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SCHOOL PATROL

Local schools enforcing safe communication among teachers and students

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Communication between teachers and students is common, but where do you draw the line between what's appropriate and what's not? That's the question some are raising after a Walker Valley High School teacher was suspended without pay for sending inappropriate text messages to a student.

Channel 3 is learning the policy on outside communication among teachers, students and parents varies from school to school, and is often under the principal's discretion.

Principal Blake Freeman of Normal Park School said though technology and the internet have made it easier to stay connected, it's important to stay professional.

"All communication needs to be not personal it needs to be strictly adhering to the learning environment, things that are happening with the school," said Freeman.

He said he discourages his teachers from befriending students and having any interaction with them on their personal social media accounts. Instead, the elementary and middle school use apps and other methods like Google Classroom and Remind101, which sends text messages to parents regarding any school related reminders and events.

Freeman said incidents like the recent one in Bradley County, remind him and his staff of why safe communication is important.

READ MORE | Walker Valley High teacher suspended for sending inappropriate texts to student

"As issues come up not at our school, but as we hear about them on a national perspective it's always important to go back and remind people about the importance of safe communication," Freeman said. "We as teachers have a heavy responsibility to make sure that our interactions are always positive and totally acceptable."

He said it's also important for parents to be aware of any type of communication that takes place regarding school.

"We always encourage parents to regularly check devices and have conversations with their children in regards to who they're texting and what they're talking about," Freeman said.

Freeman and other principal's encourage you to speak up and speak up and report any conversations that are inappropriate.

School Patrol

David Carroll covers education news and issues at schools across the Tennessee Valley.

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