opened 350 302 300 250

200 163 179 188

FY 2013-14 FY 2014-15 222

150 100 50 0 FY 2012-13

FY 2015-16 FY 2016-17 Treading on Dangerous Ground Treading on Dangerous Ground

17 Educators and Social Media Four out of five educators use social media for personal communication. However . . .

More than 62% of educators surveyed have had minimal or no training in the area of interacting with students and parents through social media. (University of Phoenix College of Education, 2015) 18

19 Actions That Can Appear as Grooming Through the Use of Social Media Frequently calling or sending text messages just to check in Sending pictures, jokes, or

information that is inappropriate Sending messages that are becoming increasingly friendly or sexual in nature Conducting social media interactions in secrecy

Appropriate vs. Inappropriate 21 22 23

24 25 26

27 28 Inappropriate Social Media

Communications 29 What was the nature, purpose, timing, and amount of the communication?

30 Was the communication made openly, or did the educator attempt to conceal it? 31

Could the communication be interpreted as soliciting contact or a romantic relationship? 32 Was the communication sexually explicit?

Did it involve discussion of a sexual nature regarding either the educator or the student? 33 The Law and the Consequences

Loss of Career Loss of Freedom 34 Utilization Guidelines 35

Social Media Utilization Guidelines Be aware of what you post online. You represent not only yourself, but also your school district. Follow your districts policy for electronic and online communication. Be transparent by maintaining openness, visibility, and

accountability. (ODonovan, 2012) 36 Social Media Utilization Guidelines

Consider all electronic communication to be accessible and a matter of record. Choose appropriate subject matter and words that are courteous, grammatically correct, and professional. (ODonovan, 2012) 37

Would your online account pass muster? 38 Strategies to Decrease Incidents Provide educator ethics training that focuses on

appropriate use of social media. Strengthen and communicate district social media utilization policies and guidelines. 39 Strategies to Decrease Incidents

Report suspected incidents consistently and in a timely manner. Expand accountability for withholding information. Acknowledge that schools will enforce a zero-tolerance policy.


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