“If it’s a student and it’s a teacher, or any other personnel, employee of the district, then that is a relationship that is off-limits and unacceptable,” said Rep.Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, who sponsored one of the bills.
“If it’s a student and it’s a teacher, or any other personnel, employee of the district, then that is a relationship that is off-limits and unacceptable,” said Rep.Ray Rodrigues, R-Estero, who sponsored one of the bills.But if today's teachers are feeling beleaguered, they can always look back to a set of historical "documents" for a little comfort.
“Students can be really afraid of what the results of that could be, and that’s just not fair to them,” she said.
Some legal experts worry that the proposed law could cast too wide a net, however.
The Miami-Dade Schools police investigated the allegations and referred the cases to the State Attorney’s Office. A proposal under consideration in the Legislature would make it a second-degree felony for teachers and other school employees to have romantic relationships with students, regardless of the student’s age.
But because the students in question were 18, no charges were filed. The bills would prohibit any adult working or volunteering at a school from soliciting or engaging in sexual conduct, lewd conduct or a romantic relationship with a student.
Last May, two Miami-Dade public school employees resigned amid investigations into allegations that they had engaged in inappropriate relationships with female students.
Alex Osuna, then 34, a marine science teacher and girl’s lacrosse team coach at Miami Palmetto Senior High, and Darryl Ward, then 49, a security guard at Coral Reef Senior High and a part-time coach for the school’s football and track and field teams, quit their jobs within a day of each other.And, for men, getting a shave in a barber shop was strictly verboten. On its web site, the New Hampshire Historical Society writes that "the sources for these 'rules' are unknown; thus we cannot attest to their authenticity—only to their verisimilitude and charming quaintness." "The rules from 1872 have been variously attributed to an 1872 posting in Monroe County, Iowa; to a one-room school in a small town in Maine; and to an unspecified Arizona schoolhouse. You may whittle nibs to the individual tastes of the pupils. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly. After ten hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books. Women teachers who marry or engage in improper conduct will be dismissed. Every teacher should lay aside from each day's pay a goodly sum of his earnings. The 1915 rules are attributed to a Sacramento teachers’ contract and elsewhere to an unspecified 1915 magazine." According to Snopes, the fact-checking web site, the 1872 list has been "displayed in numerous museums throughout North America," over the past 50 years, "with each exhibitor claiming that it originated with their county or school district." Heck, the lists even appeared in the venerated Washington Post not so long ago. Teachers will fill the lamps and clean the chimney each day. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's sessions. He should use his savings during his retirement years so that he will not become a burden on society. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, visits pool halls or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop, will give good reasons for people to suspect his worth, intentions, and honesty. The teacher who performs his labor faithfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of twenty-five cents per week in his pay. You will not marry during the term of your contract. “In addition, the bill’s prohibition not only of sexual conduct but ‘relationship[s] of a romantic nature’ is not only vague but also likely violates First Amendment rights of free expression and association,” she added in an email.Rodrigues’ bill, HB 1391, would hold school districts accountable if they fail to report certain misconduct to law enforcement, including by docking the superintendent’s salary.More than two dozen students said they witnessed Swinyar's tangent.The complaint was forwarded to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, where it was then investigated.“I just think it’s so important to make sure that all of them are protected through every grade.Whether you’re 16 or 18, if you’re in high school no one really feels that’s a big difference while you’re there.” Mariano added that because of the power imbalance between school personnel and students, some students might be too scared to refuse sexual advances or report inappropriate behavior.Proponents say the proposed law would close loopholes that have allowed teachers to prey on high school students, something they argue is an abuse of power even if the student is legally an adult. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, the co-sponsor of one of the bills (House Bill 515), said the issue hit close to home.A school resource officer at her old high school was fired last summer for sending inappropriate text messages to students at the school, she told the House Education Committee on Wednesday.