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Do you think it's appropriate for teachers to text kids?

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Dear Teacher, Stop Texting My Daughter

Posted by Jeanne Sager on January 7, 2013 

textingIn news that is sadly becoming "not news at all," another teacher has been fired for inappropriate behavior with a teenage student. But how's this for a twist? Arthur "Chuck" Matthews is suing Philadelphia area private school Springside Chestnut Hill Academy for discrimination over his texting relationship with a student.

He's using as proof the fact that the girl's parents have said that there was nothing improper about the texts exchanged by Matthews and the young girl. But is it ever really proper for a teacher to be texting a student?

I recognize that kids today are living in a digital world. Their gadgets are often their main means for communicating. And yet, as a mom, I'm wary of adults I don't know well interacting with my kid.

Teachers working with them inside a classroom is one thing. It's a controlled environment where the presence of other kids helps to keep things grounded. At the very least, a teacher who is thinking about stepping over the lines with a student has to be on their toes because they never know when another kid or another teacher is going to pop in and catch them in the act.

Jump to texts, and the threat of being watched is less. So what are they saying in those texts? For that matter, what could they possibly have to say in a text that couldn't be covered in the classroom?

And why would a teacher need a child's personal phone number? Call me old school, but I tend to shield my cellphone number from people who don't absolutely need to have it. It seems overly familiar to share it with people beyond that because it gives people access to me anywhere, anytime.

I know I don't want a teacher accessing my kid anywhere, anytime. That's for sure!

Do you think it's appropriate for teachers to text kids?

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:36 PM
Replies (11-20):
by Anonymous 4 on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:47 PM

The only thing I think would be OK is if the teacher was texting all students in regards to something school related. Also, my friend is a teacher and is in charge of a couple of clubs and the students in the clubs always text her asking questions. I don't think a teacher should be texting a kid just to say hello or just to talk. 

by Platinum Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM
Of course not.
by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM

 I agree with the school firing him. It is definitely crossing a line. A teacher is not a students Friend, so there is no reason to have interaction outside of the school environment, unless it is through their parents. I think e-mail is okay ONLY if it is a school e-mail address (our students here all have personal e-mail addresses through the school's network system).

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:49 PM

 Never is it appropriate. And the school where my children attend have a policy that such behavior is prohibited.

However, there will be email blasts/alerts in which my children will receive these messages but I am always a part of the email list; anything my kids get from their teachers/coaches, I get too.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM
I can see both sides. When I was in high school we had to turn in our home phone number to our teacher and we had their home phone number for emergencies and their email. As long as it is about an assignment I don't see the issue. And extracurricular activities sponsors who need to make last minute changes are more likely to reach them through text.
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by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:51 PM

 I do not find it appropriate at all. If the teacher needs to get with a student about something, they can do it in person when they see the student in class or they can contact the student's parents.. And if a student needs to get a hold of a teacher, he/she can pick up the phone and call them. No need to get anymore personal than that. 

by Ruby Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:52 PM
I don't think it is at all inappropriate.
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by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:58 PM

My kid is president of 2 school organizations, FFA and FBLA, as well as a lower officer in one other. She's the captain of the soccer team and co-captain of the tennis team. She's a hs senior and taking 3 concurrent credit college classes. The primary method of communication with her teachers, advisers, and coaches is via text. We have no problem with it. It's far easier method of communication than back in my day when someone had to keep calling the landline until whomever was tying up the party line got off the phone lol. However, we also believe a kid doesn't need a cell phone until at least 10th grade in most cases. By that age, they're mature enough to be responsible with their phone.

by Gold Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Depends on the context,  is it all the students in their class?  I wouldnt mind if he was sending out homework reminders to everyone and saying "Timmy, I expect that 4 page report first thing in the morning. If my son forgot to turn something in or something."

by Anonymous 6 on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:02 PM
Maybe if they were in band or pep club or something like that when they have ramdom events to go to or lots of extra rehearsals. Not so sure of it was a math or english teacher. Also, only high school.
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