ERIC Number: EJ780538
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov-28
Reference Count: N/A
Digital Age Adds New Dimension to Incidents of Staff-Student Sex
Maxwell, Lesli A.
Education Week, v27 n13 p1, 14 Nov 2007
This article reports on how the current must-have tools of adolescent social networks--cell phone text messaging, Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook, and e-mail--are being used by teachers and other school employees who prey on students to foster inappropriate relationships and perpetrate abuse. When the sexual abuse of students by educators involves digital technology, the harm can be heightened in ways that make an already damaging betrayal of trust even more devastating. Abusers can use the Internet, e-mail, or text messaging, for example, to constantly pursue students, in and out of school. In some extreme cases, they may use the Web in a way that magnifies the abuse exponentially, as a 6th grade teacher in Vermont did recently when he was charged with using his students as models for his homemade child pornography. At the same time, the electronic trail left by such communications can present evidence for authorities investigating allegations of educator misconduct. For some officials, that trail has become an invaluable tool in rooting out bad actors even when they don't have a cooperating victim.
Descriptors: Teacher Student Relationship, Computer Mediated Communication, Trust (Psychology), Sexual Abuse, Pornography, Grade 6, Social Networks, Internet, Court Litigation
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 6
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont