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School policies on student-teacher communications

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The superintendent of Eanes Independent School District announced Wednesday the position of West Lake High School assistant principal was rescinded from a candidate who resigned from his last job over questionable text messages to a student.

Eanes ISD does not have a policy prohibiting students and teachers from communicating, but they do ask the adults to "refrain from inappropriate communication" via social media and text messaging.

"I thought, wow, I guess you could have a weird situation, but I think, in our experience, you gotta know your kids," said one Westlake parent.

Is it okay for students and teachers to talk after hours?"

One Austin resident said, "Once you cross that line it's like, it starts to get more blurred, because you're getting to know them better. You're on a more comfortable communication basis with them."

Here are some surrounding school district's student-teacher communication policies.

Round Rock ISD does not prohibit texting or social media communication between students and teachers, but they do discourage teachers from being Facebook friends.

"Oh no. They can't be friends on Facebook," said another Westlake parent. "You have a lot of friends in your life. Your teacher's your teacher. That's your adult role model. That's not your friend." 

At Hays ISD, texting and social media communication about school work between students and teachers is prohibited only if a student or parent requests that it stop.

One woman said, "I feel like it almost breaks some sort of professional barrier. However, there could be good aspects to that extra communication that might be helping education more."

Leander ISD employees are required to create separate professional social media pages and are not allowed to communicate with students through personal profiles. Communication is also banned between midnight and 5 a.m.

Georgetown ISD has similar rules, except students and teachers are not allowed to communicate between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.

"It's absolutely okay and it's absolutely relevant today, with the current technology," added another Westlake parent.

Austin ISD does not prohibit communication between teachers and students, as long as it pertains to school work.

Employees are not subject to these rules if they have a previous relation or friendship with student or a student's family.

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