SB 7 implements a new requirement that school districts must notify the parent or guardian of a student with whom an educator allegedly engaged in an improper relationship, regardless of whether the educator resigned or was terminated.

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An educator who believes that any student or minor may be a victim of sexual abuse is required to make a report to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services within 48 hours of becoming aware of the possibility of the abuse.

This responsibility may not be delegated to someone else, and failure to make the required report is a criminal offense.

Solicitation of a sexual or romantic relationship with a student also can result in adverse employment action and certificate sanctions, even if the relationship is not ultimately consummated.

SB 7 expands the criminal prohibition of online solicitation of a minor to include communications between employees at a school and a student.

When I teach courses about how to teach, about psychotherapy, or about ethics, we discuss the nature of teacher-student, or psychotherapist-client, or consultant-consultee, relationships.

I find it useful to have students consider a range of metaphors they can use for the professional relationships they are studying.

The following was included in TCTA's 2017-18 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2017 but is subject to change.

The information below is for information purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for advice from an attorney.

Legislation adopted in 2017 requires applicants for many school district positions to submit a pre-employment affidavit disclosing a charge, adjudication or conviction based on an inappropriate relationship with a minor.