Kansas Teachers – Knowing When to Draw the Line

Over the past decade, many teachers across the country have been disciplined, and even arrested in some cases, for having inappropriate sexual relations with students.  Most of these occurrences involve high school teachers and high school students; however, there have been some cases where middle school teachers and students have had inappropriate sexual relations.

While many teachers have certainly crossed the line by having a sexual relationship with a student, there are also situations where allegations may be untrue or grossly exaggerated.  If a student reports that an inappropriate relationship exists between a student and a teacher, school administration officials will take such allegations very seriously, even if there is evidence to suggest no relationship exists.  It is frustrating and unfortunate that many teachers are falsely accused of such serious and inappropriate conduct year after year.

Do What You Can to Protect Yourself

Many teachers accused of having inappropriate sexual relations with a student are well-liked by the majority of the student body.  When a teacher is well-liked, students may feel more comfortable speaking with that teacher.  Along with this comfort comes the possibility that a student may take something the wrong way.  A teacher’s kindness can sometimes be misinterpreted for affection, and when a teacher does not welcome a student’s inappropriate passes, that student may become upset and retaliatory.

While teachers should certainly not compromise their work ethic or alter the overall nature of their relationships with students, there are a few steps teachers can take to reduce the risk that they may be accused of having a sexual relationship with a student.  Such steps include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Have a class-wide conversation with students to discuss the importance of healthy student-teacher relationships, and why it is important that such relationships never go beyond anything more than teacher and student;
  • When speaking with a student individually, teachers should do so during normal school hours, such as right before, during, or right after the school day has ended, and not in the late evenings or weekends;
  • Minimize your discussion with students to school-related matters as much as possible;
  • Avoid having one-on-one discussions with students in an empty classroom with the door shut, where no witnesses are nearby; and
  • Be cognizant of the “rumors” you hear from students, as rumors are often how false allegations erupt.

There is no easy way to prevent the chance that you may be falsely accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student.  However, if you take small, realistic measures, such as those described above, you will be better able to handle false allegations in the future, whether those allegations are against you or another teacher.  Documentation is everything, so it is important to keep a record of any meetings you have with students.  Such documentation will help down the road should an investigation unfold.

Contact Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you are a Kansas teacher facing disciplinary charges, it is essential that you retain a highly skilled Kansas Professional License Defense Attorney.  The Kansas State Department of Education takes all complaints very seriously, especially in situations where a child may be involved.  Regardless of whether or not disciplinary action by the Kansas State Department of Education is legitimate, it is vital that you have an attorney by your side ready to defend your rights and help you keep your Kansas teaching license.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office is a former Assistant Attorney General of Kansas who now devotes her law practice to representing Kansas professionals who are facing the potential loss of their licenses.  If you would like to speak with Ms. Sanger about your situation, contact the Sanger Law Office today to schedule your free consultation by calling (785) 979-4353.