HOUSTON - In the last fiscal year the Texas Education Agency says it had a little over one thousand open investigations and more than 200 of them dealt with improper student-teacher relationships.
Two years before that the state agency had 866 open investigations with improper student teacher relationships making up 179 of them.
“T.E.A. handles the education certification department which would take that up as a separate issue to determine whether it was a case where they would take action against the certification,” said Zeph Capo president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.
Cases involving improper student teacher relationships have the T.E.A. so strapped that state agency says it wants to hire two more investigators and one administrator costing taxpayers 400 thousand dollars.
“The idea that we need to put more money into investigators in Austin is backwards,” Capo said. “We need to make sure we have the proper procedures in place at the district level because that’s where the hiring happens that’s where we need to focus our time and attention.”
Capo says the T.E.A. flags educators with open complaints or investigations and it’s public information so districts need to be more diligent about hiring.
Many educators blame social media for the uptick in improper student-teacher relationships.
“Have a classroom account have a school based account and any of the information that you utilize with students, contact with students should all run through that school based account it should not be your personal account,” Capo said.