Teacher-student relationships in Texas skyrocket

It's almost as if two weeks doesn't pass without us hearing about a sexual relationship between a teacher and student. Texas leads the country in these cases. Now the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is taking action.

The TEA is investigating 74 teachers and that's just since September. It happens everywhere: HISD, Pasadena ISD, Aldine ISD, Ft. Bend ISD.

Just searching through the FOX26 archives and literally hundreds of illicit cases between a teacher and student pop up.

A former Aldine ISD teacher lost her job admitting to giving a student a lap dance for his birthday. Back in 2011, a Sharpstown High School teacher made headlines for giving birth to two babies by a 16-year-old student. The stories seem endless.

"We see too many of these cases where 13, 14, 15-year-old students are victimized, and teachers are walking away with probation. That's wrong. They need to go to jail," Terry Abbott said.

Terry Abbott the chairman of Drive West Communications says in 2014 Texas led the country with 116 cases. That's more than double the number of cases in Pennsylvania which came in second.

"There's no way, I don't believe that there's any way that a teacher would walk up to a student in a hallway and lean over and say ‘hey would you like to naked picture of me.' But they will do it on social media," Abbott said.

Who are these teachers? Abbott says most of them are veterans who have taught for at least a decade. Two-thirds of the predators are men. And the average age of children involved are fifteen.

"We had one teacher send a text asking what time the ball game started. Very shortly after that she's involved with five students at one time," Abbott said.

It's an epidemic that requires a lot of action. Parents knowing what their children are up to and Abbott adds districts making stricter guidelines.

"There are a lot of applications where a group message can be sent with parents and faculty cc'd on it. But no teacher should ever send a text message to a student ever," Abbott said.

A teacher loses their certification if they are convicted of a criminal offense. But like Abbott said that doesn't happen in many cases.