Recent reports have referred to Alabama as “ground zero” for incidents of teacher-student sex. Whether that’s accurate or not, most agree there’s a serious problem. State senator Cam Ward of Alabaster has sponsored SB-274, a bill to mandate an hour of training for educators on appropriate teacher-student interaction in the age of social media. A house version and Ward’s senate version could come up for a vote this legislative session. Ward says despite initial pushback, he’s hopeful the measures will pass. The interview is above, with a few key excerpts below.
“It’s a problem we’ve seen popping up more and more across the state. I felt like [the training] was something that would be good … because in this day of social media, it’s changed so much, the interaction between students and teachers … And not just sex incidents, but even just social interaction with students.”
“Have we really gotten to this point? Yeah. Times have changed.”
“[The training] is not an additional burden. It’s not an additional cost. It’s something a lot of teachers are doing anyway. Just to have an awareness of proper etiquette on the internet is good in my opinion.”
“Everyone’s really focused on the sexual relationship [side of this], but there’s a lot of other interaction thats probably not appropriate, and somebody may not even realize it’s not appropriate.”
“The fact is we’re here, so you’ve got to deal with it.”
WBHM will be reporting more on these issues in weeks and months to come.