Texting Teachers

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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UPDATE: 12:30 PM 10-10-13

"It's a double-edged sword,” says Wood County Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Law.

It has great potential for doing good, but Law says “unfortunately it can be misused for the wrong purposes."

Sometimes texting a student just makes sense.

"If it's to keep a child safe, like say if there's a bomb threat in the school or an emergency situation, then I’m for it,” says Valerie Swisher, of Davisville.

Especially when it comes to mass communication.

"We can recognize circumstances where there are -- ease of communication, faster communication, you send out multiple messages,” Law says.

Katy Hamilton, of Parkersburg has other ideas.

"If they need to contact the student, maybe they should e-mail them, as opposed to texting them that can cross boundary lines,” she says.

Wood County Schools isn't banning teachers from texting teachers.

"Understand we expect you to represent yourself and the school system in the appropriate manner,” Law says they tell them.

Texting dips into muddy waters.

"You send something out innocently and somebody else picks it up or something happens to it and suddenly it becomes a problem,” Law says.

"If they're using it inappropriately, yes...that the teacher should be reprimanded for it,” Swisher says.

"I wouldn't want a teacher texting my child for any reason,” Hamilton adds.

Things might be different, if texting was always used appropriately.

According to Law, it has weaknesses but also possibilities.

The Raleigh County Board of Education banned teachers from texting students.

Wood County Schools is allowing it on a limited basis.

Superintendent Dr. Patrick Law says he told his staff they're not totally banning them from texting students, but they discourage it because of the potential for misuse or misinterpretation.

He says they expect them to represent themselves and the school system in the appropriate manner.

"It's a double-edged sword," Law says. "It has great potential for doing good, but unfortunately it can be misused for the wrong purposes."

You send something out innocently; it gets in the wrong hands or something happens to it and suddenly it's a problem.

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