Did you hear about this one? A teacher at a Philadelphia area private school is suing for being fired because of he sent texts to a student.
Now in the interest of full disclosure he is actually suing the school district for this and other infractions, but this part of the case is what has us at Good Enough Mother, thinking. The teacher, Arthur Matthews, apparently sent texts back and forth to a female student all with the parents’ knowledge and consent. The school found out and let him go. I say, “Why?”
There is no mention of the school policy, but if they didn’t have one in place, well that seems irresponsible on their part (now might be a good time for those of us with children who have phones to check with your school right now to see if a policy is in place). I, on the other hand, don’t see one thing wrong with a teacher texting their students.
(There also appears to be another layer to this story. The teacher is black and claiming in his federal lawsuit that the school has a history of treating black employees more harshly than others).
I have got to say I know some incredible teachers. I’ve said this before I’m sure, but the teachers my, “bonus children” had, helped me tremendously. If she had been a teacher in this kid’s later life I would have loved for her to text him if she so desired to help with those areas in life where I can’t. See, unlike some, I get that children don’t always get along with their parent. Yes, this leaves a very scary door open for predators, but that is where monitoring the cell phone use and texts comes into play. Parents still have to be parents even if their children choose to confide in someone else.
Kids are going to do what you don’t want them to do. Period. With a cell phone people can reach you at all hours of the day and night. It’s great really because you can send messages while they are asleep that they can get in the morning without you forgetting that it had to be done. Not necessary for a teacher and a student, right? Parents need to monitor when their kids have these cell phones on such that a teacher isn’t in their bedroom so to speak at all hours of the day and night. Kids can talk to teachers privately before, during, and after school hours. Access to a cell phone isn’t going to change that, but we can keep the hours respectable.
Also, you can monitor texts a little easier than face-to-face conversations. Your kids sure can start deleting texts, but as soon as that happens I would think there is a problem and reevaluate pronto!
So what about you? How do you feel about your children texting their teachers? Should they be allowed to do it? Does it depend on their age or is it never acceptable? Tell us what you think!
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Ella Rucker is the mother of one of the smartest, funniest two-year-olds she’s ever met. She is currently assistant to the head GEM which means hats-a-plenty including writing, editing, and producing for Good Enough Mother. An Ohio native implanted in NYC for the last 13 years, Ella has achieved one of her many dreams by writing. Her musings (she’s amused they’d be called “musings”) can be found at other places on the web so make sure you follow her on twitter@ellalaverne for all the information.