Mandatory videos outline proper academic relationshipsTeachers watched their video last week
The CCSD website provides a page with information on the measures that are being taken in the district in order to ensure student safety. Photo credit: CCSD
In accordance with the social media policy passed last year to combat sexual misconduct in CCSD, teachers and students viewed a mandatory training videos on appropriate student-teacher relationships on Monday morning after continued instances were discovered at schools. As of Feb. 13, 17 cases have been reported since 2016.
“These videos are emphasizing the importance of having an appropriate relationship with your teacher,” Dean James Campbell said. “Relationships should be academic and school related. As we can see with current events, not everybody is adhering to the rules, so the videos are to help everyone understand how to respect boundaries and stay within the regulations of the school district.”
An increased number of infractions spurred the regulation. Educational videos were also made for employees, coaches, volunteers and parents, which are available online. After watching the video, CCSD employees and students signed a form, verifying that they understand the content presented. Earlier in the school year, teachers also watched a video called “Inappropriate Relationships with Students.”
“I think it was important to understand the rules and regulations between proper student-teacher interaction,” senior Melissa Yelverton said. “CCSD [made the right choice] by [having us watch] the video so that we understand what is okay and what is not in the school environment. It also makes me feel more safe.”
Additionally, because of the policy, all communication outside the classroom must be made on platforms that log the conversation history. The school board is currently in the process of compiling a list of approved electronic systems for student-teacher communication.
“I understand why [CCSD] wants a record of our conversations,” NHS and Class of 2020 adviser Laura Penrod said. “As an adviser, [this policy] does make it challenging [to communicate] because we have to use an app that sometimes takes up extra space on students’ phones, so they have a tendency to not want to have to download it.As far as immediacy and getting in touch with students in a quick manner, obviously texting is always going to be easier and faster.”
Communication is limited to between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. One-on-one messaging is not allowed; all conversations must involve a group. In cases of emergency, one-on-one communication is allowed, but staff supervisors must be notified.
“For NHS, it’s not as much of an issue,” Penrod said. “It’s more of a challenge with StuCo because we have day-to-day fundraisers and multiple things that are always going on so it tends to be more challenging in that environment than NHS.”
Staff are not allowed to contact or befriend students on social media unless their parents permit it. If students encounter an inappropriate interaction with a teacher, they are to notify school staff, law enforcement or administration.
“Teachers and students should limit their contact outside of school to ensure that boundaries are not broken,” senior Drianna Dimatulac said. “It’s important for them to remember that a teacher’s main job is to provide a learning atmosphere for their students. This doesn’t mean that a relationship between a teacher and student can’t be close–only that it should stay professional.”