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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 (41-50):
by Gold Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:26 PM

As someone who has worked in the education field, I do not think it is ever appropiate. Unless, your teacher is your aunt or something! Lol! 

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:37 PM


by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:40 PM

As long as they stick to class related topics, I don't have a problem with it,

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:46 PM

i dont think it is ok. even if its bout school work or anything. if the student is not over the age of 18 the teacher should be contacting the partents not the student.

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:47 PM
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by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM

not appropriate, ever

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Depends on why.
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by Anonymous 10 on Jan. 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM
No, but in more if a liability sense. I work with at-risk teens, and I don't wan them to have my personal number and I don't want to have theirs. They have my work phone where they can leave a nice message and I will get back to them, but I don't think the outside contact is appropriate only because it opens up both party for scrutiny.

So, for example, one of the kids was using my phone (which I am fine with, I keep a clean image online) and had my Instagram follow his Instagram. I was like...mmmeeeehh, let's see how this plays out. It took me 15 seconds to unfolded him. I don't need shirtless pictures of 15 year old boys in my feed.

Slightly different, but I feel the same about texting, that is crosses the line.

I would however, text parents. That to me would be ideal - they might care or listen!
by Platinum Member on Jan. 7, 2013 at 5:02 PM
For my normal classes, I use a great program called It allows me to send out group texts to my students and they don't see my phone number and I don't see theirs...they text a code to a program generated number that enrolls them in my class and then I use an app on my phone to send out reminders like essay due tomorrow or bring your novel for class. Parents can sign up too.

For my drama students, I do text them, because of the nature of drama. We are at school until 11 pm at night during show week. There are times when I need to let know stuff about rehearsal changes, etc. we also travel to competitions and conference where we are all attending different classes and sessions and texting them allows me to keep tabs on where everyone is and meetup times and changes.. but to cover myself, I also copy my booster president on any text I send my students and all of the parents have my number as well. It's just easier to keep up with there is written record of any communication between me and my students and I would never have a problem with any parent or administrator seeing any text I send.
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by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Unless that teacher is already a family friend or something like that I think of school kinda like people think about work.  They try not to bring their day home with them and having a teacher being overly friendly is just weird.  If they need to talk to my kid they can talk to me or to them at school or set up their own facebook page to make updates.

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