Pinellas County Schools |

March 1, 2010 by Post Team 

Pinellas County SchoolsPinellas County Schools |  As district officials grilled Ryan Wilson on the exchange of text messages with a student, nature, technical trainer in a secondary school teacher and former coach of the athletic director told him that he can use the technology at work.

“I was told to communicate with a cell phone,” Wilson said officials in the last month.

Wilson had been cleared of allegations that he had had an improper relationship with a girl, but temporary inspector Sonia Jackson scolded him for, among other things, the continuation of what it described as “inappropriate text messaging and extensive.”

There are no clear rules governing the use of text messages in Hernando County or State staff handbook or code of conduct and professional ethics. Educators are left to the application of the guidelines and limited, and board member of one school, it was the meaning of “common” totext messages.

“It’s a gray area,” said Joe Vitalo, President of the Teachers Syndicate Hernando classroom.

Now that just about every student has a cell phone, and teachers who also serve as coaches or other extracurricular activities would find text messaging to be a convenient way to send your practice to quickly cancel or reschedule a rehearsal, Vitalo said.

Teachers and trainers are concerned, with the attention brought by the Wilson case, should not be text messages to all students.

“However, it was a gift from heaven,” said Vitalo.

School Board members Jackson say that the time has come to clarify the text when an occasion like this, what kind of content is outside the border.

Jackson said she could imagine a policy that would allow only text to communicate information to logistics. Otherwise, teachers may find themselves in embarrassing situations – or at least the appearance of one, she said.

“I think with a policy in place, it does make staff think twice.”

• • •

Many of the teachers have texted her way to the types of headlines that make parents and educators cringe.

In 2008, accused in the northern port of a high school teacher in an attempt to seduce a girl via text messages. The girl told police she and Teacher, have routinely exchanged letters until they turned sexual.

In the last month, was sentenced a former Pinellas County middle school teacher for five years probation for sending sexually explicit texts to a student in eighth grade last year.

And Eric Riggins, a former track coach in school suspension in the monitoring of Hernando High, and I learned last month that he will likely lose their teaching certificate, in part, to send sexual texts to a female student.

Still, I found some Florida counties have policies that express provision. Includes Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

“We warn the teacher about this type of communication, but we also know it would be useful for the teacher, who is director of the division or coach,” said Linda Cobbe said a spokeswoman for Hillsborough schools. He added: “It’s just a matter where we must be vigilant.”

Springstead High principal Susan Duval said it was the same message to the staff at the beginning of each academic year.

“Stories of the types of text messages, I think, serve a very useful type of purpose,” said Duval, “but when it gets to the realm of the personal, as the need for teacher professional be extremely careful.”

Central High School Athletic Director Jeff Spivey said he supports limited use of SMS for the logistics, but added that coaches should be text messages and the same phone for a parent, too.

“It’s certainly a good use of technology,” said Spivey.

Amid major Clifford that the grants, but is still cautious.

EdLine tools such as e-mail available for messages to students and their families, “said Clifford. Perhaps school administrators can be assigned acell phone to be used by workers when they have a formal letter to our logistics, he said.

“But the children who have access to employee personal cell phones,” and said: “It is a recipe for disaster.”

• • •

At least parts of the few schools in the country has gone intolerance.

In 2008, officials of the schools in Lamar County, Miss., agreed to a policy forbidding teachers and students of the existence of any text message conversations or social networking friendships. At the bottom of the story of the Internet reporting this development on the CBS News Web site, and the reader to that publication:

Here are the texts that guided my students this year:

Do not forget student leaders and lunch with the principal day.

Yes, you may verify the presence of the camera today. Comes from the see me.

Contest at 6 PM in the theater Scott.

Yes, I will help you deliver the slide show to your brother’s funeral.

School board member Diane Bonfield Hernando says it is ready to go on the road to Lamar County, Miss. She said she hoped the issue would make it a written policy on the agenda of a workshop later this year.

“I do not think it’s appropriate to get in touch with students in all mobile phones through,” said Bonfield. “It is for the protection of everyone.”

To punish teachers for the actions of some teachers who may have violated the policy anyway, “said Vitalo, and the President of the local teachers union. Wilson case is a reminder that this means that teachers need to be careful and reporting provisions of unwanted charges against them, he said.

“But it should not prohibit us from communicating with the players and students,” said Vitalo.

Board member Sandra Nicholson said the previous cases show that not all teachers can be trusted with governance.

“If they do not have common sense, it must be in writing,” said Nicholson.

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