BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The state hopes new training will stop a problem that had U.S. Department of Education officials at one time considering Alabama “ground zero” for inappropriate relationships between teachers and students.
In newly released training videos, the Alabama State Department of Education wants to put an end to inappropriate relationships between teachers and students.
"This is a topic that people don’t want to talk about but there is no choice. It is a priority of the Alabama legislature and the state department of education to address these situations,” State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey said in the video.
In 2015, Alabama led the nation when it comes to teacher-student sex cases. The training videos deal with things like texting between teachers and students. In one part, a mom finds out a teacher has been sending inappropriate pictures to her son.
“Mom: I saw the picture she sent you!
Son: Leave everything alone. You’re just going to mess everything up.
Mom: Mess everything up? Are you kidding me? I’m supposed to protect you!”
The video also talks about the dangers of social media. The Alabama Education Association will lead the free training for educators.
"It also shows teachers reporting their colleagues on inappropriate behavior because sometimes this takes place and its not being reported so that’s one of the important things,” LaMonica Harris, with the AEA said.
Toward the end of the videos, you hear from real people who are now adults who were victims of teachers
"He was obsessively possessive. I was completely under his thumb. I used to be this out-going, strong and independent teenager. He destroyed me,” a woman said.
The AEA says these types of inappropriate relationships can have serious consequences.
"Like jail time. It’s very important that we always keep it professional and we also encourage our school districts to reach out to the AEA so they may have these trainings,” Harris added.
You can watch the training videos here: https://www.alsde.edu/sec/comm/Pages/gcl-all.aspx
If you are a teacher or school and would like to sign up for the training, contact the AEA at 205-322-0180.