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Texting incident leads to teacher resignation

When the father of a student at Woodlawn Elementary School recently found a series of text messages in his stepson’s cell phone, he assumed they were the routine banter of fifth-graders. Then he realized the messages appeared to have been sent not by a 10-year-old but by a teacher at the school, reports the San Antonio Express-News. "U suck," read one message, reportedly sent from the 34-year-old woman’s cell phone. "So do you," the boy shot back. Until recently, students didn’t hear much from their teachers after the last bell rang. But in the days of YouTube, Facebook, and instant availability, it’s easy for those in charge to cross boundaries. "It has allowed them 24-hour access … where they didn’t have that before," said Terri Miller, president of the Las Vegas-based Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation. "But the other great thing about technology is it creates a trail of evidence … so it’s making cases much easier to prove." The woman accused of texting the Woodlawn fifth-grader was placed on administrative leave while the San Antonio Independent School District investigated the allegations. She resigned last week amid the claims of inappropriate conduct, although she maintains someone else used her phone–without her knowledge–to send the text messages. "I think the appropriateness question is a question about the language that’s being used," said Kevin Leander, an associate professor in the department of teaching and learning at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. "It’s about the context."

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