New grant-funded educator misconduct database used as research and prevention tool | 7/1/2019 | Staff
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A researcher and an alumna at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) have teamed up to document a disturbing phenomenon in Texas, the seemingly increasing number of investigations into allegations of educator misconduct that make headlines across the state.

David Thompson, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, and Catherine Robert '17, Ed.D, an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), are developing a database with information about Texas certified educators who have engaged in sexual misconduct during the last two decades (1999-2019) to provide empirical data on educator sexual misconduct (ESM) that can inform education policymakers at the national and state levels.

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The database includes Texas educators who had their educator certificate(s) sanctioned in some way and will include employment and certification data for the educator. This information can be used to describe and predict patterns among educator offenders in Texas.

Thompson said he and Robert focused on analyzing data from 1999 to 2019 because 1999 brought significant changes to how the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics was enforced. Robert said this time-period also captures offenses both before and after the rise of social media use.

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Robert and Thompson conducted research into Texas social media polices in 2014-2015, and they found that roughly 10% of Texas school districts did not have a social media or electronic communication policy at the time. They provided testimony to the Texas Senate Committee on Education and the Texas House of Representatives Public Education Committee between the 84th and 85th Legislature on their findings regarding social media use.

Senate Bill 7 (SB7) subsequently passed during the regular session of the 85th Texas Legislature in 2017 requiring school districts to have social media policies.


Thompson said in...
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