Report: Texas No. 1 in nation for teacher-student sex scandals - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Report: Texas No. 1 in nation for teacher-student sex scandals

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

It's the latest case in the Houston area. A Spring ISD teacher's aide arrested for having sex with a high school female student.

According to 24-year-old Katherine Gricar's arrest report it was a fight between the student and her mother that propelled the investigation.

The student's mother reported the improper relationship to police.

When Gricar was questioned she admitted she had sex with the 18-year-old student. This is just one of 34 similar cases reported in Texas since November of last year.

Terry Abbott, the Chairman of Drive West Communications and the former Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Education has been keeping track of the cases and noticed an alarming trend.

"Since the middle of November there have been about 200 cases nationally. That's 10 cases a week," said Abbott. He says California is right behind Texas with 19 cases, and New York comes in third with 12 cases.

He says social media is most likely to blame since it allows teachers and students to have access with each other outside of the classroom.

"About 25% of the cases since November have involved social media between the teachers and the students," he said.

Houston ISD would not comment on their social media policy but according to their employee Code of Conduct employees may use social media to communicate with students as long it is within the scope of the employee's professional responsibilities.

Psychotherapist Mary Jo Rapini says it's the lack of boundaries with social media that can lead to the improper exchanges.

"That's one of the things that's the hardest about social media for parents is they can't control it," she said.

It's why Abbott says the answer to the problem may be asking school districts to enforce stronger social media policies.

"I'm personally recommending that districts take the additional step regarding texting and just outright banning text messaging between teachers and students," said Abbott.

It's also up to parents, he says, to monitor their children, and to put a stop to any sort of improper relationship before it turns physical.

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