- Associated Press - Monday, June 20, 2016

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A task force has released recommendations aimed at preventing inappropriate relationships between teachers and students in Kentucky.

The state’s Education Professional Standards Board created the Combating Inappropriate Student-Teacher Relationships Task Force in June of last year, the Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/28JcTNt ) reported. In 2014, Kentucky had the second-highest per-capita rate of inappropriate teacher-pupil relationships in the country, according to research by former U.S. Department of Education official Terry Abbott.

Cases of inappropriate student-teacher relationships include sex, but not always. They can also include private messages sent via social media or text messaging.

The task force found that the current state educator code of ethics is vague, and recommends that the code be revised for clarity by the fall. The task force also recommends the creation of a single model code of conduct for everyone - students and teachers alike - in a school setting.

Once the code of ethics is revised, the Kentucky Department of Education should use it to support school districts in disciplining educators for violations.

The task force encourages parents to be more involved by asking schools provide resources on what parents need to know about their students’ activity on social media.

It’s up to various agencies and organizations to accept and implement the recommendations, said Jimmy Adams, executive director of the Educational Professional Standards Board.

Adams is going to meet with the Kentucky School Boards Association and other groups to talk about the recommendations, association spokesman Brad Hughes said. The association has started work on a model policy.


Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com

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